Your Georgia Desk
From Senator Jeff Mullis
Update from the Gold Dome
Last week, the Georgia State Senate convened for Days 9, 10, and 11 of the 2015 legislative session. Capitol business is quickly starting to pick-up as lawmakers continue to file legislation and resume the committee process. I am proud to say the Senate unanimously passed its second bill in a row showing a strong bipartisan commitment to Georgia’s children.
Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta) seeks to provide Georgia’s students with another pathway to a brighter future through our education system. Students will be allowed to advance their careers by earning a high school diploma while pursuing a degree at a Technical College. Not only will this help students reach education and career goals more efficiently, but it will also send a clear message to potential business investors that Georgia has a skilled workforce at the ready to fill their open positions.
The Senate and the House of Representatives met for a joint session on Wednesday to hear the Honorable Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson of the Supreme Court of Georgia deliver his annual “State of the Judiciary” address. Chief Justice Thompson updated lawmakers on the accomplishments of the judicial branch over the last year and the challenges that lie ahead.
Georgia’s courtrooms are committed to protecting individual rights and liberties, upholding the rules of law, and providing a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all. Lawmakers have been dedicated to criminal justice reform and the growth of specialty courts, specifically the Veterans Court remains a crowning achievement of those efforts. Our veterans returning home from combat with brain injuries, mental health problems, and drug and alcohol dependencies too often end up in the criminal justice system. Georgia currently has seven Veterans Courts which serves those who have sacrificed everything for our freedom and gives them every chance to succeed.
The Senate is also continuing to work toward a finalized version of the Fiscal Year 2015 Amended Budget, or “the little budget” as it is sometimes referred. Even though we were not in session Thursday and Friday, Senate Appropriations subcommittees diligently worked to make sure Georgia’s budget is being appropriated carefully and responsibly. The Senate Appropriations Committee met on February 9 to approve the FY ’15 amended budget before it moves to the Senate floor for a final vote. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, rest assured that the citizens of the 53rd will be at the front of my mind as we discuss allocating your taxpayer dollars in the most fiscally responsible way.
The Senate returned for Legislative Day twelve on Monday, February 9, ready to debate and pass legislation. As always, I am honored to represent you in the 53rd Senate District. Please feel free to contact my office at any time to talk about pending legislation or address other concerns in our district – my door and phone lines are always open!