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Greg Kirk: Week Three Under the Gold Dome

The Senate has now convened for seven legislative days and committee work has officially begun. Several bills were dropped into the senate hopper this week, many of which were assigned to committee where they will now be carefully vetted, and members will hear presentations and testimony from interested parties. We spend a great deal of our time during the session in committee meetings, weighing the pros and cons of each bill brought before us. I take very seriously the responsibility I have been given to not only pass good legislation, but prevent bad legislation from being signed into law.
One committee that wasted no time getting down to business was the Health and Human Services Committee. On Wednesday, we held our first meeting where we heard a presentation from members of the Georgia Council on Aging. Hearing presentations from the people who are impacted by a committee’s decision to move or alter legislation is a major part of the legislative process and is conducted through committee meetings. I look forward to hearing testimony from citizens all across the state as we continue throughout this process, making decisions for the betterment of all Georgians.
In addition to committees getting started, I wanted to mention legislation I co-sponsored that has been introduced in the senate. As many of you know, access to broadband in rural Georgia has been a major discussion in the legislature over the past couple of years. Last year, the senate created a study committee to meet during the interim to specifically address this issue. From this study committee, Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) filed Senate Bill 17 which was assigned to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. While broadband has benefitted metro parts of the state tremendously, rural areas have not all been able to receive the same services and benefits that this access provides. Not only does it create seamless means of communication and high-speed access to entertainment and social outlets, it also has an impact on the economic prosperity, education and health of individuals throughout the state. I was proud to co-sponsor a piece of legislation that will bring greater broadband access to rural Georgia, and I will keep you posted as this bill moves forward.
There were several pieces of legislation introduced this week that I was proud to have been a part of creating and supporting, and I will keep you updated and informed on these in the coming weeks. If you have any questions about the legislation I am working on or any general concerns, please reach out to my office — my door is always open!

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. He may be reached at 229-854-9706 or by email at greg.kirk@senate.ga.gov.