Gold Dome Update: Week Nine

Crossover Day has come and now we are looking forward to the last 10 days of the legislative session. The Senate has begun working through the bills that the House of Representatives passed. Committees are busy vetting and considering these bills before they make it to the Senate floor for debate.

As such, only a handful of House bills have made it to the Senate floor. But all the same, we are voting on about three bills each legislative day and we are receiving guests who embody what it means to be a Georgian.

On Thursday, I carried House Bill 146, which would provide expanded insurance coverage for firefighters by requiring their fire departments to provide them with health insurance specific to their needs. Firefighters are specifically in danger of developing digestive, oral, respiratory and urinary cancers as well as malignant mesothelioma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This isn’t the first time the General Assembly tried to enact this kind of legislation. Last year, we put up the good fight with HB 216, which was ultimately vetoed by Governor Nathan Deal. However, looking back, I’d like to thank the Governor for telling us to try again. Now, this year, we have a much better bill that will be even better for our firefighters.

Our public safety officers are under attack, both literally and figuratively. But this week, we began to turn the tide in favor of those who put so much on the line for us. There are members of the Senate body who have themselves put their lives on the line for Georgia’s communities, including myself, and our presence in our hallowed chamber reminded our peers how important legislation like this is. On Thursday, by unanimously passing HB 216, we gave a strong signal to Georgia’s firefighters that we have their back, and I couldn’t be more proud.

Another group of courageous individuals we honored this week were our law enforcement officers. On Monday, March 6, the Capitol hosted Law Enforcement Day to formally recognize the 50,000+ peace officers who serve Georgia’s communities with unwavering loyalty and bravery. I was delighted to see officers from around the state come under the Gold Dome to commend the often under-appreciated sacrifices they make for all of us.

We may not have passed nearly as much legislation as we did last week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to be proud to be a state Senator and a Georgian. There are so many citizens of this state who are worthy of recognition, and I will always be grateful that I get to recognize those individuals.

As always, I am honored to represent you in the 56th Senate District. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.