Senator Tolleson's Take on 'Crossover Day' | Families
The Senate worked late on Thursday, revising and debating almost 30 bills before the midnight deadline of Crossover Day. Crossover Day is a rite of passage that all remaining Senate bills must go through before transferring to the opposite chamber – the House of Representatives. If Senate Bills do not pass on Crossover Day, they are no longer considered a ‘live’ bill and must wait until 2014 for re-consideration. Moving forward, we will begin taking up bills from the House and working on compromises between similar legislation in conference committees.
This week, the Senate passed a joint resolution (SR 371) calling for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment requiring the United States Congress to pass a balanced budget. Georgians can pride themselves on being fiscally responsible and balancing our state's budget every year regardless of the economic status. We have made some tough decision during hard times, but with each hurdle we have lived within our means and never spent more than we had. Congress has clearly demonstrated that they are unwilling to control their spending. By states joining together and letting Congress know this is not okay, we are leaving a financially sound America for our children.
Numerous influential bills passed the Senate and will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration:
Senate Bill 13 will require nurses and health care entities to report suspected professional violations to the Board of Nursing or the Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses.
Senate Bill 101 will remove burdensome reporting requirements for firearms dealers and recognize out-of-state weapons carry licenses in Georgia.
Senate Bill 156 revises the term ‘borrow pit’ to allow a property owner to use earthen materials from excavated areas of less than five acres without having to apply for a mining permit. However, these materials cannot be sold.
Senate Bill 195 will authorize physicians and other practitioners with prescribing authority to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine in the name of a public or private school.
Senate Bill 210 will create the Georgia Legacy Program to conserve the state’s land, water, fisheries and wildlife resources. It will also create the Georgia Legacy Council to approve projects eligible for funding, and would establish two funds to provide grants and loans for the approved projects.
Senate Bill 213 requires the EPD to undertake certain studies to revise rules/regulations pertaining to the management of water resources in the Flint River Basin.
Senate Bill 236 will mandate for when a health insurer increases a premium, they must provide a notice explaining how much of the increase is attributable to the Affordable Care Act. The bill was amended to include that the Commissioner of Community Health would also have to notify those on the State Health Benefit Plan with the increases.
Education is vital to our children and it was an honor to welcome members of the Houston County Board of Education and thank them for all their work. Superintendent Dr. Robin Hines was joined by Dr. Steven Thublin, Mark Scott and Dave McMahon along with Board Members, Marianne Melnick, Skip Dawkins, Helen Hughes, Jim Maddox and Fred Wilson.
Members of Leadership Robins Region also visited this week for their State Government Day. They visited the Senate Chamber and committee meetings while learning about the legislative process. This group is doing a great job in preparing to become community leaders and mentors for future generations.
A special thanks to Forrest Ager from Hawkinsville who participated in the legislature’s Page for a Day Program. Forrest spent the day delivering important information and messages throughout the Senate Chamber and learning about state government. The Page Program is a great opportunity for students ages 12 to 18 to experience the Capitol first-hand to observe and participate in the legislative process
The legislative session only has ten days left, however I continue spending a lot of time at the Capitol working on behalf of you. If there are any issues you wish to have addressed, I would love to hear from you. I look forward to continuing my service on behalf of my constituents in the 20th Senate District. Georgia is on the right track. I am confident that the steps we take this year will mean lasting prosperity for future generations of Georgians.