Senator Jones: Report from the State Capitol | Crime
February is coming to a close and the General Assembly has officially reached the halfway mark of the 2013 Legislative Session. The Senate remains busy passing legislation, meeting with constituents and working on a fiscally responsible balanced budget.
This week, numerous visitors from District 25 made the trip to Atlanta. On Tuesday, I was privileged to greet Georgia College President Steve Dorman and members of the Georgia College Alumni visited the Capitol. I also had the pleasure of speaking with former Senator Johnny Grant who is now the head of the Director of Community Engagement and Economic Development at Georgia College & State University. Several respected individuals in the insurance industry visited on Wednesday such as: Merritt Massey and Karen Rowell of State Farm and residents of District 25 along with Aubie Knight, the current Executive Director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia. Leadership Baldwin was also at the Capitol this week to be thanked for their continued efforts in Middle Georgia. They were observed for their continued leadership in bringing local citizens together and creating a positive future for our community.
On Friday, the Senate passed its version of the FY2013 Amended budget, bringing us one step closer to fulfilling our constitutional obligation to balance the state budget before the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2013. The Senate proposed $19.3 billion in total state funds. The Senate also did something that has not happened in over ten years and proposed $43.4 million to the Reserve Shortfall Reserve, which is the state’s rainy day fund. Since the House version does not include the funds to RSR and includes line items different from the bill passed in the Senate, members from both chambers will now determine a mutually agreed-upon bill in conference committee.
The Senate was also busy taking up legislation this week:
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.
As we move forward, I am committed to supporting policies that promote business growth and get Georgians back to work. As always, it is a pleasure to serve you, the constituents of the 25th Senate District. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 404.656.0082 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.