Each legislative session in Georgia is 40 days long, and we are only two days from the halfway point. It is also important to note that we’re quickly approaching Crossover Day. This is the last day Senate bills are able to transfer to the House of Representatives, and vice versa – a pivotal moment during each legislative session that determines whether a bill will make it through to the Senate floor for consideration.
This week, I continued my efforts to bring nonpartisan elections to Bibb-Macon County. On February 14, Senate bill 26 returned to the Senate floor after being amended and passed in the House of Representatives. Prior to its passage in the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 35- 13, we offered up another amendment before sending it back to the House. It is my hope that Senate Bill 26 will gain favorable consideration from the House so we can move forward with nonpartisan elections in Macon- Bibb County. If passed, nonpartisan elections would be held for the offices of Probate Judge, Chief Magistrate Judge and County Coroner.
This week, several Senate bills hit the floor for a vote. These bills will now transfer to the House of Representatives:
HB 55 allows investigators to conduct wiretapping state-wide regardless of the county in which a warrant was issued. Investigators who do not have the resources to build listening stations within their jurisdiction will now be able to legally conduct wiretapping at any listening station in Georgia, providing they have a warrant.
SB 65 authorizes licensed professional counselors to perform emergency evaluations of individuals who are mentally ill or alcohol or drug dependent and to issue a certificate stating that such a person requires involuntary treatment.
SB 66 amends Title 15 of the state code to increase the penalties imposed for contempt of superior and state courts.
SB 91 repeals the “Emerging Crops Fund Act” since similar funds are already available for farmers.
SB 87 repeals the Roadside Markets Incentive Program. The program was established in 1967. The Department of Agriculture has requested this change due to the program no longer being funded.
In addition to passing legislation, we had the distinguished privilege of welcoming newly-elected Senator Dean Burke of the 11th Senate District on Monday. I look forward to serving with Sen. Burke as we work to promote policies that benefit Georgians throughout the state.
The Georgia Senate was also honored to host several groups this week, including the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Young Farmers Association, the Lupus Foundation of America, and the Girl Scouts, among many others.