The fourth week of the 2020 legislative session began on Monday, February 3. This was also Legislative Day 10. My colleagues and I have been busy, meeting in our committees, and the House convened on the House floor for three days. Several important measures were passed during this time, such as an adjournment resolution that set our calendar for the next few weeks of the legislative session.
The House unanimously adopted House Resolution 935 on Wednesday. This resolution is a bipartisan measure that would reauthorize the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for the 2020 calendar year. The commission was first created in 2019 and continues to develop unique solutions for trucking, rail, and air cargo. Some of these solutions include:
- Reducing risks for truck drivers and other motorists
- Expanding dedicated lanes for moving freight
- Reducing traffic impacts in and out of ports and in key metropolitan areas
The commission plans to submit a comprehensive report that outlines the legislative framework for policy development and funding ahead of the 2021 legislative session. The Senate will now consider HR 935, and if it is adopted, the commission will continue to find new ways to support the state’s freight and logistics industries, allowing Georgia to maintain its competitive edge in these industries.
The House has spearheaded legislation over the last few years to develop the new Georgia State-wide Business Court, which launched in January 2020 and will begin taking cases in August of 2020. These special, Georgia-voter-approved courts are dedicated to providing timely resolutions to cases for complex commercial lawsuits.
This week, enabling legislation was passed by the House for HB 663, which allows judges of the new statewide court to become full members of the Judicial Retirement System of Georgia (JRS) if they are:
- Employed full-time
- In good standing with the State Bar of Georgia
Rather than remaining as members of the Georgia’s Employee Retirement System (ERS), these judges could receive service credit equivalent to the service they earned as members of the ERS. The Georgia State-wide Business Court system was created to enhance Georgia’s position as the number one state to do business, and these judges who serve in the specialized court will help ensure that we stay a business-friendly state.
HR 326 was adopted this week to honor Mr. Roger Dill, who worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation for 23 yeas. Mr. Dill contributed to several transportation projects of note in Tift County and other areas across the state. Just one of these projects includes the construction of Interstate 75. HR 326 dedicates a newly-constructed Department of Transportation as the Roger C. Dill District Office to the honor Mr. Dill. He will be remembered for his many years of service, his vital role in the community of Tift County, and his personal commitment to the betterment to the state of Georgia’s transportation infrastructure.
Lastly, the House adopted Senate Resolution 712, which is the second adjournment solution that determined our legislative calendar for the coming weeks. This is a unique adjournment resolution that allows the General Assembly to stay in recess until February 18—which would allow us to focus our time and energy on the Amended FY 20 & 21 budgets. My colleagues and I will use this time to create budgets that are balanced and move the state of Georgia forward.
The House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, February 18 for Legislative Day 13. The House will hold important budget hearings and devote our time at the Capitol to finalizing the state budgets until then. As always, I greatly appreciate any feedback I receive from my constituents, and I welcome you to contact my office with any questions or concerns about the legislative session before we adjourn Sine Die. You are always welcome to come visit me at my Capitol office. You can also call me at 404.656.0152 or email me at email@example.com. Remember to stay tuned on my Facebook Page for updates during the 2020 Legislative Session.
As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative, and God bless you and your families.