“The end is near with only five legislative days left in the 2017 session.
House committees have been running at full speed to get Senate bills through the process.
Because of the power play that ensues between the two chambers the process has considerably slowed down, which can be a good thing for bad bills, and a bad thing for good bills.
We’ve only voted on about a dozen Senate bills so far but as time runs out more and more deals will be made and the process will accelerate considerably.
During the last five days of session we could vote on well over 100 bills, hopefully, more good than bad.
Speaking of good bills, last Monday we voted one of the best bills of the 2017 session out of the House, and since it had already passed the Senate it now goes to the Governor.
SB 85 is a jobs bill, an economic development bill, a free-market bill, and a freedom bill!
It would allow breweries & distilleries across Georgia to sell their products directly to their costumers.
Georgia is the only state in the Union in which you are not permitted to sell beer in a brewery because of the antiquated 3-tier system.
Votes on the House & Senate floor get a lot of attention but the work that goes on behind the scene can be just as important.
In my Small Business Development Committee, we took up SB 2, otherwise known as “The Fairness, Accountability, Simplification and Transparency Act”.
We know how much the government loves acronyms.
The FAST Act sounds great, as does streamlining the permitting and licensing process that individuals and businesses have to go through.
That being said the intent and the good of the bill is overshadowed by over regulation and extra costs.
Because of the great questions and comments by Committee members like Rep. Pezold, Rep. Cantrell & Rep. Stover, among others, we are on track to cut the bad parts out of SB 2.
Last week was also Homeschool Day at the Capitol with over 1,500 homeschoolers from across the state participating.
It was an honor to speak at the event in support of school choice, and as a homeschooler myself, specifically home education.
I was asked to encourage homeschoolers to get involved in politics and reiterate that they can be successful.
The most important point applies to everyone across education options and is that you can run for State Representative when you’re 21.
I was late to the game at 27, but I hope it will serve as an encouragement to younger generations.
On Thursday a constituent from White County contacted me.
She said she was a “nervous wreck” as a bill that’s near a dear to her heart had stalled in committee.
Cove’s Law, named after her niece, would add an option to screen for Krabbe’s, a rare disease.
Politicians need to remember that what we do affects individual’s lives.
Luckily I was able to talk to the bill sponsor that day, Rep. Hawkins, who found a way to most assuredly get the bill to the Senate floor.
One of the final bills to pass last week was SB 169, which would establish a special license plate in honor of Georgia’s law enforcement.
The special license plate would include the words “Back the Badge” at the bottom, and the voluntary proceeds would benefit the Peace Officers Annuity & Benefit Fund.
I was honored to vote YES!
Before I sign off, I have a tentative date for two of the town halls I will be hosting after session.
For Union County; April 28th at 7:00pm at the Civic Center in Blairsville.
For White County; April 17th at 6:30pm at location to be determined.
Of course, everyone is invited to participate regardless of political affiliation or county of residence.
I will be announcing other town halls soon.
Finally in the spirit of political activism, the quote of the week:
“Let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the welfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring.
Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security.
Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.”
– Ron Paul, Texas Congressman & Republican Candidate for President