Pictured left, Senator Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) rises for a point of personal privilege on Tuesday. Image: Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The early days of a legislative session rarely involve much in the way of votes or floor action, and Legislative Day 6 was typical in that regard. But there is often much to be learned from listening on these “quiet” days. In the State Senate on Tuesday, Senator Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown) rose for a point of personal privilege to share some personal family history with his colleagues. Senator Anderson was visibly emotional at moments as he detailed his family’s struggles with drugs and alcohol and the importance of giving individuals second chances to make full recoveries and live productive lives. The openness and vulnerability was striking and somewhat foreign under the Gold Dome, a reminder of the humanness of those writing the State’s laws.
Committees continued to hold organizational meetings on Tuesday, and we may be seeing the beginnings of the legislative deluge forecasted in Monday’s Report. The number of bills and resolutions introduced nearly doubled on Tuesday, with 61 measures read and assigned to committee. This brings the current count for the session to 130 bills and resolutions, still shy of the 1,000+ measures drafted by Legislative Counsel. So expect that number to climb precipitously over the next several weeks, and check out what was introduced today in this #GoldDomeReport.
House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee ushered in a new session on Tuesday with their new Chairman, Representative Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen), and new rules. Chairman Smith and the committee agreed to lower the quorum threshold to five members before adjourning.
Senate Rules Committee
The Senate Rules Committee, under the new leadership of Chairman Matt Brass (R-Newnan), adopted new rules for the 2023-2024 Biennium. There was a change from the prior rules regarding what legislation could be considered from the General Calendar and those amendments and substitutes after Legislative Day 35.
Senate Regulated Industries Committee
The Senate Regulated Industries Committee, chaired by Senator Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), helds it organizational meeting on Tuesday. 9 of the Committee’s 11 members are returning, making it one of the most experienced committees this biennium. The Committee adopted its rules and will require substitutes and amendments be submitted to the chairman at least 24 hours in advance of consideration. The Committee is expected to meet regularly on Tuesdays at 4PM and Thursdays at 2PM.
The following legislation of interest has been introduced in the House:H.B.3 Support for Students Living in Poverty Act; enact Rep. Sandra Scott (D-076) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63471 H.B.39 Education; issuance of transcripts when a student owes a debt to an institution of higher education; provide Rep. Marvin Lim (D-098) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63542 H.B.41 Mental health; emergency involuntary treatment for mental health and alcohol and drug dependency; revise procedures Rep. Marvin Lim (D-098) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63544 H.B.44 Brady Law Regulations; require universal background checks in all manner of firearm transfers and purchases Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63547 H.B.45 Brady Law Regulations; three-day waiting period for purchase or transfer of certain firearms; require Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63548 H.B.46 Crimes and offenses; aggravated assault and battery of healthcare workers; expand enhanced punishment Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63549 H.B.47 Motor vehicles; require restitution for certain convictions of homicide by vehicle or vessel when operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-166) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63550 H.B.48 Elections; district attorneys and solicitors-general of state courts be elected in nonpartisan elections; provide Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-166) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63551 H.B.51 Education; local boards of education use vehicles other than school buses for transport of students; authorize Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-169) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63559 H.B.54 Income tax; increase annual aggregate limit of tax credits available for the qualified education tax credit https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63562 H.B.55 Banking and finance; provide for definitions; provisions Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-112) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63563
The following legislation of interest has been introduced in the Senate:S.B.5 Superior Court of the Augusta Judicial Circuit; appointment of additional judge by the Governor; provide Sen. Max Burns (R-023) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63539 S.B.7 Firearm or Knife; commission of or attempt to commit certain crimes; minimum mandatory terms for certain crimes; provide Sen. Brandon Beach (R-021) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63555 S.B.9 "Kathleen Cominski Act"; enact Sen. Michael "Doc" Rhett (D-033) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63567 S.B.10 Offenses Against Public Order And Motor Vehicles and Traffic; knowingly attending and facilitating an illegal drag race or a laying drags exhibition; punishment; provide Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-010) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63580 S.B.11 "Georgia Fights Terrorism Act"; enact Sen. John Albers (R-056) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63584 S.B.12 "Protecting Victims and Dismantling Georgia Street Gangs Act"; enact Sen. John Albers (R-056) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63591 S.B.14 "Modernizing Georgia's Evidence and Proceedings Act"; enact Sen. John Albers (R-056) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63596
The General Assembly will reconvene for Legislative Day 7 on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00AM.