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Finishing up a busy 2022 General Assembly session
Jon Burns Web
Jon Burns

Friends,

As I write, we only have one day left in our session - Sine Die.  The state Constitution limits us to 40 days, so we have finished much of our legislative business already, which I will update you on below.   


Supporting Veterans

The Technical College System of Georgia serves students of all ages that are seeking to learn new careers and skills. District 159 communities are served primarily by Savannah Technical College, and by Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro.  

For many students, including our veterans, these schools provide an opportunity to succeed in new careers after they have completed their service to our country. 

That is why I was proud to sponsor Senate Bill 87 in the House.  SB 87, the Senator Jack Hill Veterans Act, passed unanimously and offers taxpayers the ability to contribute refunds from their tax returns to be used for Technical College System scholarships for disabled veterans.  

This legislation received broad support in the House and Senate, and I look forward to its signature by the Governor in the next few weeks.  


Addressing Crime While Protecting the Second Amendment

I was proud to see the Governor’s announcement last week that he intends to sign the Constitutional Carry legislation the General Assembly sent to his desk last week. This legislation protects the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Georgians, without requiring them to spend additional money or get government permission to exercise those rights. 

Unfortunately, there are criminals in Georgia who use guns for evil purposes.  I was proud to support Senate Bill 479, which increases penalties for criminals who use guns in their crimes. SB 479 ensures that criminals can be charged with a separate crime for every gun in their possession, while also increasing penalties for convicted felons caught with guns. 


Hazardous Waste Trust Fund

Senate Bill 516 requires that fees collected for the disposal of solid wastes and hazardous wastes be annually appropriated to the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund and establishes a new method of collecting the one-dollar tire fee assessed on the purchase of new tires. The fee will shift from being collected by the Environmental Protection Division to being collected by the Department of Revenue as a part of the sales and use tax collection and remittance process. The bill also adds a representative of the tire industry to the Recycling Market Development Council. 


Do Not Call List

Senate Bill 364 allows for citizens on the Do Not Call List who continue to receive unauthorized telephone solicitations, specifically more than two within any six-month period, to bring an action against the person or entity that made the solicitations and/or the person or entity the telephone solicitations were made on behalf of injunctive relief and damages. When bringing an action, it must be proven that the solicitation was made with permission or acquiescence of the defendant. It is not a defense that the defendant did not make the telephone solicitation or that the defendant was unaware the solicitation violated the law. 


Good Government

I am humbled by the honor the people of District 159 have given me to represent them in Atlanta, and I know that the vast majority of elected officials take their oath as seriously as I do. 

Unfortunately, there are some elected officials who abuse that trust. 

That is why the General Assembly had to pass Senate Bill 337. This legislation, passed by a vote of 149 - 4, discontinues compensation for a public official suspended after a felony indictment.  While everyone deserves his day in court, the taxpayers of Georgia should not be forced to pay a salary to someone who is unable to do his job. 


Wrapping Up Session

While we will have completed our session by the time you read this update, I look forward to providing further updates after Session as the Governor signs the legislation we have passed. 

Please do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.

 

Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.