Legislative Update Week 7

Let me begin this week telling you about a bill I introduced.  The First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution guarantees all Americans the right of free speech. Sadly on many of our college campuses, speech codes and "free speech zones" exist which limit when and where students can exercise their Constitutional right and in practice even limit what a student can say. In response to this situation, I introduced HB 471 which would protect each students' First Amendment rights. Read more about it here

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Legislative Update Week 6

Thank you to those who sent ideas of laws that need to be repealed to the Code Revision Committee I chair.  If you'd like to help us seek out unconstitutional and obsolete parts of the Official Code of Georgia send your ideas to my Legislative email and we'll get to work on it.  I produced a short video asking members of the public to use their expertise and help us find obsolete and outdated laws.  I hope you'll help in this effort.

The 2017 Legislative Session is in full swing and a number of bills passed this week.  Here are a few of my favorites:

In an exciting effort to bring the commercial space industry to Georgia, the House saw the passage of a measure this week that would establish the groundwork for this industry in our state. House Bill 1, the Georgia Space Flight Act (GSA), would define procedures for commercial space flight activity, allowing Georgia to be more competitive with neighboring “space friendly” states.

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Legislative Update Week 5

Thank you to those who sent ideas of laws that need to be repealed to the Code Revision Committee I chair.  If you'd like to help us seek out unconstitutional and obsolete parts of the Official Code of Georgia send your ideas to my Legislative email and we'll get to work on it.  I produced a short video asking members of the public to use their expertise and help us find obsolete and outdated laws. I hope you'll help in this effort.

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Legislative Update Week 4

GO FALCONS!

There are a lot of important things we do at the Capitol that fly under the radar.  That was the case this week as we passed a few bills dealing with crucial but not headline grabbing legislation.  One such bill was House Bill 38 which would distinguish a three-wheeled vehicle that is controlled by a steering wheel, like a Polaris Slingshot, from a motorcycle which is controlled by handlebars. This bill would also update licensing requirements for drivers of three-wheeled motor vehicles. In accordance with federal safety standards, three-wheeled motor vehicles equipped with steering wheels qualify as automobiles, but current Georgia law considers all three-wheeled vehicles as motorcycles. HB 38 would require drivers of these three-wheeled automobiles with steering wheels to obtain Class C commercial driver’s licenses rather than Class M motorcycle licenses. This bill ensures that Georgia’s drivers are equipped with the proper licenses needed to operate their vehicles, ultimately making our roadways safer for all drivers, and I look forward to seeing this legislation make its way through the Senate.

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Legislative Update Week 3

The House was back in session last week and passed the first bill of the 2017 session.  HB 43 is the amended fiscal year budget. It does include new spending, most of which is wrapper up in K-12 enrollment growth and increased enrollments in Medicaid. HB 43 includes $108.9 million for midterm enrollment growth of .68 percent to ensure that every child has the educational resources they need. This year’s amended budget also accounts for the growing needs of our education system, including those needs of our institutions of higher learning. The AFY 2017 budget allocates $16.7 million to meet the projected needs of Move on When Ready, a program allowing eligible Georgia students to take advantage of dual enrollment and progress at their own pace, and $2.3 million to create the Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, an education training center for developing literacy skills among children from birth to age 8 throughout the state.

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