Gold Dome Update: Week Ten

We have now completed through day 35 of the 2018 Legislative Session and our tenth week was packed with committee meetings and three days of session. We passed a total of 22 House bills and resolutions this week, and there will be many more to come in the final five legislative days.

On Wednesday, I had the honor of presenting Senate Resolution 808 and welcoming members of our state law enforcement for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at the Capitol. There are over 50,000 law enforcement officers among state and local police departments, sheriffs’ offices and state agencies who put duty above self every day. We are so thankful for these individuals and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe and worry-free on a daily basis. In addition to honoring these brave men and women for their service, the resolution is also meant to acknowledge the sacrifice of the 672 officers lost in our state’s history. We truly cannot thank Georgia’s men and women in uniform enough for their commitment to our state, its people and the principles for which we stand. Sponsoring this resolution is the least I can do to commend each and every one of them for their service.

In addition to welcoming our guests, I am also carrying several House Bills in the Senate relating to law enforcement that saw movement this week. House Bill 79 passed the Senate on Monday and would direct law enforcement to purge any data collected by automated license plate reading systems 30 months after collection, unless being used in an active case or investigation. In addition, the Senate Public Safety Committee passed HB 703 and HB 149 this week. HB 703 would create the Office of Public Safety Officer Support within the Department of Public Safety to provide support and counseling to officers who have suffered trauma in the line of duty. HB 149 would create regulations for trauma scene cleanup and waste disposal to ensure safety. Each bill will now go to the Senate Rules Committee to be placed on the Senate Rules Calendar for a debate and vote on the Senate floor.

Across the hall, some of my Senate Bills are also seeing movement in the right direction. For example, Senate Bill 328 has been favorably approved by the House Ways and Means Committee and it has now been sent to the House Rules Committee. SB 328 revises the state code to place a sunset on certain underutilized state income tax credits which were costing the state more than they were saving our citizens. This bill, along with SB 378 and SB 432, where the result of the Senate Study Committee on Special Tax Exemption, which met over the interim to take a deeper look at our state’s tax code and determine changes to benefit the state’s overall economy. Both SB 378 and SB 432 have been read for a second time in the House and have been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee for further review.

This week was busy on the Senate floor and in our committees as we work to get through as many bills as we can with less than two weeks until Sine Die. I look forward to working diligently for the 56th District as we come closer to the end of session, and thank you for the opportunity to serve our community. Please never hesitate to contact my office if you have any concerns, comments or questions regarding legislation or if I can be of assistance in any way.