Sen. Frank Ginn: The Georgia General Assembly Pushes Through Latest Winter Storm


Sen. Frank Ginn: The Georgia General Assembly Pushes Through Latest Winter Storm

Your Georgia Desk:

The Georgia General Assembly Pushes Through 
Latest Winter Storm

By: Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville)

Three weeks ago, our state made national headlines when a severe winter storm shut down Atlanta and the majority of North Georgia. Last week, that kind of weather returned to our state. Although only two weeks had passed since the original storm, it was clear that Georgia had revised its emergency protocols and was proceeding with extra caution.

In an effort to better prepare Georgians across the state, Governor Nathan Deal’s office increased communications with both school superintendents and meteorologists before the first drops of precipitation even fell from the sky. The information provided by meteorologists was immediately distributed to school superintendents so that the most up-to-date information could be used when determining school closures.

The Governor’s office also began road preparations the night before severe weather was expected to move in. The Georgia State Patrol, Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources were instructed to begin the necessary processes for road treatment towards the areas where snow and ice was expected on Monday evening and to begin treating these roadways immediately. In addition, drivers were urged to stay home so that trucks could treat roads quickly and efficiently.

I was glad to see Governor Deal take swift action and place all four counties included in District 47 under a state of emergency early in the week. Because of Governor Deal’s quick action, we were able to better prepare ourselves for the storm’s impact. By the end of last week, a total of 89 Georgia counties were included in this state of emergency declaration.

To prevent the loss of much-needed time to review and pass still-pending legislation, the Georgia General Assembly approved several changes to the legislative calendar last week. A new adjournment resolution deferred all legislative work until Monday, February 17, and allowed legislators to get home to their families before the winter weather set in. The adjournment resolution also set the last day of the 40-day legislative session for Thursday, March 20.

Even with the shortened week, the Senate took legislative action on a number of bills that are now in the House for consideration or on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Some of the more notable bills include:

Senate Bill 294
SB 294 allows an individual licensed as an Electrical Contractor Class II to perform low-voltage contracting without obtaining a statewide low-voltage contractor class license.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 301
This bill permits the use of certain wood materials in school construction as long as it is in compliance with state fire and building codes. 
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 305
SB 305 authorizes a fire marshal, state inspector or code official to deny a permit or issue a stop-work order by written notification if it is determined that building construction or plans are not in compliance with state fire safety standards.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 329
SB 329, also known as the Work Based Learning Act, will change the provisions of and rename the Youth Apprenticeship Program to the work based learning program.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

House Bill 494 
HB 494 requires private airstrip owners and utilities companies to work together during the installation of safety markers on utility lines to provide adequate visual warning in use of private airstrips. 
Status: On Governor’s desk.

I hope all of you made it through the most recent winter storm with minimal damage or service interruption. More importantly, I hope everyone was able to be at home with their families during that time. I encourage anyone with questions about the bills mentioned above, or any other legislation, to contact my office at any time. As always, it is an honor and a privilege to represent District 47 at the Georgia State Capitol.

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