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State Rep. Jon Burns

Medicinal marijuana bill arrives in State House for consideration

Monday, March 3 marked the 30th legislative day of the 2014 session.  Any bill that has not been passed by either the House or Senate by the end of this crossover day has little chance of becoming law this year.  We worked into Monday night to ensure that over 60 pieces of legislation would be considered by the Georgia House.

With long days done, General Assembly concludes legislative session

Sine Die!
It is now official, the Georgia General Assembly has completed the 2011 legislative session. The session began on Jan. 10 with a icy snow storm that blanketed much of our state, including the State Capitol; however, that did not deter the members of the legislature from doing our job and serving on your behalf. Forty legislative session days later, the adjournment of the 2011 session ended at around 11:40 p.m. on April 14. 

Addressing key pieces of legislation after break to enjoy livestock festival

The first full week in April, also known as Master’s Week throughout most of Georgia, is the traditional spring break period for K-12 schools in our state.  For similar reasons, the General Assembly also took a brief break this week.  This break gave state legislators, a chance to review the status of legislation and prepare for the last three days of the current legislative session.  

House passes several important resolutions

As you may remember, last week marked the 30th legislative day or “Crossover Day,” when all House bills must have passed through the House in order to allow enough time for them to undergo the Senate committee process. Likewise, the House spent most of this week discussing Senate bills in committee. We did, however, pass several important resolutions, which express the opinion of the House body.

Burns: Gov. Deal carefully weighing pre-k policy decisions

In the column this week, I want to bring you up to date on the recent recommendations for the Georgia Department of Early Care And Learning” (DECAL) and their program “Bright From the Start,” more commonly referred to as pre-k. There has been a great deal of talk about this proposal, and I wanted to let you know what information we have received since last week, and also, how carefully Governor Deal is weighing these policy decisions.

Chief Justice Hunstein calls for sentence reform

This week we held the State of the Judicial address by Chief Justice Carol Hunstein. 
Just as our governor, serving as chief of our state’s executive branch, visits the House and presents the State of the State address to the General Assembly each year, so to does the chief justice in presenting the State of the Judiciary address.
The two biggest issues addressed by Chief Justice Hunstein in her State of the Judiciary address this week were sentence reform and specialty courts.

Keeping an eye on the future and reflecting on others

We concluded our 10th day of the session on Feb. 3. The committee process is in full swing as we have begun consideration of new legislation. The House Appropriations subcommittees delved further into the state budgets.  These meeting have begun to show that zero-based budgeting and the HOPE program will receive a great deal of attention throughout the remainder of this session.  With that in mind, I would like to take a moment to let you know a little about both of these issues.

Illegal immigration, tax reform, health insurance vital issues

Monday, Jan. 24, marked the beginning of the third week of the 2011 legislative session. 
Traditionally the third week is a time when committees begin to meet to review and discuss legislation. It is required that each bill be read on the House floor before it passes through the committee process with hopes of returning to the House floor for final deliberation.
Despite the slow start caused by the snow and ice that covered much of Georgia over two weeks ago, we were able to begin the committee process in earnest this week. 

Georgia General Assembly still a go despite snow

According to Georgia’s Constitution, the Georgia General Assembly is required to convene for its annual 40-day legislative session each year on the second Monday in January. 
After a major winter storm covered much of our state in a blanket of snow and ice, many Georgia schools and businesses were forced to close. However, that was not an option at the state capitol. 

House meets Ralston’s challenges

When we began this year’s legislative session, David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, challenged the state House to pass four pieces of legislation that would improve the entire state of Georgia.  Each of these bills was aimed at addressing a particular problem currently affecting our entire state.

House makes cuts, passes fee changes bill

Georgia’s economy has continued to weaken over the last months. An unprecedented drop in state revenues of 4.5 billion during the period has required the House to make even deeper budget cuts because of our slow economic recovery. We eventually found that simply cutting programs and services would not be enough to close Georgia’s budget shortfall. In order to fill the deficit, yet preserve our commitment to education and public safety, other measures had to be taken.

State revenues up for first time since 2008

This week Governor Perdue released the March 2010 revenue figures, and I am encouraged that they showed the first monthly increase in state revenues since November 2008.  This is an increase of $10,523,000 compared to March 2009 – the same time a year ago.  While this is a positive sign for Georgia’s economy, it is not enough to fill the hole in our state budget.  Revenues are still down 11.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2010 compared to FY 2009.

Debate, vote begins after cross over

Now that we have passed the 30th legislative day of the 2010 session, all legislation approved by the state House or Senate has “crossed over.”  This means that for the last 10 legislative days of this session, we will debate and vote on bills and resolutions which have already passed the Senate. This week some Senate bills made their way through House committees, and were considered on the House floor.

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