This Week in the Senate—February 26-March 1, 2024

March 4, 2024

As the week progressed, the Senate achieved a significant milestone with the completion of “Crossover Day” on February 29th. This day marks the deadline for all Senate bills to cross over to the House chamber and vice versa. Throughout the 2024 Legislative Session, Senate Republicans have experienced considerable success, advancing every priority defined by our caucus on to the House of Representatives. Despite this achievement, our dedication to serving Georgians never waned, as we passed several additional bills to further our work for the benefit of this state.

I had the privilege of standing alongside my fellow majority caucus members to support various pieces of legislation aimed at protecting Georgians from domestic swatting, foreign threats and human trafficking. Notably, Senate Bill 421, which enhances penalties for false public alarms, commonly known as swatting, received unanimous approval from the Senate this week. This bipartisan effort underscores our commitment to holding swatters accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I commend my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their dedication to defending the interests of Georgians. Next, the bill will undergo further consideration by the House.

The Georgia Senate also took decisive action to safeguard Georgians from foreign adversaries, with a particular focus on protecting our farmers. I proudly supported Senate Bill 420, which prohibits certain foreign individuals and entities from acquiring possessory interests in specific land. Georgia's agricultural sector is the backbone of our economy, generating $83.6 billion annually and sustaining countless livelihoods. Given the threats posed by foreign actors, it's imperative that we take proactive measures to safeguard our farmlands and critical areas, such as military bases. I was pleased to join Governor Brian P. Kemp in celebrating the vital contributions of Georgia's farmers at the State Capitol this week. They work tirelessly to put food on our tables, shelter over our heads and fuel our economy.

In addition to advocating for our majority caucus’ priorities, I continued working on my individual legislative priorities. Specifically, I am proud to have sponsored several pieces of legislation that all focus on enhancing Georgia’s families and the safety mechanisms that correspond with family building and healthcare. The “Pregnancy Protection Act” (Senate Bill 283) provides for reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees for circumstances related to pregnancy and childbirth; while Senate Bill 371 updates and strengthens Georgia’s peace officer workers’ compensation plan; and two other pieces of legislation aim to better our state’s procedures within the central caregivers registry, criminal mental incompetency and restoration programs, and the state’s Behavioral Health Coordinating Council for veterans.

Each week under the Gold Dome, constituents, associations and organizations alike come to the Capitol to speak to legislators and host events with public officials. I was incredibly proud to recognize Rusty Strawn, the CEO of Strawn and Co. Insurance, as a model Georgian (Senate Resolution 220); as well as encouraging my senate colleagues to recognize Feb. 22 as “Strolling Thunder Day” (SR 691) to honor Georgia’s 650,000 children under the age of five by emphasizing the importance of prioritizing our youngest learners in public policy for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous state.

Our week began on a somber note following the tragic passing of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student from Georgia. Laken's untimely departure has left a void in the hearts of her family, friends and the Athens community. What's even more heartbreaking is that she was taken from us by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested and released back into our society multiple times. It's alarming to think that, in Joe Biden’s America, every state has become vulnerable to crime, illegal substances and a lack of direction from federal leadership. Here in Georgia, Senate Republicans are working tirelessly to ensure that every legal citizen feels safe. I personally pledge to continue fighting against careless and dangerous immigration policies in the days ahead.

Please never hesitate to contact my office if I can assist with legislative matters. I hope to see you under the Gold Dome soon as the 2024 Legislative Session continues.

Senator Brian Strickland
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary

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In 2023 the Georgia State Senate District 17 will encompass parts of Walton, Newton, Henry, and Morgan with over 150,000 registered voters. Brian Strickland entered his third full term in the Georgia Senate in 2021. Brian, his wife Lindsay, and their two children reside in McDonough, GA. Through Brian’s leadership position at the capitol where he fights for District 17, and all of Georgia, he has impacted Georgia for the better through various executed actions.  Not only did Brian support the First Responder bill which aids police, firefighter, and EMS personnel but he was a key player in the passing of the Georgia Criminal Justice reform bills and Georgia Surprise Medical bills. Above and beyond that, Brian labored to bring funding to Southern Crescent Technical College making it one of the top technical schools in Georgia and is constantly raising the bar in the fight against human trafficking.

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