Sen. Ross Tolleson: Update from the Capitol


Sen. Ross Tolleson: Update from the Capitol

Your Georgia Desk:


TOLLESON: Update from the Capitol


By: Sen. Ross Tolleson (R- Perry)

For the second time during the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, winter weather altered the legislative schedule. Senate business concluded on Tuesday afternoon to ensure everyone could return home safely while the Senate was in adjournment the rest of the week.

Well in advance of the storm, elected leaders, emergency staff and school officials applied lessons learned from two weeks ago to coordinate all efforts to keep people safe. We should all be thankful for the National Guard servicemen and women as well as Georgia Department of Transportation, utility crews and Georgia State Patrol who have worked long hours in the past few weeks.

In response to the weather, the House and Senate passed a calendar resolution that schedules the 40th and final day of this session, also known as Sine Die, on Thursday, March 20. The resolution sets Crossover Day, the last day for Senate bills to transfer to the House for consideration and vice versa, on Monday, March 3. As we move forward, the Senate will continue working to finalize the Fiscal Year ’15 budget.  The House Appropriations Committee gave a “do pass” recommendation on the budget, and the full House is expected to take action on this legislation next week.  The Senate has already begun a careful line-by-line review of the bill. This is a time-consuming and meticulous process that deserves tedious analysis so that Georgia can continue to maintain our triple A bond rating by passing a balanced budget each year.

The Senate had a very special guest this week when U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss visited the Capitol to receive a resolution for his many Congressional achievements. Sen. Chambliss was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 and subsequently elected to serve in the United States Senate in 2002.  Since then, he has served selflessly on the Committees on Intelligence, Homeland Security, Agriculture and Rules.  It was great to see Sen. Chambliss and to thank him for his 20 years of service in Congress.

Even with the shortened week, the Senate took legislative action on bills that are now in the House for consideration, some of this legislation included:

Senate Bill 301 permits the use of certain wood materials in school construction as long as it is in compliance with state fire and building codes. This measure will be a great help to the Forestry Industry.

Senate Bill 322 will protect gopher tortoise habitats by making it unlawful to disturb, mutilate or destroy the dens, holes or homes of any wildlife. Many people have been smoking out gopher tortoise dens under the belief they were homes to rattlesnakes.

For the next couple of weeks, I will be spending a lot of time at the Capitol working for you this Session.  If there are any issues you wish to have addressed, I would love to hear from you.  I look forward to continuing my service on behalf of my constituents in the 20th Senate District.  Georgia is on the right track.  I am confident that the steps we take this year will mean lasting prosperity for future generations of Georgians.


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