On Jan. 13, the Georgia General Assembly convened for the 2020 legislative session.
My duties as House majority leader include offering resolutions on the House floor regarding various issues such as our adjournment calendar, notification to Gov. Brian Kemp and the Senate that we are ready to begin our legislative work, and recognizing the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
On Jan. 15, we were delighted to attend the Georgia Chamber’s Annual Eggs and Issues breakfast that brings together lawmakers and community and business leaders from all over the state to offer a preview of the upcoming Session. Attendees heard from Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the House David Ralston. All spoke about the importance of small businesses as job creators and the pride we all feel in Georgia being named, for the seventh year in a row, the No. 1 state in the country to do business.
I enjoyed visiting with many of the small business owners and community leaders who attended the event and was especially happy to see large tables sponsored by Georgia Southern University and the Development Authority of Bulloch County!
On Thursday, we joined the Senate to hear from the governor in his annual State of the State Address where he shared his vision for the upcoming year. Among his proposals, Kemp shared with us that he hopes to continue to improve Georgia’s foster care system by offering a tax credit to families who adopt children and lowering the age at which Georgians can adopt children to expand the number of Georgians who are eligible to adopt.
On Thursday afternoon, the House passed a resolution honoring our armed services and our commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, for the successful strike on Qasem Soleimani, an infamous Iranian terrorist. I was proud to cast a vote in support of our military and intelligence communities who put their lives on the line every day to keep our country and state safe.
The House also passed the Marketplace Facilitators Act, a piece of legislation that levels the playing field for Georgia small businesses. Currently, all Georgia brick-and-mortar stores are required to pay a sales tax on items they sell, but many online retailers do not pay this sales tax, creating an unfair system that disadvantages our local Georgia retailers. The Marketplace Facilitators Act is not a new tax, of course, but rather, it clarifies that all online retailers must follow the same rules that Georgia businesses have been playing by for years. I am happy to report that this will help our local businesses continue to stay competitive in an ever-changing economy and bring sales tax revenue to our cities and counties.
As we work hard in the days ahead to strengthen Georgia families and businesses, please do not hesitate to call (404-656-5052), e-mail (Jon.Burns@house.ga.gov), or engage on Facebook (www.FB.com/JonBurnsGA) with your feedback. It is an honor to represent you in the General Assembly, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly where he serves as the House majority leader.