Session 2017: Week 4
Session 2017: Week 4
On January 30th, the Georgia House of Representatives rejoined for another productive week full of committee & subcommittee hearings. In Week 4 of the 2017 legislative session, my colleagues and I met in the House chamber to pass several bills that will improve our state and serve its citizens. I was happy to do my part in passing bills concerning public safety and agriculture.
The House unanimously passed House Bill 38 which distinguishes a 3-wheeled vehicle controlled by a steering wheel from a motorcycle. Because of the steering wheel on these 3-wheeled vehicles, they fall under the category of “automobile” according to federal safety standards. However, current law considers them to be in the motorcycle category. HB 38 requires drivers of 3-wheeled vehicles with steering wheels to have a Class C commercial driver’s license as opposed to a Class M motorcycle license. House Bill 58 also passed unanimously in the House last week. This bill updates the reference date for safe operation of motor carriers and commercial motor vehicles regulations. Our state’s current law concerning this matter refers to federal regulation in place as of Jan. 1, 2016. HB 58 will update this to Jan. 1, 2017 to ensure that Georgia adheres to current federal regulations. These changes will make sure that drivers have the appropriate licenses, regulations, and training and lesson the chances for injuries on the road.
I was pleased to see House Bill 49 pass as well which concerns our agriculture industry and farming citizens. This bill requires licensed livestock dealers and auction operators to acquire a license from the Commissioner of Agriculture, renew that license every 3 years, and maintain surety requirements to protect livestock producers from fraudulence. The Commissioner of Agriculture will begin publishing names and locations of licensed individuals online and in writing.
Currently, livestock dealer licenses have no expiration date and are free of cost. This makes it impossible for the Georgia Department of Agriculture to keep track of licensed livestock dealers and increases the chances of fraudulent online livestock dealings. HB 49 will promote further transparency in these dealings by revising what is required of a livestock dealer and of surety bonds or contracts used in livestock dealings. The Georgia Department of Agriculture will be able to charge $25 every 3 years for livestock dealers and livestock order buyers and no more than $200 based on the surety required for livestock markets every 3 years. This bill will not only promote transparency in the industry, but it will protect our hard working citizens and help them do their best work.
This week, my colleagues and I paused our work to honor Peach County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Smallwood and Sgt. Patrick Sondron. These men were shot and killed during duty on November 6, 2016. State Rep. Robert Dickey presented House Resolutions in honor of their sacrifice and for the loss felt by their families. We were joined by their colleagues in remembering these men who served their community and cared about the safety of its citizens. My thoughts and prayers are with their family members as they adjust to daily life.
Lastly, the House decided on an adjournment resolution that set the legislative calendar through the rest of the 40-day session. Day 40 or “sine die,” marks the final day of legislative session which will be on Thursday, March 30th. Until then, we will continue to work towards passing more legislation that will push Georgia forward.
You are welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 228-A State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334. I can also be reached by phone at 404.656.5099 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you on how I can help serve Georgia.
For more information about me, interact with me on Facebook. You can also visit www.house.ga.gov to view live streaming of the House proceedings. Check back here next week for more updates on the current legislative session. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative!
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