This Week in the Senate—March 18-22, 2024

March 25, 2024

As the 2024 Legislative Session nears its conclusion, the Georgia Senate is in the midst of its final days, with only one week left to address legislative matters. This last week marks the culmination of our collective efforts as a caucus and as individual legislators.

I’m pleased to announce the passage of House Bill 935, widely recognized as the “Back the Blue Act.” This measure establishes the Back the Blue Fund, providing bonuses to certified peace officers across Georgia. I stand in unwavering support of our law enforcement personnel and commend the Republican caucus for their backing of this vital legislation.

Furthermore, the Georgia Senate has taken significant steps regarding various tax-related proposals. I am delighted to have supported House Bill 808, which enhances the statewide ad valorem tax exemption for tangible personal property. This initiative aims to empower Georgians by putting more money in their pockets, fostering reinvestment in the economy, and directly aiding the state's small businesses, which generate the majority of job opportunities. I also voted in favor of House Bill 1015, a priority initiative for Governor Brian P. Kemp. This bill reduces the income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39%, thereby promoting economic growth and prosperity. HB 1015 will enhance our economic landscape, ensuring Georgia remains a premier destination for business ventures.

We have also taken further action against individuals seeking to harm Georgia communities and countries aiming to undermine our national security. Senate Republicans proudly passed House Bill 301 and House Bill 1105 this week, reaffirming our commitment to safety across all Georgia communities. HB 301 enables residents to seek declaratory judgments against local governments that enact dangerous immigration sanctuary policies, while HB 1105 mandates local law enforcement cooperation with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.

Furthermore, Senate Republicans passed multiple pieces of legislation specifically targeting foreign adversaries seeking to compromise our national security and financial stability. Earlier this week, we passed House Bill 185, which mandates Georgia’s University System to report certain funding received from foreign adversaries. Additionally, Senate Republicans were pleased to see Georgia’s House of Representatives pass Senate Bill 420, which prohibits dangerous foreign entities from acquiring land near secure areas, including military bases. As global security evolves, Georgia must remain prepared to adapt accordingly.

This week on the Senate Floor, I had the privilege of advancing several significant measures. Among them, House Bill 499 empowers courts to direct one or both parents to provide financial assistance to a dependent adult child who has reached the age of majority. Additionally, House Bill 1010 raises the maximum amount of paid parental leave and confirms eligibility for full-time employees of local education agencies. House Bill 1201 grants courts the authority to vacate certain sentences, restrict records of specific offenses, and outlines the definition of a "commercial sexual exploitation recovery center." Furthermore, House Bill 1267 establishes the Georgia Tax Court to handle tax disputes within the state, while House Resolution 598 institutes the Georgia Tax Court vested with the judicial power of the state. The Georgia Senate has granted full passage to all these crucial pieces of legislation, and they are now en route to the Governor's desk for signature into law.

In addition to these achievements, I am pleased to report that several bills I sponsored have received full passage through the House this week, eagerly anticipating the Governor's signature in the weeks to come:

Each week, constituents, associations and organizations alike come to the Capitol to visit the Senate chamber. Senate members were honored to welcome the family and friends of Laken Riley, a former UGA student who was tragically murdered by an illegal immigrant who used our nation’s porous federal immigration policy to cause harm. I continue to pray for the family and friends of Laken, the Athens community and our state as we grieve this unimaginable and completely unnecessary loss.

This week, I had the honor of paying tribute to two remarkable public servants of our state. I stood before my colleagues to commemorate the life of Locust Grove Mayor Robert Price. Mayor Price's journey began as a Councilman in 2007 before assuming the role of Mayor in 2012. Throughout his tenure, Mayor Price consistently ran for reelection unopposed, a testament to the trust and support he earned from the people of Locust Grove. His absence will be deeply felt in our community.

Additionally, I addressed the Senate to celebrate the life and legacy of James Coan “Jimmy” Carter Jr., who passed away last month. Born and raised in my hometown of McDonough, Jimmy Carter Jr. possessed a genuine dedication to serving his community. His extraordinary impact will endure in McDonough for generations to come.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if I can assist with legislative matters as the 2024 Legislative Session enters its final week.

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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