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Buzz from the Gold Dome: By Sen. Grant

Written by Senator Johnny Grant, submitted by the Senate Press Office

Each year, the legislature is visited by the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court who delivers an update on Georgia’s judiciary. Chief Justice Carol Hunstein comments on the accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future of the Judiciary.

It’s an enlightening speech about our courts and correction efforts.

Chief Justice Hunstein explained that Georgia leaders must seriously examine how criminal offenders are sentenced. We are operating at 106 percent of prison capacity. Many inmates are not as great a threat to society as they are to themselves. She said that instead of incarcerating drug addicts and mentally ill offenders, we must keep prison space reserved for the most dangerous and violent criminals and those who commit crimes against children.

Sen. Tolleson Offers Mechanism to Fund Water Projects

Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) has introduced a bill that creates new options for financing water projects in communities throughout the state. 

That is according to a Senate Press Office news release.

The Georgia Public/Private Water Supply Act of 2011 (Senate Bill 122) will allow state and local governments to voluntarily partner with private investors on the construction of reservoirs and other water infrastructure projects.

Sheriff's Office Looks for Missing Canine

The Jones County Sheriff's Office is requesting assistance in locating one of their own. Tammy, a 2 year old female Bloodhound is missing from the Homer Roberts Road area of Jones County.

That's according to a Jones County Sheriff's Office news release.

The missing tracking canine is described as having a tan coat, weighing 80 lbs, short nose / face and possibly wearing an orange collar.

Anyone having information should contact the Jones County Sheriff's Office at 478-986-3489.

Responding to Citizens' Need with Effective Solutions

--By Senator Johnny Grant

A number of important bills have been introduced this week that are aimed at responding to the needs of our state’s citizens, a Senate Press Office news release says. 

Georgians, along with voters across the nation, have told their elected officials loud and clear that they want smaller government and less intrusion.  Here at the state level, we’re working to meet that request.

As taxpayers, we all want to rest assured that our government is being a good steward of our hard earned money.  The Senate and House have both moved forward on legislation that would require the General Assembly to justify every dollar it spends.  Georgia currently operates under a continuation budget.  Once a new spending program is approved by the General Assembly, it is automatically rolled over into the next succeeding budget under a single line item, called continuation. 

Lt. Governor Cagle and Sen. Grant Welcome Chaplain of the Day

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Sen. Johnny Grant (R-Milledgeville) welcomed Dr. Benny Tate, senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga. to serve as the Chaplain of the Day on January 31 in the State Senate, a Senate Office news release says.

“It was an honor to welcome Pastor Tate to the Senate today.  The tradition of the Senate to begin each day with a devotional and prayer allows us to set our mind and heart in the right direction as we make important policy decisions.  As we face daunting challenges during this session, I’m confident that the Senate will answer the call to serve.  Today, Pastor Tate’s message encouraged Senators and inspired each of us to lead our state in the right direction,” Lt. Governor Casey Cagle said.

“It was my pleasure to introduce Brother Benny to my colleagues in the Senate,” said Sen. Grant. “His inspirational message will help guide us as we face tough choices this legislative session.”

Grant: The Buzz from the Gold Dome

By Senator Johnny Grant, submitted by the Senate Press Office:

Sen. Johnny Grant serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He represents the 25th Senate District which includes Baldwin, Butts, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Morgan, Putnam, and Taliaferro counties and portions of Jones and Warren counties.

Session is underway at the State Capitol. We had a slow start due to the ice and snow that blanketed Atlanta at the beginning of this month. New members were welcomed and Governor Deal was inaugurated. We heard the governor’s annual State of the State address, where he outlined his agenda and budget recommendations for the Amended Fiscal Year 2011 budget and FY 2012 budget. The long process of trimming our budget to account for the large revenue gaps the state currently faces will be our first priority as we push through legislative days.

Sen. Staton Named to Influential Committees

Sen. Cecil Staton (R-Macon) has been appointed to several influential committees for the 2011-2012 Term by the Senate Committee on Assignments. Sen. Staton will serve as vice chair of the Transportation Committee and will serve on the appropriations, finance, rules, reapportionment and banking committees.

On the Appropriation Committee, Sen. Staton will chair the sub-committee for higher education, a Senate Press Office release says.

 “I am pleased to have been asked to chair the sub-committee of Appropriations for Higher Education,” Sen. Staton said. “Higher education is the crown jewel of Georgia and makes an enormous difference in the lives of Georgians and the prosperity of our state. I intend to work with Governor Deal and members of the General Assembly to protect the Hope Scholarship program for future generations.”

Regarding his other assignment, Sen. Staton said he is proud to serve on committee handling some of Georgia’s most important issues.