Nix: ‘Crossover Day’ fast approaching
Published 1:32 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017
The House has completed 24 legislative days and with more than half of the session behind us the week has been filled with committee meetings, where legislation is first considered, and chamber votes. It is my hope that these weekly updates keep you informed about bills that could affect your life and assure you that your representatives use the 40 days of the legislative session responsibly and for the betterment of our state.
HB 37, a bill that I mentioned in a past update, passed the House which would prohibit any college or university that receives state funding from serving as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. It is important to remember that this bill is not about immigration policy. It is specifically intended so that your tax money is not used by state colleges unwilling to follow the law set in place by our federal government. Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars are used each year to fund scholarships and programs on our college campuses and I believe that your tax money should only be used within the confines of the law.
In my opinion, one of the most horrific crimes is that of sex trafficking. I was pleased that HB 86 passed unanimously, increasing the range of offenses for the mandatory reporting of child abuse to include suspicion of a child being a victim of sexual servitude. We simply must be vigilant in putting an end to the appalling exploitation of children and the more people who are trained in noticing and reporting this horrendous crime, the better. I hope this legislation will become law and help to save many children.
This session, the House has made it a priority to pass legislation that improves the lives of our veterans, active duty military personnel and their families, and this week we continued in those efforts with the unanimous passage of two bipartisan bills that would benefit Georgia’s military students. House Bill 224 would give military students the ability to attend any school within their school system beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. School-aged children of a military service member living in military housing, on or off-base, would have the flexibility to attend the public school of their choice within their local school system if space is available at that school. Similarly, House Bill 148, also known as the Educating Children of Military Families Act, would authorize the Department of Education to create unique identifiers for students whose parent or guardian is an active-duty military service member or reserve member of the National Guard to monitor the progress and educational needs of those students.
House Bill 222 passed unanimously, which would allow National Guardsmen and women to meet residency requirements that would enable them to apply for the HOPE scholarship. Many of our guardsmen and women are simultaneously pursuing a civilian career while serving our country. Legislation that helps them to prepare for their future is the right thing to do out of gratitude for their sacrifice. It is my hope that this legislation will also be overwhelmingly supported by the Senate.
This week will be one of the busiest weeks of the legislative session. On Friday, we are scheduled to complete legislative day 28, otherwise known as “Crossover Day.” Crossover Day is the deadline for legislation to be passed out of its chamber of origin to remain eligible for consideration for the session, and with this deadline in mind, my colleagues and I will be working longer hours and passing more legislation. If you would like to read the bills I mentioned, or any that are in consideration, you can find them on the website www.legis.ga.gov. As the session continues, please know that I am interested in your thoughts and concerns. I can be reached at 404-656-5146 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.