Thursday’s adjournment marked the 10th day of this year’s legislative session, meaning that we only have 30 days left to vet and analyze legislation before handing it over to Governor Deal for final review. This past week was full of notable accomplishments, including the passing of two bills on the Senate floor, the adoption of our adjournment calendar and of course legislation being introduced and reviewed.
Last week, Senate Resolution 502 passed out of the Senate Standing Rules Committee with unanimous support. This is a resolution I sponsored that will encourage Congress and federal agencies to support high-speed broadband access in rural America. This particular piece of legislation has been an ongoing initiative for myself and many of my colleagues, as it is beneficial to the expansion of businesses, education and health care in our rural communities. Access to high-speed broadband should not be a problem for citizens of Georgia and I am confident that through this resolution, we can encourage the federal government to take action.
Along with this resolution, I am working with my colleagues, community leaders and other stakeholders on legislation that will address access to high-speed broadband in rural communities. We are working hard to ensure that any legislative proposals will help individuals receive the same access that other communities in our state are already receiving. This is a work in progress and I am hopeful we will draft legislation ready to file within the next couple of weeks.
Another resolution that I am honored to be a part of is SR 609, recognizing Jan. 25 as National Guard Day at the state Capitol. Not only was it an honor and privilege to stand amongst the men and women who serve our country but General Joe Jarrard, a neighbor in North Georgia, came down to the Capitol to be presented with this resolution. SR 609 recognizes Georgia’s National Guard for their deployment of troops all over the world, acknowledges their many accomplishments, including their help with hurricane relief and setting up mobile hospitals for victims and their service to Georgia’s youth in providing educational programs that keep our younger generations on a successful track.
We also passed two bills on the Senate floor that have now been sent over to the House for further review. SB 194 updates Georgia’s garnishment procedures, clarifying what percentage of earnings are subject to garnishment, where legal documents should be mailed and outlines procedure for third party involvement. The second bill passed, SB 327, updates the Georgia Death Investigation Act. It would waive the current requirement that a formal inquiry must be done by a medical examiner when a death occurs if the deceased died without any foul play and was not under the care of physician.
On Thursday, the Senate also adopted our adjournment calendar, marking Crossover Day as Feb. 28 and Sine Die, or the last day of the legislative session, on March 29. While it may seem like we have a lot of time, the Senate has a lot of legislation to cover and will be busy keeping our priorities in line to best serve you.
Committee meetings have officially begun and we have been constantly working through bill proposals to efficiently and effectively pass legislation. If you ever have any questions about legislation or anything that is happening down here at the Capitol, please feel free to reach out to my office so that I can assist you. Thank you for allowing me to represent district 51 under the Gold Dome.
Sen. Steve Gooch serves as the Senate Majority Whip. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties and portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties. He may be reached at (404) 656.9221 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.