February 8, 2019

After taking off Monday, the legislature convened four days and has now completed 11 legislative days.  Yesterday the House and Senate passed an adjournment resolution (HR 152) that sets the calendar for the remainder of the session.

Much of the House and Senate floor action this week entailed special recognition resolutions, remarks by visiting U.S. Congressmen, and a large number of “morning orders” or “points of personal privilege,” that is when House and Senate members can speak from the well of their chamber on any topic.

Earlier today, after extensive debate, the House passed the amended FY 2019 budget.  Other House-passed legislation includes Speaker Ralston’s HR 1 which would name the new judicial complex after former Governor Nathan Deal, and two bills adding Superior Court judgeships in the Gwinnett and Griffin Judicial Circuits.

In Senate action, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that clarifies when vehicles must stop for school buses.  SB 25 makes it clear that vehicles approaching a school bus, whether it is from the same or the opposite direction, must stop when the bus arm is extended unless there is a barrier or median separating the lanes.

The Senate Regulated Industries committee met briefly and announced they will meet again on Tuesday next week to consider Sen. Gooch’s two bills related to broadband expansion: SB 2 that would authorize EMCs to offer broadband service and SB 17 that would authorize telephone cooperatives to offer it also. The House bill authorizing EMCs to offer broadband service (HB 23) is on the calendar for full House action on Monday.

Legislation introduced this week includes Sen. Beach’s horse racing bill, called the “Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act” and its accompanying constitutional amendment (SB 45 and SR 84), and two bills that would reverse the 2017 “campus carry” bill and would prohibit concealed weapons on college campuses (SB 50 and HB 122).

There were two major certificate of need bills introduced, SB 74 and HB 198, in addition to Sen. Albers’ bill to exempt integrated surgery centers from CON requirements which would allow well-known surgeon Dr. James Andrews to build a facility in North Fulton county (SB 61).

Republican Matt Barton, a courier business owner, won the Feb. 5 run-off election in House District 5.  This is the seat formerly held by Rep. John Meadows who died after the Nov. elections.

Meanwhile, in House District 28, a superior court judge threw out the results from the Dec. 4 election, which was actually a “do-over” from the primary election last spring.  Rep. Dan Gasaway, who was the incumbent in the spring 2018 election, faced former Banks County School Superintendent Chris Erwin.  Erwin won that election by 67 votes, then he won the Dec. election by two votes. A date has not been set yet for the third election between these two candidates for this election cycle.

Comments are closed.