After Crossover Day, which fell on March 7 this year, any bills passed by either chamber for the first time are not considered by the other chamber of the legislature. This means that the House and Senate spend the last ten days of the Legislative Session considering bills previously passed by the opposite chamber.
Once the House sends a piece of legislation to the Senate, it must still go through our committee process before the full Senate body can vote on it. Over the next couple of weeks, our committees will be considering hundreds of bills with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that we're taking the best action for Georgia citizens.
If the Senate passes the same version of a bill sent over by the House, the bill goes directly to the Governor. If we amend a bill, it's then sent back to the House for agreement or further amendments.
Although the General Assembly is moving slower and passing fewer bills than in recent years, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. We don't need a plethora of new laws, but only laws that create real and permanent solutions that truly benefit the people of this state.
Government is hardly ever successful in protecting you from yourself. In fact, I don't even believe that is a proper function of government. It is, however, important that we not create pitfalls that harm those who are incapable of protecting themselves.
We all agree that education is important for our children, our society and our country. When it comes to gambling, education is used to justify the pains gambling brings to society.
On Thursday, the Senate passed HB 487, a bill that would move the regulation of video games from the Department of Revenue to the Lottery Commission. The bill creates a board dominated by operators of gaming machines to regulate themselves.
I voted against the measure because I didn't think it did enough to protect our children and families from the devastation that gambling brings.
Another bill that passed the Senate on Thursday was HB 124. This bill seemed to be a solution in search of a problem.
Its sponsors claimed that it was possible that if a community voted down a referendum approving the sale of distilled spirits, someone might claim that the sales of beer and wine on Sundays would also be prohibited.
This was a slow week for the Senate. The other bills considered this week were: HB 101, HB 154, HB 198, HB 202, HB 234, HB 254, HB 255, HB 414 and HR 281. These bills may be read in their entirety by clicking here to visit General Assembly's website
Any time I cast a vote in the Senate Chamber, I make every attempt to keep District 31's best interests at heart.
Please continue to reach out to me with your opinions and thoughts on legislation as we finish out these last few days of session. It is an honor for me to serve you at the State Capitol, and I encourage you to contact me with your questions or concerns.