The legislature resumed session Monday. In the coming days, we will improve and rework the House version of the budget for the Fiscal Year 2021 and focus on passing vital legislation that will enhance the lives of all Georgians. While this session has had an unusual timeline, with a lengthy pause, rest assured that our efforts have not stopped. In order to continue this work, the legislature has made some changes to ensure the health and well-being of General Assembly members — maintaining social distancing protocols by spreading out seats in the chamber and in other rooms, placing sanitizing stations throughout the building, and scanning temperatures as individuals enter the Capitol. Additionally, technology improvements have allowed for committee and subcommittee meetings to be live-streamed for anyone not wishing to come to the Capitol.
On Thursday, Georgia also received its 12th Shovel Award recognizing state and local economic development efforts for job creation and business opportunity expansion. This award is timely as we are seeing Georgia’s economy continue to improve since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. A noticeable jump in economic activity for the state and a decrease in unemployment claims have been recorded. Georgia is being touted as a national model for how quickly the economy can bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.
The 2020 primary elections were held this past Tuesday, and we hope that you all chose to cast your vote and make your voice heard. For those races where no candidate received over 50% of the votes cast, run-off elections will be held on August 11. Be sure to mark your calendars now if you are eligible to vote in a runoff election.
With the peak of summer fast approaching, many Georgians will likely be spending more time with friends and family away from home. Based on the Governor’s most recent executive order, effective June 16, the shelter-in-place order has been lifted for most residents over the age of 65. Nursing and assisted living homes have been advised to continue to shelter-in-place. Additionally, restrictions on the size of gatherings continue to be loosened. Georgians are still required to practice social distancing while in public areas and wear face coverings when not eating or drinking. For more information on this executive order, visit: https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders
As businesses and restaurants continue to open (or reopen) their doors to customers in a very different environment than what we are all used to, please continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wash your hands, and be safe. If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), e-mail (Jon.Burns@house.ga.gov), or engage on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JonBurnsGA). If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me. It is an honor to represent you in the General Assembly, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Jon Burns represents District 159, which includes parts of Bulloch County in the Georgia General Assembly where he serves as the House majority leader.