Last week was the last full week of Session, and it was an incredibly busy one! Our final day of Session is Wednesday, March 31, when we will have a final adjournment. Last week, as many of you may know, we passed Senate Bill 202 - the Election Integrity Act of 2021. I will post a detailed summary of Senate Bill 202 on my Facebook page and my website. Additionally, last week, the House voted on over fifty pieces of legislation, passing legislation that will empower Georgians to build strong businesses, raise happy, secure, and healthy families, and continue making our state the best in the nation.
Senate Bill 32, carried in the House by Representative Joseph Gullett, protects public employees from having their personal cell phone numbers disclosed through Open Records requests.
Senate Bill 159, carried by Representative Timothy Barr in the House, provides additional options for local school systems when transporting students. Under certain circumstances, local school systems will be allowed to use vehicles that transport eight passengers or fewer.
To protect Georgia taxpayers, Senate Bill 185, carried in the House by Representative Todd Jones, requires that Georgia courts decide tax law questions instead of simply deferring to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Georgians who appeal rulings made by the Department of Revenue deserve to have a fair hearing in the court system regarding tax payments.
We also received back the Senate’s version of House Bill 81, the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Because there are specific budget items that the House and the Senate disagreed on, the budget will now go through a process where a committee, called a “Conference Committee,” is appointed to negotiate over the points of disagreement. I am proud to serve with Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones and House Appropriations Chairman Terry England on this Conference Committee to represent the House’s interests. Once the final budget is passed, I look forward to sharing more details of where our money in our state’s budget goes.
Senate Bill 33, carried in the House by Representative Josh Bonner, creates a new avenue for legal action for victims of human trafficking. This law allows victims of human trafficking to bring a civil suit against the perpetrators of the trafficking. The House Republican Caucus voted unanimously in support of additional accountability for participants in such a despicable crime.
I was proud to vote for Senate Resolution 134, which will allow Georgia voters to vote on a Constitutional Amendment in November of 2022. This amendment would eliminate compensation for an elected official suspended from office due to a felony indictment.
As we continue to engage in the 2021 Session, please do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), e-mail, or participate on Facebook. 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.