Sen. Greg Kirk — Week 4: Update from the Gold Dome

Published 10:49 am Monday, February 29, 2016

The Senate convened for four Legislative days this week and passed six Senate bills that are now available for consideration in the House of Representatives. Several of these bills passed with unanimous, bi-partisan support. The pace of the session will only increase ahead of Crossover Day on Feb. 29 and Sine Die on March 24.
It was my honor throughout this week to host several groups that make a tremendous impact on their communities. YMCAs do great work building healthy bodies and minds throughout our region, and, in everything they do, they put strong Christian principles into practice. I had the privilege to visit with representatives of the Tiftarea YMCA and Lee County YMCA to the Capitol.
The Senate also welcomed and recognized the Future Farmers of America this week. I really enjoyed spending some time with talented young leaders who are members of the FFA chapters from Crisp, Tift and Wilcox counties as a part of their visit to the state Capitol. The Senate also welcomed our neighbors from Dougherty County and applauded the Albany delegation for their hard work on behalf of our good friends just beyond Senate District 13.
The Senate also joined together to honor the Georgia State Retirees Association, Georgia Forestry Association and the veterinary clinic at the University of Georgia. The Retirees Association is a valuable resource to all Georgians who are retired, nearing or are planning for retirement. The Forestry Association does great work advocating for Georgia’s forests, forest landowners and all the forest-based businesses in our state. The vet clinic and veterinary program at UGA is vital to many aspects of our state’s economy. These talented young veterinarians provide great knowledge to our state’s agricultural community, equine industry as well as perform outstanding small animal medicine.
Outside of the chamber, the committee process is in full swing. One of my bills, SB 254 the “First Amendment Defense Act”, received a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee on Monday. The meeting was productive and focused on the motivation for the First Amendment Defense Act, how it works as a protective measure against government overreach and current examples of problems the bill, if passed into law, would improve. The Rules Committee decided to wait to take any action on my bill. However, the hearing allowed me to make my case for the need for the bill to the committee as well as citizens of our state.
On Tuesday, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board held their fourth annual Day at the Capitol. These men and women of faith came to the Capitol to express their support for legislation that protects their right to freely exercise their religion in their church, home and day to day activities. At the conclusion of their program, they held a press conference to present examples of government interfering with expression of religious beliefs in our high schools and on college campuses. It was my honor to stand with them in their advocacy for the protection of the First Amendment for men and women of faith all across Georgia.
I will continue my push for the First Amendment Defense Act and appreciate the support I am receiving from Senate District 13 and others across the state. Our country was founded on religious freedom, and people of all faiths have a right to exercise their religious beliefs without government discrimination and overreach.
Even as the session gets busier, please let me know if I can be of service in any way. With 24 legislative days remaining, there will be a lot of legislation to read, vet and vote on. Thank you for all that you do in our community and for entrusting me to work on behalf of Georgia’s 13th Senate District.

Sen. Greg Kirk represents the 13th Senate District which includes Crisp, Dodge, Dooly, Lee, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties and portions of Sumter and Wilcox counties. He can be reached by phone at 404.463.5258 or email at