The Representative Rundown: Updates from the State Capitol

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

We completed Crossover Day on Thursday and were in the chamber from 10 am until around midnight. We ended up setting a new record for bills and resolutions passed on Crossover Day at 72. This was a big achievement, and we have already started hearing and vetting senate bills that passed over from the opposite chamber. Please read below for some updates on some of the legislation passed from the House during Crossover week:

HB1105: This legislation addresses illegal immigration in the state. After the tragic death of UGA student Laken Riley, action needed to be taken to ensure a tragedy like this does not occur elsewhere. Though sanctuary cities are already illegal, this bill seeks to stop sanctuary-like policies in cities that have refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. If a sheriff fails to detain and report an illegal immigrant once arrested, they will be subject to a misdemeanor on their first offense and a misdemeanor of high and aggravated misdemeanor on every other offense. Additionally, if the local government fails to report undocumented immigrants to the authorities, they will be subject to a withholding of state funding and state-directed federal funding. Passing this legislation, would stop these illegal practices and ensure that we are keeping our communities safe. It is now headed to the Senate to be heard and voted on.

HB1023: This is a bill that I sponsored and passed out of the House of Representatives. HB1023 lowers the state’s business tax rate to match that of the individual income tax rate. Historically, we have set the business tax rate at the same level as the individual income tax rate, and this legislation codifies that practice into law. We passed legislation earlier this session that would lower the income tax rate for citizens from 5.75% to 5.39%, and this would match that 5.39% tax rate for businesses as well. This will benefit small businesses all across the state and will ensure that Georgia continues to be the #1 state in the nation to do business.

HB1260: This bill requires the Attorney General to establish and maintain a statewide directory of legal vaping products. Currently, there is no regulation of this industry, and there have been many cases of retailers selling illicit vaping products, many of which are made in China. This new legislation will protect our communities, especially our youth, and ensure that what is being sold has been legally approved. This bill passed with bipartisan support and is now headed to the Senate.

Visitors at the Capitol

Though we didn’t get a picture, I’d like to mention Aaron Robinson who came by from Social Circle High School. He was here for the GCTAE (Georgia Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) Day at the Capitol. This is a program that provides vocational training to high school students, and I am thankful for Aaron in his leadership in this program for students in Walton County.

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

Fun Facts from the Capitol

Many people may not know that Walton County has a significant historical list of residents who have served as Georgia’s Governor. There is a placard outside the Monroe Museum that names the 7 citizens who have had the role.

One of the most notable is Henry McDaniel. McDaniel served as a state representative from 1872 to 1874 before moving over to the Senate where he served until 1882. In 1883, McDaniel became the 52nd Governor and served in that capacity until 1889. During his time as Governor, he left a lasting impact, overseeing the construction of the state Capitol building—the one that we still govern from today!

There are certainly Walton County ties throughout this remarkable building and in our government. 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.

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