November 30, 2018 | Brian The Senate Honored Sen. Fran Millar with Senate Resolution 7EX for his long, dedicated years of service in the Georgia General Assembly. Millar currently serves as the Higher Education Committee Chairman. The Constitution of the State of Georgia allows for the governor to assembly special sessions of the General Assembly if need be. Gov. Nathan Deal called for a special session to begin on Tuesday, November 13th in order to address the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and how it affected our Southwest Georgia communities. The House and Senate met for five days during this special session in order to amend the Fiscal Year 2019 budget (FY 2019 budget) so our state can heal and rebuild. I’m sure you are aware of the extent that Hurricane Michael devastated our state. Southwest Georgia took approximately a $2.5 billion loss within the agriculture and timber industries. The University of Georgia Extension reported an updated assessment of a staggering $550 million in cotton crop loss and a $13 million loss in the landscape and green industry. Our pecan farmers lost about $560 million and our high-yielding vegetables—sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and peas—took a $480 million loss. Even our poultry industry took a huge hit at $25 million lost as well as our peanut industry at $25 million lost. Finally, the Georgia Forestry Commission reported over 37 million tons of timber where either damaged or destroyed resulting in about $763 million in losses. The Senate passed House Bill 1 EX in order to amend the FY 2019 budget to account for these losses. Members also spent time this week honoring and remembering Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice P. Harris Hines and State Representative John Meadows. These men devoted their lives to making Georgia better for all communities. My prayers and condolences are with their family members. Continue reading for a few more highlights from this special session. You can also watch live footage from the session here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Streaming/en-US/Channel/Senate Tuesday, November 13 Honoring the Life of Former Chief Justice P. Harris Hines Senate Resolution 4EX honors the life of the Honorable P. Harris Hines. He began his career in 1974, went on the serve on the Georgia Supreme Court in 1995, and was elected Chief Justice in 2016. We took time to remember him for his upstanding character and being voted Cobb County’s Most Admired Community Leader. Wednesday, November 14 Senate Remembers Georgia House Representative John Meadows Rep. John Meadows served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later served on the Calhoun City Council, Mayor of Calhoun, and represented the Georgia House’s 5th District for 6 terms. Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller sponsored Senate Resolution 6EX to honor his life and all he did for the people he served. He will surely be missed by all of us at the Capitol. Lieutenant Governor-Elect Geoff Duncan Visits the Senate We got the opportunity to welcome Geoff Duncan as the Lt.Governor-Elect. He paid the Senate a visit to formally introduce himself and to express his eagerness to join us in the chamber with the work we are doing for Georgia citizens. Friday, November 16 Gordon Lee High School Boys’ Golf Team Honored Senate Resolution 8EX, sponsored by Jeff Mullis, honors the Gordon Lee High School Boys’ Golf Team for winning the 208 Georgia High School Association Class A state golf championship. Saturday, November 17 Amended Fiscal Year 2019 Budget On Saturday, November 17th Sen. Jack Hill ( R-Reidsville) carried House Bill 1 EX to amend to FY 2019 budget which appropriates $250 million for hurricane relief. House Bill 4EX – Income Tax Credit for Owners of Timberland Destroyed by Hurricane Michael House Bill 4EX, carried by Sen. Larry Walker, passed with a vote of 52-0. This bill would allow timberland owners in the 28 counties to apply for an income tax credit worth 100% of timberland’s value lost in the storm with a cap of $200 m. and an individual cap of $400 per eligible acre of timberland. Jet Fuel Sales and Tax Suspension Approved and Extended House Bill 5X passed with a vote of 43 to 9 and would approve and extend the jet fuel sales and use tax suspension until June 30. 2019. This bill would also prevent the governor from suspending the sales and use on jet fuel unless a state of emergency is declared. You can view more bills and info about session on the Georgia State Senate Facebook page. Reach out to me here: (404) 427-2280 | Email me. You can also interact with me on my Facebook page and visit my State Senate Profile to view the committees I am involved with. Thank you for reading!