Snow flurries, ice and freezing rain threatened to stall business at the Capitol last week, but we were lucky enough to be able to travel safely to continue as scheduled. We passed quite a few bills this week designed to help support and protect the military service members in our state.
Military members past and present are the lifeblood to the workings of our nation. Without them, we would not have the freedoms and liberties we have today. This week we passed two pieces of legislation, SB 18 and SB 58, which will help us give back to the brave men and women who fight for our country.
On Tuesday, we unanimously passed Senate Bill 18 — a bill that will allow the Technical College System of Georgia to accept previous military work experience for academic credit. The brave men and women who serve and protect our country deserve to be credited for the knowledge they acquired through their service.
In addition to helping those who have already served in the United States Military, we passed SB 58, a bill that will support the dreams of high school students who wish to obtain military training while earning a college degree. SB 58, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, will create the Georgia Leadership and Service Admissions Act. This act will enable each member of the General Assembly to provide a written recommendation to one student each year. This recommendation will be for high achieving students who exhibit leadership abilities to use for admission into a ROTC program at an institution in the University System of Georgia.
Senate Bill 4, which passed with a vote of 43-3 on Friday, expands the number of rehabilitation projects to include surface transportation projects like the Atlanta Beltline. These expansion projects will foster job creation and rehabilitation or urban redevelopment projects, while encouraging the utilization of public-private partnerships.
We also passed a resolution proclaiming May 6-12, 2015 as the 40th observance of the ending of the Vietnam War. The Senate stood in solidarity as they honored Vietnam War veterans and their families with a moment of silence. More than 228,000 Georgians served during the Vietnam War and we must never forget their sacrifices for the freedoms we hold so dear.
The Senate will return for Legislative Day 20 on Monday, February 23 ready to debate and pass legislation. As always, I am honored to represent you in the 17th Senate District. As always, I welcome you to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Sen. Rick Jeffares serves as Chairman of the Regulates Industries Committee. He represents the 17th Senate District which includes portions of Henry, Rockdale and Newton counties. He may be reached by phone at 404-463-1376 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.