2019-01-09 / Front Page

Legislature convenes Monday

Senator Dean Burke and Representative Gerald Greene return to Atlanta this weekend along with their fellow legislators for the 2019 General Assembly which convenes Monday Jan. 14.

Brian Kemp will also be inaugurated as Georgia’s new governor Monday. Kemp, an avid University of Georgia fan, is holding his swearing-in ceremony on the campus of Georgia Tech in Midtown, at the McCamish Pavilion.

Legislators will be addressing a number of issues during the session including Georgia’s transition from electronic to paper ballots; measures to improve school-safety recommended by the Senate School Safety Study Committee and President Donald Trump’s school safety commission; religious freedom legislation that mirrors federal law; longer summers for Georgia students; legislation to allow medical marijuana to be grown in Georgia, thus licensing growers, manufacturers and dispensaries; and stiffer child sex trafficking laws.

Senator Burke will be focused on healthcare and the needs of rural Southwest Georgia.

“Ultimately, we are looking to improve access to healthcare in rural Georgia, stabilize the rural hospital system, and adopt strategies that allow communities to participate in developing ways that healthcare can work better for them locally,” Burke stated.

“I’m looking forward to continuing some important conversations we started last session about healthcare with the Kemp administration,” he added.

Rep. Greene, the #2 ranked seniority member of the House, cites work- ing on the “education, healthcare and economic needs of Southwest Georgia” being among his top priorities during the General Assembly.

Adopting a budget is the legislature's only real constitutional obligation. Kemp will introduce his first budget as governor in the session’s opening days.

Committee assignments have not been announced for the 2019 General Assembly. Both Burke and Greene served on several committees last year.

Rep. Greene served as chairman of the State Properties Committee and as a member of the Appropriations, Economic Development & Tourism, Public Safety/Homeland Security, Rules and Retirement committees.

Senator Burke served as chairman of the Ethics Committee, vice chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and as a member of the Appropriations and Agriculture/Consumer Affairs committees.

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