Greg Kirk: The Legislative Session back in action
Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2019
It’s hard to believe it’s January and the Gold Dome is once again a flurry of activity. Last week was full of exciting events as we kicked off the first term of the 155th Georgia General Assembly. On Monday, I was joined by my wife Rosalyn as I was sworn into office by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charlie Bethel. The Senate Chamber was filled with friends and families of Senate members, as all 56 of us took an oath to serve the state of Georgia. Later that day, we attended Governor Brian Kemp’s inauguration where he, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, and each constitutional official were sworn into office.
On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan was formally introduced to the Senate and presided over the Senate body for the first time. The Committee on Assignments announced selections on Tuesday and I was proud to announce that I will be returning as the chairman of the Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee, as well as the new secretary of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This committee has been a priority of mine throughout my time in the legislature, and I am honored to be the third ranking member of this committee. As we address the health care crisis in our state, I am committed to help lead the charge to make Georgia the leader in health care initiatives nationwide. In addition, I will serve as a member of the Senate Appropriations and Senate Insurance and Labor Committees. Each of these committees vets legislation on pressing and timely issues. and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to move good, clean legislation forward.
On Thursday, Governor Kemp issued his State of the State address to Senate and House members. He discussed the importance of his priorities, including access to health care, our education system, including teacher pay raises, as well as the importance of tackling public safety issues such as gang violence and drug trafficking. I look forward to addressing these and other challenges facing our state during the session.
During the interim, several Senate Study Committees met and have been drafting, or have drafted, legislation based on their findings. One of the study committees is the Senate School Safety Study Committee. This committee traveled across the state, including making a stop in District 13 at Lee County High School. Legislation has already been filed that addresses school safety and will be moving its way through the legislative process soon. This legislation includes the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act” which would require the implementation of safety plans at schools, as well as streamlining the process of reporting a threat or suspicious behavior, all the way to the action of safety officials on these threats.
One legislative week down, with several more to go, but as always, our time under the Gold Dome is going to come to an end in the blink of an eye. I am committed to supporting legislation that is best for District 13 and the state of Georgia as a whole. If you ever have any questions or concerns on legislation or would like to make a visit to the Capitol, please reach out to my office and I would be happy to help.
Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, serves as chairman of the State and Local Governmental Operations Committee. He represents the 13th Senate District which includes Crisp, Dooly, Lee, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties, and portions of Sumter and Wilcox counties. Contact him at 229-854-9706 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.