Robertson’s update from the capitol

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Following the brief pause, elected officials took last week to discuss the budget, a reinvigoration of the General Assembly allowed members to complete four session days that were characterized by substantial legislative progress and engaging dialogue. 

With that, the Senate is beginning to see an influx of legislative initiatives, paired with a significant increase in the number of items heard in committees and the chamber. 

While our days are getting busier and longer, the aim is always to honor the stories, opinions and insight of the various members of the Georgia community. My job as a state senator is to make sure Senate District 29 prospers under the Gold Dome, though I am not able to do that without the input of local leaders who devote themselves every day to make sure our neighborhoods remain a great place to live and work.

Given our state’s ability to foster a wonderful sense of community, it was my pleasure to help sponsor Senate Resolution 594 recognizing Feb. 18, 2020, as Columbus Day at the state Capitol; a region known for its commitment to statewide service and leadership. 

Columbus, as a result, has been able to establish itself as a city defined by distinct character and vibrancy, while its infrastructural and economic development has played an instrumental role in the overall success of Georgia-grown businesses, agencies and organizations. 

For one, the wide availability of outdoor recreational centers and educational programs has made the city a great place to raise a family, a statement I can unequivocally attest to. 

Similarly, the area’s prominence of defense, national and international institutions has helped broaden our state’s military capabilities in indescribable ways. Columbus has contributed greatly to Georgia and I look forward to seeing its continued success in the years to come.

Legislatively, I hope to provide added assistance to the protection of our communities through Senate Bill 272, which I presented in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday. 

SB 272 would prohibit the sale of all drug products containing dextromethorphan to minors by providing definitions, state regulations and the need for proper identification. 

Dextromethorphan is a drug most commonly used in over-the-counter cold and cough suppressant medicines. 

However it has been increasingly mixed with other drugs or substances to create a hallucinogen that causes mild sensations of euphoria. Individuals, especially young adults and minors, are subsequently more susceptible to
recreationally abusing dextromethorphan given the fact it is a more affordable and accessible alternative to alcohol or other drugs. 

Our state places legal restrictions on other harmful substances and this should be no different. SB 272 would stop the enticement for minors to overuse a cough medicine that can lead to possible overdosing, liver damage and even death. 

Next week, the Senate will reconvene for our second five day legislative week and much like the former, I anticipate this to be one of the most eventful weeks leading up to Crossover Day. With a full week in Chamber and committees, my colleagues and I will be able to dedicate a greater amount of our time to discussing the issues that matter the most to you. 

These legislative topics are some of the most complicated and sensitive policy areas in our state and we must make sure we are being as thorough as possible to prevent any kind of undue harm on our citizens. 

As I iterated before, I work to represent you, so if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or stop by the Capitol. 

I would love to hear from you.