Busy week at the capitol

Published 5:03 pm Friday, March 8, 2019

By Vance Smith
Represents Georgia House District 133

enjoyed seeing Mayor Skip Henderson, Columbus; President Mark Wood, Columbus State; Pres. Hoover, Columbus Technical College; and others on Tuesday, which was Columbus Day at the Capitol.

There was momentum by members of the House to move their bills out of committees, through Rules Committee and try to get them to the House Floor for a vote. House bills have to be presented, discussed, voted on with a passing vote before they can go to the Senate. All of this has to happen before Crossover Day, Thursday March 7, and we stayed late in the evening to vote on bills this week.

I met with Bill Griffin, Harris County resident, to talk about broadband. We had a good discussion, and Bill had some very helpful comments. Bill and I will be contacting Congressman Drew Ferguson to continue the conversation and look for ways to improve broadband in rural Georgia. I was able to pass HB 516 through the House, and it now goes to the Senate. HB 516 adds Structured Engineer as a designation on the licensing board, along with professional engineers and land surveyors, which are already designated. This will give advantage to those licensed when bidding for jobs.

Late last night, there was heavy debate on HB 426, the Hate Crimes Bill, and HB 481, the LIFE Act. Both bills were controversial for different reason. After listening to the robust debate, I voted for both bills to be passed. I also had a great meeting with the governor this week to thank him for the help in our area after the storm.