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An Update From Under the Gold Dome: Week Five

Friday, February 10, 2023

Things have really begun to ramp up under the Gold Dome as we close out week five of the 2023 Legislative Session. A number of bills were passed out of the Senate and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees met to closely analyze each section of House Bill 18, the Amended FY 2023 Budget.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety met to hold an in-depth discussion of House Bill 18. This year, I have the immense pleasure of chairing such an important subcommittee. The committee heard from a number of government and state officials including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Department of Public Safety, Juvenile Justice, and Corrections, and more, as each outlined the progress that has been made thus far throughout the 2023 fiscal year in addition to outlining any recommended proposals to help tie up loose ends for the remainder of the fiscal year. As a longtime first responder and strong advocate for public safety, I take these hearings very seriously as it is imperative that every taxpayer dollar is being spent adequately and effectively. Each Appropriations Subcommittee will only meet once to evaluate the budget with a fine-tooth comb, meaning it is our responsibility as legislators to ensure we continue to provide the highest level of support to Georgia’s law enforcement agencies and public safety officers. I am pleased with the work this subcommittee was able to accomplish and I look forward to providing you with additional updates as House Bill 18 progresses through the Senate.

In addition, I am pleased to report Senate Bill 3, also known as the “Reducing Barriers to State Employment Act of 2023,” passed in the Senate this week. SB 3, a bill I had the pleasure of sponsoring, would require the Department of Administrative Services to frequently assess a number of education requirements necessary for various jobs associated with certain entities. Georgia remains the number one state in the nation in which to do business. However, we would not have been able to uphold this standard for nine consecutive years if it weren’t for the hardworking men and women of Georgia’s workforce. This legislation aims to provide additional support for individuals seeking employment in the workforce because every Georgian should have the ability earn a living to support themselves, their children, and their families. I am pleased to see this legislation pass with bipartisan support. SB 3 now makes its way to the House. I look forward to proving you with updates as it inches closer to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate welcomed a number of law enforcement officials and fire fighters to the Senate chamber. I had the pleasure of sponsoring Senate Resolution 92, which recognized February 7, 2023, as “Firefighter Recognition Day” at the State Capitol. As I have mentioned to you before, the men and women of Georgia’s law enforcement agencies put their lives on the line every day to protect Georgia families. As a fourth-generation fire fighter myself, I understand more than most the sacrifice it takes to serve the community. Therefore, it was an honor of mine to introduce these distinguished individuals into the Senate chamber.

Next week, the Senate will convene Monday through Thursday for legislative days 17 through 20. We are rapidly approaching the halfway point of the 2023 Legislative Session. Crossover Day is just around the corner. I look forward to continuing to provide you with updates as we progress. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any questions or concerns about legislation. I am here to serve you.

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Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety. He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee, Cobb and North Fulton counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at [email protected]