ATLANTA - Greetings from your state capitol! Monday, Feb. 3, we gathered under the gold dome for our fourth week of the 2020 legislative session. Last week brought many committee meetings and much discussion regarding issues of importance. We also convened on the House floor for three days, where we passed several measures, including an adjournment resolution which sets our session schedule in the upcoming weeks.
Last Wednesday brought the unanimous passage of House Resolution 935, which will reauthorize the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for the remainder of the year. If the measure is adopted by the Senate, the commission would be allowed to continue its work, finding solid solutions to problems regarding current trucking, rail and air cargo infrastructure. Areas of interests for commission review include:
· Reduction of driving risks for truck drivers and other motorists.
· Expansion of dedicated lanes for moving freight.
· Reducing traffic in and out of the ports and key metropolitan areas.
As they did last year, the commission would submit committee findings by the end of the calendar year in preparation for the 2021 legislative session.
Statewide Business Court
We are pleased to announce that the newly developed Georgia State-wide Business Court which was approved by Georgia voters will begin taking cases in August 2020. These courts were created to lessen the strain on our judicial systems by removing complex commercial cases out of our current court system.
Last week, we passed House Bill 663, to allow judges of the statewide business court to become members of the Judicial Retirement System of Georgia (JRS) if they are employed full-time and are in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia. We are so proud for Skip and Diane Davis, our friends and constituents , who are the parents of Judge Walter Davis, appointed by Governor Kemp to serve the newly created Business Court for the State of Georgia
Last week we adopted Senate Resolution 712 which moves us into adjournment until Tuesday, Feb. 18. During this time, the House and Senate Appropriations committees will be meeting throughout next week to take a closer look at the AFY 2020 and FY 2021 budgets to hear from different state agency officials about the impact of the budget proposals on their departments.
This budget process is different than past years because we have been tasked with making cuts across the board, while ensuring that our government programs remain accessible and efficient. When dealing with hard-earned tax dollars, it is our top priority to make sure we are using those funds appropriately and conservatively. Again, the budget processmis far from over and I will continue to update you on our progress and any area which will impact our district.
We have successfully completed 12 legislative days of 40. Many topics such as education, healthcare, rural initiatives and transportation are making their way through committee and will soon be voted upon in a full floor vote. I will continue to update you throughout the remainder of our legislative session, and I encourage you to reach out to me with questions or concerns. Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving as your voice under the Gold Dome as we work to move our state forward.