Update from the Capitol

Published 6:05 pm Monday, February 22, 2021

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As week six comes to a close here in the Gold Dome, we are rapidly approaching the halfway point in the 2021 Legislative Session and momentum in passing legislation has continued to build.

Although the Senate only convened for three legislative days this week, committees were hard at work and multiple bills were passed on the Senate floor to help better the lives of those who live here.

While the Senate body worked to pass bills that we believe will best serve you, this week was particularly busy for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to have several of my bills heard in committee for the first time.

The first bill, Senate Bill 115, is one that I hope will help address many of the public safety issues we have experienced over the years, and work towards building a safer Georgia.

In brief, the bill would advise the Department of Public Safety to work with the Department of Driver Services to craft a curriculum to be included in our driver’s manual and training programs that would educate individuals on the best practices to follow when interacting with law enforcement officers. Specifically touching on cases related to traffic stops, this instructional course would help provide counsel on the appropriate actions to take, for all parties involved.

In support of creating a safe environment for all Georgians, Senate Bill 116, or “The Maternity Supportive Housing Act,” would create and provide housing for pregnant young women aged 18 years or older. More specifically, residential homes operating on behalf of a nonprofit organization would be allowed to house up to six pregnant women at any time, and would allow them to stay through their pregnancy and up to 18 months after they give birth.

This bill would provide a vulnerable portion of our population with the safety and security they need throughout their pregnancy and by extension, work toward improving our state’s infant and maternal mortality rates.

The final bill I presented in full committee is Senate Bill 114, which would allow individuals convicted of certain crimes and are currently under supervision by a community supervision officer to obtain an occupational license. 

During my time in law enforcement, I have seen firsthand how sometimes, some good, bright-minded individuals can make bad choices. These mistakes should not taint them for the rest of their life, and SB 114 would provide them with new opportunities and the chance to give back to this state in various skillsets.