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Anderson: Update from the Capitol: Week 3
Tonya Anderson
Tonya Anderson, a Democrat from Lithonia, was elected to the Georgia Senate in 2012. - photo by Special Photo

Things have been moving quickly here at the Capitol, with the commencement of committee meetings and hearings beginning for the first few bills of the legislative session. Additionally, this week was filled with excitement as the Super Bowl is upon us. I hope that everyone joining in on the festivities will be mindful of their surroundings and heed the Atlanta Police Department’s messages to watch out and use your best judgement in public and as you travel around Atlanta.

This week, we heard our first bill on the Public Safety Committee, Senate Bill 25, which would clarify existing law relating to when a driver must stop if they encounter a school bus while driving on a separate roadway. Under SB 25, the vehicle does not need to stop if there is a separation by a grass median, unpaved area or physical barrier. It’s a needed clarification so people fully understand when they can and cannot pass a school bus. SB 25 passed the Public Safety Committee unanimously and will be heard by the Senate Rules Committee soon. The bill’s progress can be followed at:

On Wednesday, a group of senators met to hold a press conference on the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Georgia, which would lead the way for ratification across the United States. Senate Resolution 66 states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." I was happy to sign onto this legislation with several of my fellow members as it would solidify women and men as equal genders in our U.S. constitution. This resolution has bipartisan support, which I believe is a wonderful testament to women and men across our state that their representation matters. I look forward to seeing this resolution passed in the Senate and make its way to the House.

I know we have many boys and girls at home who are interested in what happens at the state Capitol. If you are above the age of 12, I encourage you to be a Senate page. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see your government at work first-hand and an excellent opportunity to learn something new! As an added plus, you get an excused absence from school and will get to meet many legislators from around our state! 

I look forward to seeing what else we can achieve this session, and I will work my hardest to ensure that you are being represented well here at the Capitol. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know. I always enjoy having visitors and would be more than happy to meet and talk with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you ever find yourself under the Gold Dome!

Senator Tonya Anderson represents the 43rd Senate District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties. She may be reached by email at