Update from the capitol

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By Randy Robertson

With the completion of the 28th legislative day, I can officially say I have survived my first “Crossover Day” as a state Senator. This marks the first real deadline of the session as all Senate bills wishing to be signed by the Governor had to be passed in our chamber before heading to the House for consideration. All in all, 68 pieces of legislation were heard on the Senate floor this week, though not all the measures passed.

Of the many bills that passed this week, two of them were bills I sponsored. Senate Bill 208 would revise current implied consent notice in DUI cases to remove the term “breath.” Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court made a ruling that the refusal to take a breathalyzer test in suspected cases of DUI could not be used against you in court. SB 208 would amend the script of the implied consent notice by clarifying that only a refusal to submit blood or urine can be used against them in court. Basically, this brings the Supreme Court decision to the local level.

The second bill I sponsored is Senate Bill 95. This bill deals with local control and would allow counties, cities and local governments that are considered Electric Cities to extend contracts for energy utilities, including solar and wind derived energy, from 10 to 20 years. It’s a simple measure, but something that will help local municipalities do what is best for their citizens and reduces the need to contract so often.

Lastly, a piece of legislation especially important to my family and I is Senate Bill 163, also known as the “Tim Tebow Act.” While I know Tim Tebow might be a sore subject for Georgia football fans, his story is one that I think resonates with many of us. A Division I football star and Heisman Trophy winner who just so happened to be homeschooled and played on his local school district’s varsity football team is a story that so many Georgia families would like to hear. However, current law does not allow these tax-paying citizens to allow their child the opportunity to play on public school sports teams or participate in interscholastic activities like a debate team. This bill would change that by allowing students who are home schooled to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s designated public school system.

Many of the pieces of legislation we’ll be hearing from here on out will be House bills. That being said, there are several measures you’ve likely heard about in the news. I encourage you to reach out to my office to let me know how you feel about the issues. After all, this Senate seat belongs to you, I just sit in it. Thank you again for the opportunity.