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Capitol Recap from Sen Larry Walker: Week Four

By: Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry)

Pro Roof GA

Things have really begun to ramp up under the Gold Dome as the Senate convened Monday through Thursday of this week for Legislative Days 9 through 12. This week, we held a vote on our first Senate Bill of the session and I had the opportunity to Chair my first meeting of the Senate Committee on Insurance and Labor.

This week, the Senate considered its first bill of the session on the Senate floor. Over the past few years, and even in the last few weeks, our state has witnessed a growing number of incidences of civil disturbance, escalating, unfortunately, into violence. While we will always respect the right of Georgians to peacefully protest and assemble, we cannot allow radical groups, often from out-of-state, to engender harm to our neighborhoods, residents and first responders. Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell), is known as the “Georgia Fights Terrorism Act”, and allows the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to either work independently or in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest individuals or groups engaged in domestic, cyber, biological, chemical or nuclear terrorism. Measures such as this are important not only to protect the lives and property of bystanders and business owners, but also to shield peaceful protestors from potential violence. I was proud to support this measure and believe it sets the tone for our body to pursue positive, meaningful legislation for the session.

This week, the Senate Committee on Insurance and Labor convened for our first meeting of the session. As an owner and operator of an insurance agency back home, I am excited to assume the role of Chairman of this critical committee. Our committee will cover a wide range of issues dealing with home and auto insurance, health insurance, workers’ compensation and more. The only official action taken in our first meeting was the adoption of committee rules, the establishment of two sub-committees and the assignment of our first bill to our health insurance sub-committee, but we already have eight bills assigned to us that we will be considering over the next few weeks.

Our counterparts in the House have also been hard at work and, on Thursday, passed the amended version of the Fiscal Year 2023 (AFY23) budget. The purpose of the amended budget is to true up revenue between what was originally budgeted last session and what is projected now, as well as to make any necessary additions or reductions within line items. Notably, this budget includes several of Gov. Brian Kemp’s key budgetary priorities, allocating $1 billion for one time property tax relief for Georgians and a little over $1 billion in state personal income tax rebates. In addition, this budget includes $23 million to enhance school security and $2.4 million to enhance security measures at Georgia’s domestic violence shelters. The budget will now be sent over to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and its various subcommittees, to further analyze and make additional recommendations. As Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I look forward to examining budget items specific to these areas closely.

Next week, we look forward to picking up right where we left off, with four more legislative days dedicated to considering and passing legislation, both in our respective committees, as well as on the Senate Floor. If you ever have any questions or concerns about any legislation currently before the General Assembly, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.

Sen. Larry Walker serves as Secretary of the Senate Majority Caucus. He also serves as Chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee.  He represents the 20th Senate District, which includes Bleckley, Dodge, Dooly, Houston, Laurens, Pulaski, Treutlen and Wilcox counties.  He may be reached by phone at 404.656.0095 or by email at

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