2018-02-07 / Community

Under the Gold Dome

by: State Representative, Gerald Greene

We returned to the Gold Dome on Monday, January 29, for the fourth week of the 2018 legislative session. This week, House committees continued to hold hearings to review and discuss bill proposals, and the House convened to take up important issues and pass meaningful legislation.

The biggest news of the week was the House’s unanimous passage of House Bill 159, which would completely overhaul Georgia’s current adoption laws. The House collaborated with the Senate and the governor’s office to reach a compromise on HB 159, and after much deliberation, the House approved several of the Senate’s amendments and made a few additional changes to the legislation. The newest version of the adoption bill would update Georgia’s revocation period from 10 days to four days. Additionally, the House version of the adoption bill would allow birth mothers to receive reasonable living expenses in both private and agency adoptions. The updated adoption bill is now back in the Senate, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift action in passing the bill and sending this measure to Governor Deal’s for final approval.

The House also took up several other pieces of important legislation which includes House Bill 661. The bill passed unanimously and would change the process for filing and removing tax liens against real estate. HB 661 would update certain legislation which created a more efficient and transparent method for filing tax liens. The House passed another tax-related measure this week titled House Bill 694 which passed unanimously and would update the way motor fuel distributors and wholesalers submit their monthly motor fuel tax reports.

Also this week, the House passed a measure to provide more law enforcement officers with important state retirement benefits. House Bill 135 would expand the term “law enforcement officer” to include Department of Driver Services (DDS) investigators. Investigators would qualify to receive up to an additional five years of creditable service in the state’s Employees’ Retirement System (ERS).

Lastly, my House colleagues and I passed a measure this week in support of Georgia’s official state insect, the honey bee. House Bill 671 would create a specialty license plate to promote the conservation and protection of the honey bee, and the license plate would display an image of a honey bee and include the phrase “Save the Honey Bee.” These license plates would be available for purchase, and all proceeds collected from the license plate sales would be distributed to the Georgia Beekeepers Association.

We are well into the 2018 session, and on Monday, February 5, the General Assembly will reconvene for legislative Day 15 and legislative week five. My colleagues and I will be busier day by day as we get closer to legislative Day 28, or “Cross Over Day.” I encourage you to contact me to discuss your thoughts and opinions. I greatly value any feedback I receive from my constituents, and your input truly helps guide the decisions I make under the Gold Dome. My Capitol office number is 404-656-5105, and my email address is gerald.greene@house. ga.gov. Please contact me anytime.

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative, and that’s the way it is under the Gold Dome.

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