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Senator Albers: Week Five Under the Gold Dome

Friday, February 09, 2024

We have officially completed five weeks of legislative business under the Gold Dome, and it’s hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through the 2024 Legislative Session. While I am proud of the legislative progress we have made as a Senate body, we have plenty of work left to do for both the 56th Senate District and our state. I am excited to work with my fellow senators and Republican caucus members to continue our mission of passing meaningful legislation for Georgia. As a majority, we have enjoyed a highly effective session and biennium, and it’s important that we finish the drill.

Since the start of the legislative session, I have been drafting and advocating for conservative legislation in all facets of the legislative process. In regards to my legislation, Senate Bill 328, crafted to update and provide additional benefits to the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund, passed out of the House Retirement Committee.  I also was pleased to see Senate Bill 334 pass out of the Senate Committee on Insurance & Labor. This bill, titled the “Helping Firefighters Beat Cancer Act” is good legislation dedicated to protecting another important branch of first responders. Similarly, I was proud to adopt Senate Resolution 550, honoring Feb. 6 as Firefighters Recognition Day. It was an honor to stand with firefighters from across our great state on the south steps of the Capitol. One of my greatest priorities as your state senator is protecting the men and women who safeguard our communities.

In additional news, I’m happy to share that Senate Bill 335, the Safeguarding Adopted Children from Sexual Violence Act, has moved to the House and passed through the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. We must do all that we can to protect some of Georgia’s most vulnerable individuals.

Additionally, my colleagues and I joined members of the House to hear from Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs as he delivered the State of the Judiciary address. During the address, Chief Justice Boggs updated the Georgia General Assembly on several meaningful judicial efforts, including judicial security and retention. As lawmakers, we must protect our law enforcers both in the line of duty and on the bench. By protecting our law enforcers, we can play a key role in retaining judges who are committed to preserving justice in our great state.

This week, Senators took part in their respective appropriations subcommittees. In these hearings, members listened to budget requests from state agencies related to the Amended Fiscal Year 2024 budget. As I mentioned in our week two update when legislators participated in “Budget Week,” these meetings are essential as we continue to maintain our AAA bond rating and $16 billion surplus – all thanks to practical fiscal conservatism. Unlike the Washington elite, we manage our money responsibly and practice diligence at every level: from subcommittees, to committees and on the Senate floor. Georgia’s working class families deserve legislators dedicated to balancing dollars and cents, and the Senate’s Republican majority is proud to continue leading this charge.

I was honored to welcome Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to the Capitol on Feb. 7 as a part of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.  CHOA is an exceptional institution and leads the largest cardiac program in the Southeast and is a hub for good-paying Georgia jobs. Many of their workers make tremendous sacrifices and save countless lives. I will always be thankful for their work. It’s certainly no accident that they are one of the most renowned healthcare facilities in our country.

As always, I want to invite students between the ages of 12 and 18 to serve as a Capitol Page. This program encourages Georgia’s next generation of leaders to participate in the legislative process by providing a front-row seat to a day’s work in the Georgia Senate. Many of our current legislators participated in this program and first became interested in serving Georgia citizens because of their time spent as a Capitol Page. I encourage any students interested in the legislative process who want to spend a day at our Capitol to apply for our program using the link: https://www.legis.ga.gov/senate/staffing.

Please never hesitate to contact my office if I can assist with legislative matters. I hope to see you under the Gold Dome soon as the 2024 Legislative Session continues.

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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]