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Steve Gooch: Week 3 Update
Steve Gooch
Steve Gooch

This week the Georgia General Assembly had a full week, meeting for five legislative days with plenty of committee work in between. Overall, this was a successful week for the Senate, as we saw another important bill receive passage in our chamber.

While last week legislators were focused squarely on the budget, this week saw us broaden our scope to committee work. Over the 2019 interim, I chaired a Senate Study Committee that was tasked with taking a closer look at the role of personal mobility devices (such as electric powered scooters) and how best to ensure the safety of the rider and any pedestrians or vehicles the scooter may encounter. These considerations were included in Senate Bill 159, which I presented to the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. We were careful as a state not to provide regulations that were too strict and gave great flexibility to counties and municipalities in how they wish to regulate the use of these devices in their communities. The bill received favorable consideration from the Senate Transportation Committee and will hopefully be considered for a vote by the full Senate in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, the Senate took up House Bill 444 for a vote. This bill proposes a cap on the number of dual enrollment classes a student may earn credit for at 30 hours. This will ensure that this popular and beneficial program will be able to continue for years to come by lessening the cost of the program. HB 444 would also make sure that our students our using the dual enrollment classes for core courses that are easily transferable, so that they may be used a wider number of colleges and universities. These small adjustments will not have any effect on the majority of students who participate in the dual enrollment program and will ensure that it remains sustainable for future generations of students to enjoy.

The proper maintenance of our roads, bridges and highways is always one of the top priorities of the General Assembly each year. As the number one state in the nation in which to do business for six straight years, we know this would not have been possible without efficient infrastructure. On Thursday, we heard a presentation by the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation in a joint meeting of the Senate and House Transportation Committees in order to hear an update on GDOT’s ten-year plan for our roadways. I am encouraged and optimistic by GDOT’s vision and I looking forward to working with their team to continue to ready our infrastructure for the logistics needs of the next decade.

The Senate will meet next week for legislative days ten through thirteen. We are still early in the session, but the groundwork is currently being laid out to ensure each and every legislative day will be well spent. As always if there is ever anything I can do for you please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my office.