By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Crossover Day almost here
Placeholder Image

After a full week of the legislative session, the General Assembly concluded its 24th legislative day on March 11.

After our two-week recess to work on the budget, we are quickly approaching Crossover Day, the last day that a bill must pass one chamber in order to be considered by the other chamber. The members of the General Assembly received news that state revenue collections for the month of February were down once again. From February 2008 to February 2010, Georgia has had a 41.3 percent drop in revenue.

During the hearings over the past couple of weeks, the members of Appropriations listened as each agency made recommendations as to where the cuts could be made should the budget have to be reduced by $1 billion.  

In addition to passing a responsible, balanced budget for Georgia, we also remain focused on other vital issues facing our state. This includes ensuring that Georgia has a sufficient, sustainable water supply. With this in mind, I supported the passage of House Bill 1094, the Georgia Water Stewardship Act.  

The Georgia Water Stewardship Act will require state agencies and commissions to examine their practices, programs, policies, rules, and regulations in an effort to ensure our state has an adequate water supply. One specific measure limits the hours of outdoor watering and irrigation from 4 p.m.-10 a.m., with some exceptions for commercial farming, irrigation of personal food gardens, reuse of gray water, and watering of athletic fields.

The Act also requires the installation of high efficiency plumbing fixtures in newly constructed buildings and that new multi-unit residential, retail, and light industry buildings constructed in the state measure water use on an individual unit by unit basis.

It was a very heartfelt day on March 10 as we honored former Speaker of the House, Thomas B. Murphy. He was an inspiration to many and gave dedication to the state and the citizens, through his family, gave a portrait to be placed outside the House Chamber.

When Speaker Murphy left office, he was the longest serving Speaker of any state legislature in the United States. In addition to his service as Speaker of the House from 1973-2002, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

This week HB 1254 was passed. The legislation would provide four-year terms of office for the mayor and council members of the City of Pooler. This bill would provide for a referendum on this proposal, meaning the citizens will have the chance and opportunity to choose and vote upon this measure.

Other bills of interest:
• The House passed HB 1085 to ensure that whenever possible, foster care siblings are kept together and stay in the same educational setting.

• House Bill 703 was passed which deals with condemned property and requires that the County must first contact the original owners before selling previously condemned property.

• The employees at hospitals that have contact with patients should receive free flu vaccinations from the hospital at which they work and the House passed HB 1179.  This bill states that the vaccinations must be offered to the employees, though not required.

• As a means of convenience to food stamp recipients, we passed HB 1054, which will allow those recipients to order food online from nonprofit organizations. Making sure that the people in Georgia receiving food stamp benefits are able to purchase products in the store and via the internet increases efficiency and allows more choices.

As we determine how to manage the state’s budget and vote on other legislation, I thank you for your input.  Please feel free to call me with any questions or comments that you might have regarding our state.

Rep. Ann R. Purcell
504 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-0188