By: Sen. Rick Williams (R – Milledgeville)
The 2023 Georgia Legislative Session enters its final stretch, with five legislative days left under the Gold Dome. There were 18 measures passed after meticulous consideration by the Georgia State Senate during our tenth week of session, with a few bills of note that pertain to the wellbeing of children and families.
House Bill 460, carried by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan) would guarantee dependent children who are represented by court appointed counsel be represented in legitimation matters in which the child is the subject of the case. Children deserve to have every opportunity for success in cases such as this, and I appreciate the Senate for coming together to pass this bipartisan legislation unanimously on Thursday.
In addition, House Bill 147, carried by Sen. Mike Hodges (R – Brunswick), is also known as the “Safe Schools Act.” This bill would require school safety plans to be submitted to the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency by December 31, 2023. Additionally, it also requires that public schools participate and complete intruder alert drills by October 1, of each year. Furthermore, it would allow parents or guardians to opt their child out of such drills should they decide to do so. With criminal activity targeting school systems on the rise, it is important that we take steps such as this to keep the state’s most vulnerable safe as they work towards an education.
Further, I am happy to report that my legislation regarding primaries and elections in the state, Senate Bill 129, has been favorably reported by substitute out of the House Committee on Governmental Affairs. This legislation would require that employers allow two hours of time off for their employees to advance vote during election season. Currently, individuals can take this time on Election Day only, and this bill aims to broaden the opportunities for those who choose to participate in one of the most important civic duties we are tasked with in the United States. SB 129 has been sent to the House Committee on Rules for the opportunity to go to the House floor for a vote and I look forward to updating you on its progress in the coming days.
As we approach Legislative Days 36 through 38 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 is made. 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.
Sen. Rick Williams serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Retirement. He represents Senate District 25, which includes Jasper, Jones, Putnam, and Baldwin Counties and portions of Henry and Bibb Counties. He may be reached at 404.656.0082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.