Gold Dome Update: Week One

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the Georgia Senate reconvened for the second half of the 154th Georgia General Assembly. We are excited to get back to work for the people of Georgia, and I look forward to the coming session. The next 40 days will be solely devoted to ensuring that our state continues to be one of the best places to live and work in the country.

Our first act of the 2018 Legislative Session was to elect a new Senate President Pro Tempore, Sen. Butch Miller – an excellent leader for the Georgia Senate, his district and the state of Georgia. I am confident he will serve us well in his new role.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the Senate Committee on Assignments announced new chairman committee roles earlier this week, and I am excited to share that I have been named the new Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. It is a great honor to serve in this capacity, and I would like to thank the Lt. Governor Cagle and the Assignments Committee for this opportunity. Ensuring the continued safety for citizens of my district and across the state will be a top priority for this committee. I will also serve as Vice Chairman on the Finance Committee and the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, as well as retaining membership on the Appropriations and MARTOC committees and as ex-officio of the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security and Rules committees.

On Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal gave his eighth and final State of the State address. During the joint session of the Senate and House chambers, he emphasized the importance of the investments that have been made during his tenure to reform the criminal justice system. Namely, these investments include a system of accountability courts, education and re-entry initiatives. These have been well worth the cost, and we will continue to reform the finer points of the system this session and beyond.

Finally, I want to ensure that I am here to work for my constituents. In doing so, I have filed six bills relating to property taxes in Fulton Country. The legislation is for Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park and Roswell, as well as the Fulton Country School District. These bills will limit tax increases by creating a three percent cap on property tax assessment increases, address property tax exemptions and return much of the decision making power back to the voters of each respective city. These bills were assigned to the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee this week where they will be vetted on by committee members. It is my intention to pass these bills during the 2018 session and fix what is broken in our local tax system.

When considering any legislation, I will always put your best interests at the forefront of my decision making. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to build a better life for all Georgians. I am honored to represent you under the Gold Dome and I look forward to keeping you updated as we continue through the 2018 Legislative Session.