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The People's Business
Monday, 11 March 2013

March 11--  Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons provides an update of legislative activity last week in the Georgia Senate in his "The People's Business" column.

"The Senate moved beyond Crossover Day this week thus reaching an important milestone in the legislative process.  Since it is the last day bills can cross from one chamber to another, we worked late into the night debating and voting on a list of 29 bills in an effort to pass the remaining important legislation before the 40th day.  Moving forward, we will begin taking up bills from the House and working on compromises between similar legislation in conference committees. 

The only required bill we must pass in Georgia is the budget.  Georgia has two budgets, a general, “big” budget, as well as an amended budget, mid-year budget.  Luckily our state, like your family, must pass a balanced budget, meaning we cannot spend money that we do not have.  The general budget is based on projections for the next year and the amended budget is used to adjust changes in the mid-year that may be needed due to actual changes in revenue collections, student enrollment, or the economy.  The amended (mid-year) budget passed with a unanimous vote last week.  I will continue to update you as the Senate and House continue to meet do discuss the general budget for 2014.

This year the Senate passed Senate Resolution 245 requesting Congress to adopt a resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution as well as submit the same to the states for ratification. This resolution is proposed by the General Assembly of Georgia, and requests that members of the Senate request that their counterparts in all 49 other states act upon an identical resolution. Finally, this resolution requests all the members of the Georgia congressional delegation testify before the Senate as to why the federal budget is not balanced.  I am happy to vote yes to this legislation and intend to continue voicing my concern for the lack of a Congressional balanced budget. 

Senate Bill 13 will require nurses and health care entities to report suspected professional violations to the Board of Nursing or the Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses.

Senate Bill 101 will remove burdensome reporting requirements for firearms dealers and recognize out-of-state weapons carry licenses in Georgia.

Senate Bill 156 revises the term ‘borrow pit’ to allow a property owner to use earthen materials from excavated areas of less than five acres without having to apply for a mining permit. However, these materials cannot be sold. 

Senate Bill 195 will authorize physicians and other practitioners with prescribing authority to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine in the name of a public or private school.

Senate Bill 210 will create the Georgia Legacy Program to conserve the state’s land, water, fisheries and wildlife resources. It will also create the Georgia Legacy Council to approve projects eligible for funding, and would establish two funds to provide grants and loans for the approved projects.

Senate Bill 236 will mandate for when a health insurer increases a premium, they must provide a notice explaining how much of the increase is attributable to the Affordable Care Act.

As always, it is an honor and my pleasure to serve you in the nineteenth Senate district. Please feel free to contact me with your ideas and concerns as we work together to improve Georgia.



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