There are a mere ten days left in the 2017 Legislative Session. The Capitol had calmed down a bit, but trust me, it's the calm before the storm. Senate Committees are working on bills we passed in the House, and House Committees are examining bills the Senate passed prior to "crossover day."
Thursday I was blessed to be able to bring my Pastor, Johnson Bowie, to deliver the devotional in the House. You can watch his remarks here.
A few bills did pass this past week. Here are a two measures of note:
House Resolution 389, would create the House Rural Development Council to identify the challenges and economic development opportunities in Georgia’s rural communities, an issue that has been at the forefront of many discussions this session. The House Rural Development Council would be made up of 15 members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House and would be tasked with examining the various challenges facing rural areas across our state. This council will also explore potential legislative solutions in policy areas such as education, infrastructure, health care access and economic growth incentives to revitalize our rural areas. Beginning April 1, 2017, the council would lead a thorough, intensive and systematic two-year study of rural Georgia by holding meetings throughout rural areas on a regular basis to hear from local officials, educational and business leaders, healthcare providers, civic groups and individuals interested in offering input. The council would submit two reports detailing its findings and legislative recommendations, with the initial report to be submitted by December 31, 2017 and the second report to be submitted by December 31, 2018. Although Georgia is the No. 1 state in the nation to do business, not all parts of our state have enjoyed the same levels of economic success, and rural Georgia faces its own unique challenges.
Senate Bill 69, would eliminate the duplicative registration requirements for those who produce, process, distribute or handle any certified organic food or products in Georgia. Currently, these individuals are required to register with both the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Georgia Department of Agriculture before producing, processing, distributing or handling any food or product labeled “organic.” Under this legislation, certified organic producers would no longer be required to register with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and would only be required to register with the USDA. Both the state and national Departments of Agriculture currently use these registration requirements, which are identical between both agencies,
We'll be back in session Monday through Thursday 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, Thursday, and Friday.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK:
I met with some of the members of the Sugar Hill Youth Council Friday at the Capitol. It's always good to see young people learning about government.
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