14 March 2016

Week Nine Under the Gold Dome

Rick Jeffares
By: Sen. Rick Jeffares (R – McDonough)
Week 9 is coming to end as day 35 of the legislative session wraps up. We are busy at work moving House Bills through the committee process so they can receive a vote on the Senate floor before the last day of session, also known as Sine Die.Thursday we passed one of the most important bills of the session, HB 751 or the Fiscal Year 2017 general budget. The General Assembly has only one constitutional duty every session, which is to pass a balanced budget.

At a little over $23 million, the FY 2017 budget is the largest budget Georgia has passed since the Great Recession. A large portion of the budget is dedicated to education, including a $16 million bond to continue the construction of the Industrial Training and Technology Building at Southern Crescent Technical College in McDonough.

The budget also allocates nearly $5 million to go towards the FFA/FCCLA Center in Newton County. The funds are allocated for new equipment, various construction and historic preservation projects and the construction of a new agricultural center. An additional $1.5 million would go towards renovations at Clayton State University.

Friday we debated and passed HB 859, also known as the “Campus Carry Act.” This piece of legislation is narrower in scope than previous similar bills and outlines restrictions on exactly where and when a student is allowed to carry a firearm on a college campus. The bill clarifies that dormitories, sporting events and fraternity or sorority houses are off-limits for gun carriers. Additionally, under this bill one would have to possess a valid concealed carry permit and be 21 years old. This is required to make sure that those who wish to exercise their right to carry a firearm are trained in its proper use and safety.

We have only two more weeks remaining of the 2016 legislative session. We have a lot of work to do as we try to get as much legislation passed as we can before our March 24th deadline. There are only five legislative days remaining and we intend to use them the best we can to serve the people of Georgia.

There’s still plenty of time to contact me if you have any questions or concerns on legislation being passed through the General Assembly. My office door and phone lines are always open!

####Sen. Rick Jeffares serves as Chairman of the Regulates Industries Committee.  He represents the 17th Senate District which includes portions of Henry, Rockdale and Newton counties.  He may be reached by phone at 404.463.1376 or by email at rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov.

Comments are closed.