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Senator Burt Jones' update from the Capitol | Politics

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Senator Burt Jones' update from the Capitol
Politics
Senator Burt Jones' update from the Capitol

We have officially passed the halfway mark of the 2014 Legislative Session.  We have only 14 legislative days left, and are well on our way to Crossover Day – the last day a bill can pass to the opposite chamber. Any bill that does not receive a passing vote in its original chamber cannot move on in the legislative process. The calendar has been finalized and Sine Die, meaning the last legislative day, will be Thursday, March 20th.  With Crossover Day set for March 3, the General Assembly remains busy preparing the Fiscal Year 2015 General Budget and passing legislation.

Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the $20.8 billion FY ’15 General Budget.  This budget will run from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, and is one of the primary requirements of the General Assembly every year.  Since the House passed its version of the budget, the Senate has continued to hold Appropriations Subcommittees to ensure each line of the budget is responsibly allocated.   The Senate is expecting to complete meetings and have a full Senate body vote hopefully sometime next week.

Next Monday I am excited to host the first annual Jackson-Butts County Day at the Capitol.  I look forward to touring the Capitol and showing members of our community the legislative process. 

The Senate took legislative action on bills that are now in the House for consideration, some of this legislation included:

Senate Bill 346 would require at least one member of the Board of Community Health to serve as a member of the State Health Benefit Plan. The bill also requires that each member serve three year terms.

Senate Bill 349 revises the functions and responsibilities of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).  SB 349 intends to enhance the quality of the services provided by DBHDD, as well as create a state public safety net program, following the recent transition from institutional care to community care in Georgia. The bill also establishes governing boards and also clarifies the powers and duties for every community service board (CSB) in the state.

Senate Resolution 868 grants exclusive easements for the construction, operation and maintenance of facilities or utilities that go through or intersect property owned by the State of Georgia in the following counties: Appling, Barrow, Bibb, Bryan, Fulton, Gordon, Jasper, Laurens, McIntosh, Monroe, Toombs, and Troup.

Senate Resolution 847 would allow the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish facilities for DNR staff at the park. This legislation would also allow a historical and cultural preservation laboratory to be opened at the park.

The General Assembly will convene again on Monday, February 24 for Day 27 of the 2014 Legislative Session.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the State Capitol this year and encourage you to reach out to me with any issues that you feel should be of importance to your elected officials.  It remains a pleasure to serve you, the constituents of the 25th Senate District. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 404.656.0082 or via email at burt.jones@senate.ga.gov.  

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