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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gold Dome Update: February 11– 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist Shawna.mercer@senate.ga.gov 404.656.0028

By: Sen. John Albers (R- Roswell)

The Georgia General Assembly is quickly approaching the halfway point of the 2013 Legislative Session. Each legislative session in Georgia is 40 days long, and Thursday, February 14 marked Day 18. It is also important to note that we’re only 12 days away from Crossover Day, which is the last day Senate bills are able to transfer to the House of Representatives, and vice versa.

The Senate’s committee calendar is quickly filling up for the weeks ahead, and we’re looking forward to considering many bills and resolutions that have been introduced. Although these committee meetings will cover a wide range of issues, the Georgia Senate will continue to focus its efforts on policy that keeps Georgia on the path to economic recovery.

One of my bills, SB 73, was presented this week in the Roads and Bridges Subcommittee of the Senate Transportation Committee. SB73 aims to remove the TSPLOST “penalty provision,” which requires local governments who rejected the TSPLOST to pay more for transportation grants.

This week, several Senate bills hit the floor for a vote. These bills will now transfer to the House of Representatives:

HB 55 allows investigators to conduct wiretapping state-wide regardless of the county in which a warrant was issued. Investigators who do not have the resources to build listening stations within their jurisdiction will now be able to legally conduct wiretapping at any listening station in Georgia, providing they have a warrant.

SB 65 authorizes licensed professional counselors to perform emergency evaluations of individuals who are mentally ill or alcohol or drug dependent and to issue a certificate stating that such a person requires involuntary treatment.

SB 66 amends Title 15 of the state code to increase the penalties imposed for contempt of superior and state courts.

SB 91 repeals the “Emerging Crops Fund Act” since similar funds are already available for farmers.

SB 87 repeals the Roadside Markets Incentive Program. The program was established in 1967. The Department of Agriculture has requested this change due to the program no longer being funded.

Besides passing legislation, we had the distinguished privilege of welcoming newly-elected Senator Dean Burke of the 11th Senate District on Monday. I look forward to serving alongside Sen. Burke as we work to make Georgia the best place for business and an even better place to live.

The Georgia Senate was also honored to host several groups this week, including the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Young Farmers Association, the Lupus Foundation of America, and the Girl Scouts, among many others.

Please feel free to contact my office at any time with your questions and concerns, or feel free to visit my social media pages:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/john.albers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnalbers # # # #

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee Counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov.

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