The Representative Rundown: Updates from the State Capitol

An update from Georgia Rep. Bruce Williamson, 112th House District

We have now completed 22 days of our 40 day legislative session and are officially past the halfway mark. Crossover Day (the day when all legislation must be passed through either the House or the Senate to be considered) is fast approaching on February 28th, so we are hard at work. Please read below for some updates on bills that recently passed out of the chamber:

HR1019: This week, we took up HR 1019, which calls for increased protection against illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border. The nation is facing a rise in the amount of immigrants trying to cross into our country illegally. This resolution backs the actions taken by Gov. Kemp as well as the actions taken by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to safeguard the border. Governor Kemp announced the past week that Georgia will be sending additional National Guardsmen to the southern border for reinforcements. While the federal government struggles to do its job, states are stepping up to help. I was honored to stand with leadership in support of this resolution.

HB977: Another notable bill we passed this week was HB 977. This bill requires additional audits of our elections. Under current law, after each election, the race at the top of the ballot is audited to ensure security and accuracy. Under this bill, however, local election superintendents will be required to run one more additional audit of another race to verify results and ensure fairness and electoral security. This bill goes hand-in-hand with HB976 which we passed the previous week that requires each ballot to have a visible watermark to mark it as an official Georgia ballot. These two bills passed nearly unanimously, and I expect us to consider additional election related legislation as the Session moves forward.

SB63: SB63 is a bill that we discussed the previous year but never got around to passing it until last week. This bill expands the list of bail-restricted charges to include battery, tracking, domestic terrorism, among others. This ends the policy of no cash bail on these serious offenses. Eliminating cash bail has resulted in a rise in cases of individuals who fail to appear in court and then go on to commit another crime. This bill will hopefully resolve this issue. SB63 is now set to be signed by the Governor to be enacted into law.

Visitors at the Capitol

We had several constituents visit the Capitol this week, and it was a joy to get to spend some time with each of them.

Judge Jeff Foster visited the Capitol this past week with the Council of Superior Court Judges. Judge Foster is a public servant and local judge on the Alcovy Judicial Circuit which covers Walton and Newton counties. I am thankful for his work in the judicial system in Walton County, and it was an honor to see him here at the Capitol.

I also got to visit with Walton County Tax Commissioner Derry Boyd. Commissioner Boyd has been serving Walton County for the previous 21 years, working as both Tax Commissioner and Deputy Chief Appraiser. It was great to visit with him.

If you have a group that would like to visit the Capitol, please reach out to our office ahead of time so we can ensure it is a smooth visit. We are always excited to welcome individuals from home to the Capitol.

Walton County Fun Facts from the Capitol

The Capitol Museum is situated on the fourth floor, and there is plenty of information pertaining to Walton County inside this building. While many of us are acquainted with the two-headed calf, I encourage you to take note of the massive meteorite in the same display case when you visit your Capitol building. According to the plaque, it landed in Social Circle, GA, but unfortunately, there is no further information available about it. If any of you are familiar with the story behind the meteorite, I would appreciate hearing from you.

As always, if we can ever be of any assistance, please call our office and we will do our best to accommodate you. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative.

Williamson Newsletter Feb 19

Bruce Williamson, 112th House District

404-656-5025 bruce.willliamson@house.ga.gov

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