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The week that was in the state Senate
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This week the Georgia General Assembly reconvened after a one-week recess to review Governor Nathan Deal’s recommendations for the Amended FY13 Budget and FY14 Budget. We are on Day 9 of the 2013 session, but already my colleagues and I are hard at work filing legislation, meeting with our committees, and listening to the needs of our constituents.

Although “Severe Weather Awareness Month” doesn’t officially start until February 1, we sure experienced our fair share of bad weather this Wednesday as a tornado ripped through portions of northwest Georgia, prompting Governor Deal to declare a State of Emergency. My heart and prayers are extended to all those affected by this storm. With tornado season right around the corner, it is important to sit down with your family now to discuss how you will respond to an emergency.

The State of Georgia has developed several resources to help you prepare in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Ready Georgia is a statewide emergency preparedness campaign sponsored by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency that provides Georgians with emergency tool kits, instructional videos, free downloadable mobile applications and customizable preparedness plans. For additional resources, visit the GEMA website at or stay connected on GEMA’s Facebook page. Remember proper planning can mean the difference between life and death.

Legislative Action
Adjournment Resolution
House Resolution 50 was adopted to set the legislative calendar through March 5, 2013 – legislative day 29. Please access the resolution online to view the Georgia General Assembly’s calendar here.

National Guard Day
Jan. 29 was recognized as National Guard Day at the Georgia State Capitol though Senate Resolution 48. The National Guard received a standing ovation for their service, bravery and sacrifice for our country.

Georgia Arts Advocacy Day
Jan. 29 was also Arts Day at the Georgia State Capitol. Exhibits focused on the positive economic impact of the arts as well as the many ways in which the arts attract tourism dollars to Georgia. Representatives were on hand to ask questions, share information, and speak with citizens about the importance of arts, culture, and arts education in Georgia.

GEDA Visits State Capitol
The Georgia Economic Development Association was honored with Senate Resolution 49 on Jan. 30. GEDA chair JoAnne Lewis said, “On behalf of the Georgia Economic Development Association, we’re excited to be sharing 50 years of economic development in Georgia. We pledge on behalf of our organization to keep moving jobs and businesses into our state and we look forward to continuing our work with you.”

U.S.S. Georgia Day
The Senate passed SR 65 on Wednesday to designate Jan. 30 as U.S.S. Georgia Day at the Capitol. The Resolution recognized the Captain and crew members for their life of service to our nation and their submarine. “I’m truly blessed to serve among the best men and women — yes, women — in the country,” said Cpt.Rhett Jaehn.

Tourism and Hospitality Day
Senate Resolution 44 was adopted on Tuesday to mark Jan. 29 as Georgia Tourism and Hospitality Day at the Capitol. Representatives of Georgia’s state parks, historic sites and other tourism organizations showcased Georgia’s booming tourism industry through promotional material on Georgia’s many attractions.

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 may be reached by phone at (404) 656-0503 or by email at