Final days of the session

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

By Vance Smith
Represents House District 133

The 2019 Session of the Georgia General Assembly came to a close on Tuesday, April 2 with Sine Die coming at 11:59 p.m.

On the 40th day, there is a constant flow of House bills coming back from the Senate that may have had changes made, amendments attached or a complete substitute has replaced the original bill. The House floor ran for a stressful 14 hours with all the paperwork piling up on the desks and amendments being offered.

I had one last bill that passed in the House earlier in the session, and it passed the Senate in the form of a substitute. I made a motion in the well of the House to amend the Senate substitute and send back to the Senate. After making this motion and it passing 139-17, I went to the Senate Floor to work the bill. My desire was to have the Senate agree to my amended version. After much conversation and with support from several Senators, my bill, HB 516, passed the Senate.

This legislation would give “structural engineers” a designation through the licensing board of the Secretary of State’s office. This meaningful designation will benefit clients who are looking for structural engineering partners to bid projects in or out of state.

Also on the last night, the Cannabis Oil Bill, HB 324, came out of a conference committee and back to the House Floor.

The conference committee consisted of three representatives and three senators who met for several hours to work out differences and come to a consensus. The Senate approved the conference committee report around 11:15 p.m. and the House approved the report around 11:30 p.m. This allows cannabis oil to be manufactured and distributed legally in Georgia to patients who have a medical condition that responds positively to the cannabis oil treatment.