The 2017 Legislative Session has only five Legislative days left and this week promises to be a busy one. Committees in the House and Senate have moved many pieces of Legislation to their respective Rules Committees for final approval before a floor vote.
Tuesday I made note of Pi Day with a lighthearted effort to tout the virtues of math.
A few bills did pass this past week. Here are a two measures of note:
SB 85 would allow craft breweries and spirit distilleries to sell limited amounts of their products directly to their visitors. Currently, breweries and distilleries are only permitted to distribute their products to customers through facility tours, but SB 85 would remove this requirement and allow these establishments to sell their products to the public for consumption both on and off the facility’s premises. SB 85 would allow malt beverage brewers and manufacturers to sell up to 3,000 barrels of malt beverages per year for consumption on and off the premises with a limit of 288 ounces per consumer per day for consumption off-premises. Additionally, spirit distilleries could sell up to 500 barrels of distilled spirits per year for consumption on or off the premises with a limit of 2,250 milliliters per consumer per day for consumption off-premises.
Another bill that the House passed this week was SB 109, a measure designed to quickly and effectively mobilize the day-to-day movement of out-of-state emergency management services (EMS) personnel across state lines during a declared emergency. Senate Bill 109 would create the Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact (REPLICA) to allow emergency EMS personnel to enter Georgia and provide care to communities and citizens during declared emergencies by the governor. Additionally, SB 109 would support the licensure of military members separating from active duty tours and their spouses, promote compliance with EMS personnel laws in member states and authorize member states to mutually recognize member state licenses. Furthermore, this legislation would encourage member state cooperation and regulation and facilitate the exchange of information regarding EMS personnel licensure and rules between member states. The compact has been enacted in eight other states and would become fully operational once 10 states have enacted the compact. SB 109 was introduced in response to the devastating crises that have greatly impacted our state in the past year, including the forest fires in North Georgia, Hurricane Matthew in Georgia’s coastal areas and the severe weather and tornadoes in South Georgia. This compact will unify member states in an effort to more efficiently provide relief to people in need, increase accessibility of EMS personnel and enhance our state’s ability to preserve the health and safety of all Georgians.
We'll be back in session Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week. As always, you can watch the sessions live and all House committee meetings from the comfort of your home or office.
As I did during last session, I record a quick video update each day we are in Session, You can join us live on my Facebook page. Here are last week's videos: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK:
Me, Rep. Chuck Martin and Rep. Tom Kirby all lost friendly (non-cash) wagers with each other, so Wednesday was the day we all made good on it and wore ties. I'm wearing a University of Georgia tie while Martin and Kirby are wearing Georgia Tech ties. Chuck put a note on his tie that said "I lost a bet to Buzz." It was a lot of fun and it's good to have friends like Chuck and Tom who are good sports.
As always, you can contact me at my Capitol office at 404-656-0188 or via email. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via my website.
I look forward to serving you in the Legislature for the next two years. As I tell people, I get to wake up everyday and try to make Georgia a better place. It's a great job and I'm grateful you folks trust me to represent our community.
Representative, State House District 102
504-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334