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Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen) :Week Four Capitol Update

By: Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen)

The Senate convened for four days last week moving through legislative day 12. To this point, the Senate has passed only two bills—Senate Bill 70 and Senate Bill 85.

Senate Committees are in full swing vetting legislation and hearing testimony from vested stakeholders and citizens. Senate Bill 48, which I sponsored, received a unanimous do pass recommendation by the Senate Natural Resources and the Environment Committee last week. This legislation addresses the freezing of hunting license fees. SB 48 would freeze hunting license fees at the original cost of the license for citizens who renew their licenses before the expiration date. Four licenses are included: resident annual and two-year licenses, and both resident and non-resident annual big game licenses.

I am proud that SB 48 received a favorable recommendation and is one of the first bills to be eligible for the Senate Rules Calendar. As SB 48 moves through the legislative process, I plan to meet with stakeholders, constituents and people around the state to ensure that this legislation benefits all who enjoy hunting and the outdoors.

Another piece of legislation I am sponsoring this year is Senate Resolution 105. This proposed Constitutional Amendment would establish a referendum to allow the voters to decide whether Georgia should continue to discriminate against religious organizations or treat them equitably as provided for in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Currently, religious organizations cannot receive public funding for public services they provide. I believe we should allow the people of this great state to decide whether these organizations that provide many services to their community should be barred from receiving compensation from public funds solely because they are defined as “religious”. I have sponsored this legislation in the past and will continue to introduce it as long as it takes to get it passed. The citizens of Georgia deserve the right to have a chance and choice to vote on such an important issue.

It remains an honor to serve Senate District 31. If I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to contact my office at any time – my door and phone lines are always open!