Friday in the Georgia General Assembly saw the completion of the 14th day of the 2013 legislative session.
The Legislature held five full days of session last week as committee activity also increased. Several highlights included the passage of the amended budget (fiscal year 2013) by the full House and transmittal to the Senate, ethics reform legislation passing from sub-committee to the full Rules Committee, the State of the Judiciary address and finishing off the week with a peaceful citizen’s pro-gun rally Friday at the Capitol.
The amended budget, House Bill 105, passed, 145-18, on Friday. This legislation moved to the Senate for amendment and consideration. The House will work on the FY2014 budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013, and running through June 30, 2014.
On Feb. 4, the House passed numerous pieces of uncontested local legislation, none of which affects our district. Ethics reform and the accompanying legislation, HB 142, was discussed the week before and continued to move through the committee process last week.
While there was a lot of misinformation about both the content and intent of this bill, it was amended and passed Thursday during the Sub-committee on Rules. HB 142 headed to the full Rules Committee for continued debate and potential changes.
Chief Justice Carole Hunstein delivered the State of the Judiciary Address to the House on Thursday. Hunstein discussed the need for extensive reform for our juvenile-justice system, echoing the comments made by Gov. Deal in his State of the State address.
On Friday at the Capitol, we saw citizens across our state join together in exercising their First Amendment rights in support of their Second Amendment rights. Citizens gathered together, enjoying their right to free speech, on the Capitol steps for a pro-gun rally to support our right to keep and bear arms.
Across our nation, gun control is a hot topic as the federal government has begun discussion on possibly trying to restrict our right to keep and bear arms. I will continue to fight vigorously to protect our Second Amendment rights.
Please contact me with your ideas and opinions or if I can be of service to you in anyway. It is your input and common-sense ideas that develop into the best legislation and potentially become the laws of our state.
If you would like to reach me, please call me at 404-656-5099, write me at State Rep. Ron Stephens, 226 CAP, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.