Update from Under the Gold Dome: Week Four

As our fourth week comes to a close, I am proud to announce that the Senate has passed our first piece of legislation which came through and passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee. This bill passed the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support which set a good tone for future legislation.

Senate Bill 25 clarifies the law regarding when stopped school buses can or cannot be passed. Due to ambiguous language in House Bill 978, which passed during the 2018 session, the law stated that drivers can pass a stopped school bus while driving in the opposite direction when separated by a single turn lane. This put our school children at risk and confused both law enforcement and drivers. SB 25 clarifies the law by stating that a stopped school bus can be passed only when a grass median, unpaved area or physical barrier separates the opposite directions of travel. I am extremely grateful that this bill passed through the Senate efficiently, and I hope that it will pass through the House of Representatives with similar speed. Language has been included in this legislation so that it becomes effect upon Governor Kemp’s signature, so the quicker we get SB 25 on the Governor’s desk, the quicker our children are protected.

This week we also passed Senate Resolution 19 with unanimous, bipartisan support which will create the Georgia Commission on Freight, Innovation and Logistics. I am impressed with the Senate’s early efforts to ensure that this commission is created so that Georgia’s freight industry can get started on the best strategy for success. With the high amount of transportation of goods throughout the state on top of our crowded roads, this commission is vital to ensuring that we come up with a solution for efficiency and funding of projects to help ease traffic problems while effectively transporting goods from one place to another.

In the coming weeks, the Senate will truly get down to business. On Thursday, we approved the adjournment resolution – House Resolution 152 – which lays out the remaining 29 legislative days. Crossover Day will be March 7th and Sine Die, the last day of the 2019 legislative session, will be on April 2nd. If you would like to visit the Capitol during a “session” day, you can find the schedule here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20192020/HR/152

Rarely do we gavel in for legislative days every day of a work week—normally recess days are set aside for committee meetings—but in the next month we will have two full legislative weeks. This means that resolutions and bills will be moving with speed, and I will do my best to keep you updated on all the bills that affect our district and our entire state.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 56th Senate District. Thank you for your continued trust in me. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, or find yourself planning a trip to the Gold Dome, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. I always like to hear from my constituents to ensure that I am accurately and fully representing your values.