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State to take a look at the use of drones
burns jon 2015
Rep. Jon Burns

I am happy to report that the General Assembly session for 2015 is down to its last two legislative days. We have had a productive session but several important issues remain unresolved. The following are bills passed by the House this week.

House Bill 1, or Haleigh’s Hope Act, has received much publicity and was finally passed and sent to the governor for his signature. This legislation will allow for the use of medical cannabis oil to be given to people suffering from eight illnesses as prescribed by a physician.

In education news, the House passed Senate Resolution 287, giving voters the decision-making power to determine if they want an “opportunity school district” (OSD) in areas where schools are below standards. The constitutional amendment would appear on the November 2016 general election ballot and would require support from a majority of voters. No schools in House District 159 are in this classification.

Bill number: HR 744
This resolution creates the House study committee on the use of drones. The study committee shall examine the use of drones by law enforcement, governing entities and private persons or businesses over public and private property for surveillance or other purposes.

Bill number: SB 4
This bill clarifies Georgia’s existing urban redevelopment law to include a framework through which the city of Atlanta and its associated redevelopment partners can leverage limited public resources for transportation to deliver high-quality, cost-effective projects more quickly and at a lesser cost through outsourcing to the private sector. The bill adds a new definition of surface transportation project to urban redevelopment law and lays out the requirements of procurement and bond issuance. The bill does not obligate any state funds.

Bill number: SB 63
This bill allows for manufacturers or distillers who are issued a distiller’s license and issued a permit by the commissioner to conduct distillery tours, for a fee or free of charge. If conducting these tours, the distiller may provide a free souvenir of a complimentary sealed container of distilled spirits, free food and free, limited tastings. The free souvenir must be a single bottle of distilled spirits manufactured by the distiller of not more than 750 milliliters. The free souvenir must be provided after the tour, and the recipient must be 21 years of age or older. Also, brewers of malt beverages may also conduct brewery tours in the same manner as distillery tours. However, the free souvenir from a brewery tour is a sealed container or containers of malt beverages not to exceed 72 ounces. All fees for tours must be collected prior to conducting the tour.

Bill number: SB 175
This bill requires an official interstate or international certificate of veterinary inspection when importing any equines, poultry, livestock or birds into Georgia unless accompanied by an official interstate or international certificate of veterinary inspection.

The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture is given the authority to determine whether certain animals pose a significant risk of disease to domestic animals or humans, and if so a certificate of veterinary inspection must accompany those animals as well. No certificate shall be required for poultry originating from flocks participating in the National Poultry Improvement Plan administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

I will keep you informed as the legislative session winds down. Thank you for allowing me to represent you! Your comments and concerns are important to me. Please feel free to contact me at (404) 656-5099 or at