• Week Five at the Capitol

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    February 15, 2019





    COLUMN

    Contact; Ines Owens, Director

    Week Five at the Capitol

     
    By: Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry)
    This week, we completed five more legislative days, pushing us 16 days into the 40 day legislative session. We saw a total of four bills on the Senate floor this week, as well as the first signing of a bill by Gov. Kemp on Friday. We have gotten off to a great start and I hope to continue this productive pace throughout the rest of session.
     
    We got an early start this week, passing Senate Bill 16 first thing on Monday. If passed in the House and approved by the Governor, SB 16 would make Georgia part of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which allows doctors moving to Georgia from a Compact member state to go through an expedited licensure process if they have a clean record. The provisions within this bill would allow Georgia to address doctor shortages by increasing our doctor population and, in turn, grow our telemedicine industry. Telemedicine is crucial to developing better health care resources within rural communities, as patients can video-chat with a doctor rather than driving miles to a doctor’s office.
     
    Senate Bill 38 was passed unanimously on Wednesday. This legislation would prohibit a clerk or electronic filing service provider from charging a fee for the filing of a leave of absence or conflict notice in superior or state court. It would also prohibit service providers from charging a fee to the state, its agents or political subdivisions for the filing of superior or state court documents, and allow the service provider to recoup the cost from grant money. This will make the filing of court documents more accessible to both civilians and state entities and prevents circular procedures from wasting taxpayer dollars.
     
    On Thursday we passed two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 6 and Senate Bill 52. Senate Bill 6 would apply criminal charges to the act of using a drone to transport contraband via the airspace above incarceration facilities. It would also apply a criminal charge to the use of a drone to video or photograph inmates without permission from prison officials. Contraband within our jails and prisons is a serious problem, and I am glad that we were able to pass this bill in a bipartisan manner. Senate Bill 52 simply makes updates to the grammar, terminology and punctuation within the Offical Code of Georgia. This is a largely procedural piece of legislation that we pass every year, and all changes were recommended by the Code Revision Comission.
     
    I was able to sponsor Senate Resolution 143 to congratulate of the City of Cochran on its 150th birthday. Cochran is a dynamic community with many dedicated and hardworking citizens and is rapidly changing as the entirety of middle Georgia continues to grow. Cochran is known for its Middle Georgia State University Campus which serves over 2,000 students and provides countless opportunities for dual-enrollees. I was honored to be able to highlight this great city and its history, and I look forward to working with leaders in the community to champion legislation that supports Cochran and other growing communities.
     
    If you have any questions about the legislation we have passed, or future legislation, please do not hesitate to contact my office. It is always a pleasure to hear from my constituents. Thank you for your continued trust as I work to represent the 20th District.
     

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    Sen. Larry Walker serves as Caucus Vice Chairman for the Majority Party.  He represents the 20th Senate District, which includes Bleckley, Houston, Laurens and Pulaski counties.  He may be reached by phone at (404) 656-0095 or by email at larry.walker@senate.ga.gov
     
     

    Contact:
    Elisabeth Fletcher, Communications Specialist
    404-656-0028