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Senator Albers: Week Seven Under the Gold Dome

Friday, February 23, 2024

Week seven under the Gold Dome has concluded, and we’re swiftly approaching an important milestone known as “Crossover Day” on February 29. This marks the deadline for all bills to pass through their originating chamber, commonly referred to as the house of origin. Our advocacy for Georgians has yielded significant accomplishments, including property tax relief, tort reform, reduction of regulatory burdens, enhancements in public safety, and much more. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my Senate colleagues, particularly those within the majority caucus, for their unwavering dedication to advancing legislation on behalf of all Georgians.

As a member of the Senate Republican Caucus, I’m delighted to announce the successful passage of all priority bills of the majority caucus out of the Senate, highlighted by the approval of Senate Bill 449. This bill, aimed at exempting certain military medical personnel from examination requirements, eliminates unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and bolsters Georgia’s reputation as the premier state for business.

The Georgia Senate also discussed and passed its amended budget for Fiscal Year 2024. This budget increases funding for maintaining safe and efficient road infrastructure and provides essential support for industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and logistics. It also allocates resources to enhance retirement and healthcare benefits, vital for retaining our state’s workforce. Our commitment to a balanced budget ensures Georgia’s efficiency, fiscal conservatism and attractiveness for investment.

In addition to advocating for our majority caucus’ priorities, I continued working diligently on my individual legislative priorities.  I am proud to report that another piece of legislation has moved over to the House. Senate Bill 334, titled the Helping Firefighters Beat Cancer Act, was favorably reported out of the House Insurance Committee. Our firefighters deserve our unwavering support, and I’m thankful to see this legislation continuing to move through the House.

Two pieces of legislation I have worked hard on are also continuing to move through the Senate chamber. Senate Bill 473, titled the Georgia Consumer Privacy Protection Act will take additional steps to protect Georgians’ personal data. Additionally, Senate Resolution 471 will create a Senate Study Committee on access to affordable childcare. This is absolutely a priority for Georgia families and future generations and I am proud to take further steps toward facilitating positive discussions in the child healthcare space.

Lastly, I am delighted to declare that two pieces of my legislation are ready to be taken up on the Senate floor. Senate Bill 417, regarding the reporting of accidents has passed out of the Senate Committee on Public Safety. Additionally, Senate Bill 472, titled the “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act,” was passed out of the same committee. These bills will further protect Georgians in their everyday lives both virtually and physically.

I joined my Senate colleagues in passing several bipartisan pieces of legislation aimed at supporting both veterans and families. The Georgia Senate approved multiple measures designed to offer essential services to our state’s veterans, and I was privileged to endorse this legislation. Having dedicated their lives to defending our country, it’s crucial that we fulfill our commitment as legislators. Additionally, the Senate body voted on a series of legislative bills relating to children and families. Thursday, I was proud to join my Senate colleagues in voting unanimously to pass Senate Bill 376, a bill which improves the timely permanent placement of a child removed from their home. Protecting Georgia’s next generation leaders is an idea we can all get behind, and I will always fight for their future.

Furthermore, my colleagues and I were delighted to be present on Wednesday for the swearing-in of Georgia’s newest Republican senator, Tim Bearden (R-Carrollton). Senator Bearden joins us at an important time for our state and I look forward to serving alongside him throughout the remainder of our legislative session.

Each week under the Gold Dome, constituents, associations and organizations alike come to the Capitol to speak to legislators and host events with public officials. I was personally honored to recognize Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane for his 34 years of military service. An opportunity to recognize our service members, active and retired, is one that I am honored to be a part of.

As always, I want to invite students between the ages of 12 and 18 to serve 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]