By: Sen. Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton)
The 2023 Georgia Legislative Session continues to bring forth action to the State Senate as we continue to advocate for Georgians here at the Capitol. Each day is a noisy mixture of committees reviewing proposed legislation, bills being voted on in each chamber, advocacy groups coming to share their needs and contributions, and school groups walking the halls with the same wide-eyed look that I probably had during my visit in fifth grade.
Throughout the week, much of our time was dedicated to subcommittee meetings of the Senate Appropriations Committee. These subcommittee meetings allowed the Senate body to hear from Georgia’s agencies firsthand as they presented their budgetary proposals for the rest of the fiscal year. This strategy allows us to adjust for the discrepancies that may arise from what was originally accounted for in the House-recommended budget. I look forward to seeing the finalized budget come forth in the coming days of Legislative Session.
The fifth week of session started off on a high note as my senate colleague Senator Max Burns (R – Sylvania) brought World War II Veteran Mr. Louis Graziano to the Senate floor on his 100th birthday. Mr. Graziano is the last surviving veteran to witness Germany’s surrender during the war, and we were honored to recognize him for the heroic actions taken in service to his country. It is because of heroes like Mr. Graziano that we are able to enjoy the individual freedoms that we have in Georgia each day.
On Tuesday, we welcomed the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) to the State Capitol to celebrate Forestry Day. The GFA works daily to promote a healthy business and political climate for forest landowners, forest product manufacturers and forest-based business. Forestry Day provides a great opportunity to forge relationships between law makers and foresters in the state. I am honored to support those who help to keep a roof over our heads and work to keep Georgia the number 1 state in the nation for forestry production.
Six bills were passed through the Senate this week as well. One of note, Senate Bill 36 would increase the penalties for pimping and pandering in the state of Georgia. I was honored to support this important legislation and hope to support more efforts to combat sex trafficking in our state. Georgians should be safe and healthy in their communities, and this legislation encourages just that.
As we look to legislative days 17-20 of the 2023 Georgia Legislative session I assure you that we are keeping the interest of Georgia’s citizens in mind through each decision that we consider. I look forward to working with my colleagues as this session progresses through the coming weeks. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about matters relating to the Georgia Senate, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.