The Gold Dome started buzzing once again on Monday as Senators and Representatives gathered in their chambers to mark the beginning of the 153rd Legislative Session.
Day one was full of tradition. The day began with the ceremonial call to order by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the traditional devotional by the Chaplain of the Day. Following the devotional, we elected and swore in President Pro Tempore David Shafer and Secretary of Senate David Cook. All 56 senators, including ten new senators, from around the state were sworn in for two year terms.
Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his annual “State of the State” address on Wednesday, January 14. He spoke inspiring words about our states prosperous recovery after the economic collapse. He reported that our state is strong and getting even stronger as each day passes. He mentioned Georgia’s status as the number one place to do business in the country, a recognition given by one of the nation’s premier real estate and economic development publications, Site Selection Magazine. With the relocation of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche America to Georgia on the horizon, it is apparent that this recognition was earned.
During the “State of the State,” Gov. Deal also unveiled his proposed budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year, focusing on key state priorities such as education, transportation funding and healthcare. Last year, we budgeted for an increase in revenue of 3.4 percent and ended the 2014 fiscal year with an increase in revenue of 4.8 percent! Next week, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will spend a considerable amount of time combing through every line item of the state budget. This is done to ensure that not a dime of taxpayer money is misappropriated.
This session promises to be full of important legislation designed to help make Georgia a better place to live, to work and to play. I am honored that you have put your trust in me and I will always put your best interests at the forefront of my decision making while here at the Capitol. Please feel free to contact my office at any time to talk about pending legislation or address other concerns in our district – my door and phone lines are always open!