By: Sen. John Albers (R- Roswell)
As we close out week four of the 2013 session, it is great to see the Senate doing everything we can to make sure Georgia is properly represented and maintains its prosperity. We recognize the essential needs of Georgia and want to do everything we can to adequately address each issue. Several committees have met this week to speak with state agencies to discuss the impact of the Governor’s recommended budget cuts. The committees are also turning much of their attention to important pieces of legislation to help solve pressing issues in Georgia. I am excited to say that this week we have also recognized several outstanding groups of people who make me proud to call Georgia home.
This week in the State Senate, I was proud to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 152, which recognizes February 5, 2013, as Firefighters Recognition Day. It is very fitting that the firefighters of Georgia be remembered and honored by the Senate for their outstanding efforts and service to the people of Georgia. Our firefighters have dedicated their lives to protecting the people and property of this state, and it is only right that we show them our appreciation.
Being a fourth generation firefighter has shown me how important of a role Georgia firefighters play in protecting the people of Georgia. They have supported and lead efforts to increase awareness of fire safety and prevention. Most importantly, these firefighters often risk their own lives for the sake of others. Georgia’s firefighters exemplify the greatest commitment to our community. I’ll never know what causes us to rush in as all others rush away, but God is surely with us.
It is also important to recognize those who have helped pave the way for us. One of those men is former State Senator Dan Moody, my friend and predecessor. He was elected to the GDOT Board on Thursday and will be representing the suburban 6th Congressional District, which includes North Fulton, North DeKalb and East Cobb. Moody will fill a vacancy left by Brandon Beach, who is now one of my colleagues in the Georgia State Senate.
House Resolution 203 passed the Senate on Thursday, Feb. 7 with a vote of 52-0. This legislation provides for the nomination and election of the state auditor.
Statewide Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force Plan Passes the Senate
Senate Bill 14, which would establish a statewide Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force, passed the Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 6 by a vote of 51-0. If passed into law, this legislation will be responsible for assessing the current and future impact of these diseases, and will help build the necessary infrastructure for patient programs.
State of the Judiciary
Thursday, the Senate recessed to partake in the joint State of the Judiciary in the House Chamber. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein delivered her last annual speech, which centered on reforming our state’s juvenile justice system. Hunstein focused on exploring alternative options for non-violent offenders through community centers and services such as probation supervision, rehabilitation centers, anger management classes and family counseling. She referenced our adult justice system, which has successfully diverted non-violent offenders away from costly prison beds into alternative programs, enabling the state to slow the growth of its prison population and save $264 million over the next five years. To view the full text of the address, click here.
SR197 Passes to Raise Awareness to End Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
I was proud to stand with my colleagues in the Senate to pass SR197. This resolution helps to raise awareness for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Georgia is the first state to have begun scientifically tracking the number of adolescent girls victimized by CSEC. Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the capitol to raise awareness about the need to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Georgia.
Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee Counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at email@example.com.