Week 8, Ending March 8, 2019
Thursday, February 28 this past week was that important annual legislative date we call “crossover day” in the Georgia General Assembly. Any bills not passed by either the House or Senate have no chance of being signed into law by Governor Kemp. Sometime that’s a good thing, except of course unless its legislation I am working on. That is said only partially tongue-in-cheek.
A Crisis in House Leadership
Because of the stand I and others have taken publicly regarding a serious crisis in our State General Assembly leadership at the highest levels, important legislation I have been working on in behalf of the citizens of Georgia is “politically” stuck, and will not move in 2019. I could easily spend this entire newsletter discussing this issue, so much more information that the public has yet to hear, but instead please indulge me while I share one particularly inspiring, but typical, comment I received from a District 167 supporter, and then I will move on to other important state matters:
“Thanks, Jeff. And thank you for standing up for all of us in your efforts to assure that our state leaders are worthy of honor. I stand with you.” - Mark N. Glynn County, GA
Opening Day of 2019-20 Session
On Monday, January 14, 2019, the second Monday of the new year, the Georgia General Assembly – the House of Representatives and the Senate - convened for the first day of the 155th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly.
Since Monday marked the first day of the new 2019-2020 term, every member of the Georgia House of Representatives took the oath of office and was formally sworn in. As I hope you have learned about me over the past four years of legislative service, and prior to my entering the legislature, I take this oath and my commitment to serve honorably and honestly seriously. Thank you again for trusting me to represent your interests at the state level for another two-year term.
As I have explained in previous newsletters, the first week of the opening of Georgia General Assembly is dominated by procedural and ceremonial activities as the session officially convenes.Read more
On Thursday, February 15, we completed the 22nd day of the 40-day 2018 session. “Crossover Day”, which this year is on February 28th, is also the 28th of the 2018 session. This date, which can vary from session to session, is the cut-off date for legislation that has any chance of being signed into law by Governor Deal. For bills to move ahead in the legislative process, they must have passed out of each respective legislative body – the House of Representatives, in my case, or the Senate - by the end of the session day on “Crossover Day.”
For several challenging bills I am sponsoring (HB-66-Cash Wire Transfers; HB-484-Changing Driver’s License for Certain Persons; HB-879-Coal Ash Dewatering Public Notice; HB-880-Coal Ash Landfill Storage Public Notice) it means I have seven legislative days left to: 1) get the bills voted out of sub-committee, then 2) voted out of full committee. Next, 3) I have to work on the surviving bills to get them added to what we call the “Rules Calendar” by the Rules Committee; the Rules Calendar is the calendar of bills that have a chance of being voted on by the full House of Representatives. Whew! Makes me tired thinking of all the work still to be done. But I do not give up easily on legislative matters that I, and many others in our state, believe are important.Read more
Welcome constituents, friends and supporters to our first newsletter of the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly - House of Representatives, which convened on January 8th. Thanks for taking a few minutes to let me catch you up on Georgia law-making activities. The first two weeks (6 session days) were primarily ceremonial, “session opening” activities, including Governor Deal’s State of the State address. Georgia’s economy continues to grow, and our state was once again named the number-one state in which to do business. Governor’s Deal education initiatives continue to reap great rewards. We are a state on the move.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, we convened week three and as of January 29, we completed over one-fourth of the way through our 40-day session. This session week was considerably busier and productive, and the pace has noticeably picked up as House committees met more frequently to consider and vet proposed legislation. Remember, the majority of debate and discussion about legislation occurs in committee hearings well before bills reach the House floor for a vote.
By Representative Jeff Jones
This week completed week five, and the 20th day of the session. With “cross-over day”, the 30th legislative day looming and only 20 session days remaining until adjournment, the pace of committee hearings and legislative activity increased dramatically.
Spencer Pass Law - HB 767 (I voted YES): - The House voted to add utility service vehicles and workers in the fields of electric, natural gas, water, waste-water, cable, telephone, or telecommunication services to the list of those covered under Georgia’s Spencer Pass Law, also known as the “Move Over Law.”
By Rep. Jeff Jones
The House reconvened on Monday, February 1 to start our fourth week of the 2016 legislative session. With a month of session behind us, we are hard at work in the General Assembly passing legislation that will hopefully have a positive impact on all Georgians. Numerous bills have been approved and passed out of their respective committees and many made their way to the House floor this week for a vote before the entire House of Representatives. I discuss a variety of these bills later in this newsletter.Read more
We returned to the Gold Dome on Monday, January 25 for the third week the 2016 legislative session. This week brought more exciting and important work for my colleagues and I in the House. Several House committees and subcommittees met throughout the week to take up legislation, and the full body of the House unanimously passed our first two pieces of legislation of the session. Chief Justice Hugh Thompson also delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address this week to a joint session of the House and Senate.
Following last week’s budget hearings, the House successfully passed the amended fiscal year (AFY 2016) budget, or the mid-year adjustment of state spending through June 30, 2016. The amended budget, HB-750, is very similar to Gov. Deal’s recommendations, consisting of $1.1 billion, or 5.3 percent, in “new” funds, bringing the total appropriation for AFY 2016 to $22.9 billion with education and transportation funds account for approximately 85 percent of the new appropriations. As a result of the diligent work of the members of the House Appropriations Committee and the staff in the House Budget and Research Office, HB-750 passed the House on Thursday, January 28, 2016 by a vote of 176-0.Read more
The Georgia General Assembly began the second year, our first day, of the 2015-16 biennial session on Monday, January 11, 2016. This is the second year of my freshman term, and more importantly - this is an election year. The reason I mention this being an election year is because it changes the political dynamics of how the session will proceed.
As I commented early in the 2015 session, it is important to manage the 40-day session to ensure that the truly important, constitutional mandates for the Georgia General Assembly are accomplished, specifically developing and funding a balanced budget. Constitutionally, the only item the General Assembly must accomplish each session is the state’s balanced budget.Read more