News from under the Gold Dome: Capitol update from state Rep. Brett Harrell

Adoption, Efficiency, Opioids
The big news of week four was the House’s unanimous passage of House Bill 159, legislation that would provide the first comprehensive update to Georgia’s adoption laws in nearly thirty years. With the strong support of Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston, the House collaborated with the Senate and passed Rep. Bert Reeve’s amended bill. Let me be clear, HB 159 as passed the House in no way harms faith-based adoption in Georgia. HB 159 reduces the time for a Georgia adoption, reduces cost, shortens the revocation period, and provides for the pregnancy care of the biological mother. All good things for Georgia’s foster kids deserving of loving homes.
Efficiency improvements were unanimously supported in the House with passage of HB 661 that I co-sponsored with Rep Bruce Williamson and HB 694 that I authored. HB 661 creates a more efficient and transparent process for filing and removing tax liens. HB 694 updates monthly motor fuel filings requiring electronic reporting by distributors and wholesalers. Both measures streamline and modernize reporting while providing added transparency and improved auditing.
Harrell Chairs House Rules for the day – that was cool!
Awesome opportunity to Chair House Rules Committee for a day
Thanks to Chairman John Meadows and Speaker David Ralston, I had the opportunity to Chair the House Rules Committee on February 1. It was quite and honor and a wonderful experience.
Setting our calendar for Monday, February 5, I prioritized HB 701 by Rep Kevin Tanner and placed it on the floor for a House vote. HB 701 expands employment drug testing to include opioids. As you know, over one-half million opioid pills were prescribed in Georgia last year and while these medications are important properly prescribed for severe pain, they are too often abused and leading to numerous unnecessary deaths. Employment drug screening for unprescribed opioids may aid in reducing the illicit use of these prescription medications.
Let me hear from you
Should you find yourself in Atlanta during the Session, please stop by and visit me at my Capitol office, and please call or email if you have any question or concerns regarding any state issue. My capitol office, phone, and email are listed below.
613-D Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334

Thanks again for allowing me to serve,
 Brett Harrell

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