Contact; Ines Ownes, Director
Week Six at the Capitol
By: Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry)
Last week marked our sixth under the Gold Dome and the half way point of the 2019 Legislative Session. Our days are busy here at the Capitol with chamber in the mornings and committee meetings in the afternoons. We are hard at work passing legislation that will benefit Georgians in every corner of the state. Last week, after a day break in recognition of President’s Day, we really hit the ground running, passing 12 pieces of legislation in just four days.
One important piece of legislation, House Resolution 1, passed on Friday. HR 1 would honor our former governor by naming the forthcoming appellate judicial complex the “Nathan Deal Judicial Center.” Governor Deal was a successful lawyer and made great strides in prison reform before pursuing a political career and winning the highest office in Georgia. It is only appropriate that we honor Governor Deal by placing his name on our newest judicial building. I was honored to serve as a Governor’s Administration Floor Leader under Gov. Deal and look forward to seeing his name on this building as it reminds us all of the great things he contributed to our state and nation.
Senate Bill 1, or “C.J.’s Law,” also passed last week. This bill would provide for a felony penalty for drivers involved in a hit-and-run accident and knowingly causes serious bodily harm. This charge would constitute a prison sentence of a minimum of one and a maximum of 10 years. The intent behind this bill is to deter hit-and-runs and hopefully save the lives of Georgians.
Senate Bill 72 would update Georgia’s hunting code in four key ways: removing the requirement to have a license for hunting in Wildlife Management areas, allowing the use of air guns and air bows for hunting big game, removing the prohibition against the use of silencers and, finally, removing the prohibition against baiting feral hogs within fifty yards of property lines. This bill will expand hunter’s rights and improve both the efficiency and fun of hunting in Georgia.
The Senate made huge steps towards improving Georgia’s schools this week with Senate Bill 48. This bill provides a comprehensive outline on how schools should address dyslexia, including instructions for screening all kindergarten students and requiring the Georgia Department of Education to implement dyslexia-focused training for teachers. Dyslexia affects one in five students and early detection has been proven to increase chances of academic success. I believe that, once implemented, this program will benefit our students immensely.
While the aforementioned bills affect and improve the lives of people across the state, Senate Bill 17 directly affects the people of the 20th Senate District. It would allow the telephone nonprofit cooperative in Rentz (along with cooperatives in Metter, Newington and Statesboro) to provide broadband services to rural areas. Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) has worked tirelessly to ensure that broadband expansion is on the political agenda this session and I will continue to support him as supplementary bills reach the Senate.
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.
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 email@example.com
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