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Posted: March 9, 2013 1:28 p.m.

Jeffares: Capitol Update

Crossover Day is a rite of passage all remaining Senate bills must go through before transferring to the opposite chamber – the House of Representatives. In order to meet the midnight deadline, the Georgia Senate worked hard to adopt nearly 30 pieces of legislation.

With only 10 legislative days left until Sine Die, the General Assembly is working hard to approve a constitutionally balanced budget. Earlier this week, the Senate approved the FY2013 amended budget, totaling $19.3 billion in total state funds. With approval in both houses, the Amended FY2013 budget will now travel to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Monday, the Senate boldly passed Senate Bill 101. This legislation would allow out-of-state weapons carry licenses to be recognized in Georgia and protect the Second Amendment rights of all Georgians regardless of place of residence or economic status. Moving forward, I promise to continue supporting legislation that upholds community safety while securing the constitutional right of all Georgians.

Also on Monday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 160. This legislation will help streamline the process of verifying residence status when applying for or renewing business licenses. Under current law, there is some confusion about how this information should be reported, which is burdensome to both local governments and businesses. This legislation is meant to clarify some of that language and make the renewal or application process easier.

In other chamber news, we recognized Atlanta Braves legend Chipper Jones with Senate Resolution 419 Wednesday. As an avid baseball fan, I have enjoyed watching Chipper Jones play ball throughout the years. His notable athletic achievements and service to the community have brought great pride to our state.

During Crossover Week, the Senate passed several other significant pieces of legislation:

SB 168 prohibits the state and local government from disqualifying or penalizing a bidder for a public works contract based upon a lack of previous experience with the same type of job.

SB 179 eliminates the need for bid bonds and authorizes state and local public works construction contracts to include both liquidated damages provisions for late construction project completion and incentive provisions for early construction project completion.

SB 177 would alter membership of the Georgia Tourism Foundation by removing members from various authorities as well as Commissioners of Economic Development and Natural Resources.

SB 206 would allow Georgia to form delegations to attend Article V conventions called by Congress. Congress typically calls Article V conventions for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

SB 213 creates the Flynt River Drought Protection Plan, which undertakes studies to use in establishing new and revised rules and regulations pertaining to the management of water resources.

SR 245 would request the United States Congress to adopt a resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution and submit the same to the states for ratification.

SR 371 proposes Georgia formally submit an application to call for a convention to recommend a federally balanced budget constitutional amendment.
For more information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly website at http://www.legis.ga.gov/.

In the upcoming weeks, the Senate will begin debating the merits of hundreds of bills sent over from the House. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding a specific piece of legislation, please feel free to contact my office.

Sen. Rick Jeffares serves as Chairman of the Ethics Committee. He represents the 17th Senate District which includes portions of Henry, Rockdale and Newton counties. He can be reached by phone at 404-656-0503 or by email at rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov.

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