January 31, 2019

After taking off last week for budget hearings, the legislature convened for the first three days of this week and has now completed seven legislative days of this 2019 session.

The House and Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5.  Sometime next week we anticipate they will pass an adjournment resolution to set the calendar for the remainder of the session.

This week was filled with many committees holding their introductory meetings as well as continued meetings by Appropriations subcommittees on Governor Kemp’s FY 2020 and Amended FY 2019 budgets.

The House Economic Development committee passed two bills by Rep. Penny Houston that would allow telephone cooperatives and EMCs to become providers of broadband service (HB 22 and HB 23); both of these bills are now on the House general calendar.

The Senate Public Safety committee passed a bill that reverses last year’s legislation and makes it clear that vehicles approaching a school bus from the same or opposite direction must stop when the bus arm is out unless there is a physical barrier or grass median separating the lanes (SB 25); this bill is now on the Senate general calendar.

The House MARTOC committee heard from MARTA officials about their transportation plans to ensure a positive experience by their riders during this weekend’s Super Bowl LIII.

The House passed a resolution inviting the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court to deliver the State of the Judiciary speech on February 19.

The state Democratic Party held its annual convention over the weekend and elected Sen. Nikema Williams to be the party’s Chair.  She will be the first African American woman to lead the party.

In other political news, former Ga. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams has been selected to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address next week.

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