Crossover Day at the Capitol
Last Monday was Crossover Day and the General Assembly worked into the night to advance legislation that strengthens our communities, fosters job growth and economic development, and ensures better opportunities for Georgia students to prosper.
The last bill of the evening was HB 1036, which calls for a temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain for petroleum pipelines by private companies. Thanks to the hard work of Col. Bill Hitchens and many in the State House, this important legislation passed with overwhelming support, 165-2.
Supporting our veterans
The Georgia General Assembly is committed to keeping the promises made to our veterans. On Monday, the House passed House Bill 862 which clarifies the definition of “disabled veteran” to ensure that the brave men and women in uniform that sacrificed life and limb for our freedom are eligible for the homestead exemption in Georgia.
Creating the Georgia Space Coast
The Georgia Spaceflight Act, which paves the way for a commercial spaceport in Camden County, was passed by the House and is under consideration in the Senate. With a global economic impact of $300 billion, the space industry could be a huge economic driver for Coastal Georgia. I look forward to monitoring Camden County’s progress in the months and years ahead.
Casino gambling in Georgia
After meeting with members of the faith community and soliciting feedback from constituents, it was decided that casino gambling would not be under consideration for the 2016 Legislative Session—a decision I fully support.
Protecting our military bases from BRAC
Georgia’s military installations are key to our National Defense and serve as an economic driver in several communities throughout the state. To protect our bases from a federal base realignment and closure (BRAC), we passed HR 1135. This bipartisan house resolution creates a study committee to develop recommendations for protecting our installations from the devastating impact of BRAC.
New rules for law enforcement footage
To keep up with new advances in law enforcement technology, the General Assembly unanimously passed HB 976, which sets minimum standards of time for law enforcement agencies to retain video footage from body cameras and surveillance tapes. This law will save law enforcement agencies millions of dollars in storage fees and meet legal requirements.
Protecting our environment
To protect Georgia’s environment for future generations, the State House passed HB 1014 and HB 1028 this week. HB 1014 extends the sunset provision for land donated for conservation use and HB 1028, by Rep. Bill Werkheiser, requires landfill operators to notify the local governing authority if there is a leak.
Caring for our kids
Republicans and Democrats are both committed to ensuring a bright future for our children and grandchildren. With leadership from House Minority Leader Stacy Abrams, the General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation like HB 299, which expands the legal rights for grandparents raising children. This is common sense legislation that will ultimately benefit future generations of Georgians.
On Friday, I announced my intention to seek re-election. At the State Capitol, I have worked to be a bold voice for our families, businesses, and conservative values. I am proud of my record and the record of the Georgia House of Representatives. Georgia’s future is bright and I want to help keep it moving in the right direction. This week, I will officially qualify to run. I will continue to work to earn your support and your vote in the May 24 Republican Primary election.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly where he serves as the House Majority Leader.