This Week in the Senate—March 25-29, 2024

April 2, 2024

The 2024 Legislative Session has officially wrapped up, and from the get-go, Senate Republicans set ambitious goals for the session—to expand economic opportunities, fostering an educated workforce and enhancing community safety, all aimed at ensuring the well-being of Georgians. I couldn't be prouder of our accomplishments this session.

We wasted no time in tackling a range of legislative priorities, from tax relief to education, workforce development, and public safety. The Georgia Senate successfully provided $2 billion in tax relief for state-income taxpayers and homeowners through SB 349, putting money directly back into the pockets of hardworking Georgians. Additionally, SB 426, our tort reform legislation, safeguards Georgia businesses and curbs frivolous lawsuits that drive up insurance costs and hinder economic growth. We also took significant action by unanimously supporting Sen. Greg Dolezal’s SB 233, which offers school choice to students stuck in underperforming public schools.

Furthermore, we worked diligently to streamline regulations, passing several workforce development measures to expedite employment for various professionals and military spouses. And we didn't stop there—we took a strong stance against gangs, violent criminals and rogue prosecutors with legislation like the “Safeguarding Adopted Children from Sexual Violence Act” and the “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act,” as well as various bills addressing illegal immigration.

Our commitment to Georgia's future was evident this week, with the passage of several crucial bills. Most notably, we came together with the House to approve the state FY 2025 budget, ensuring essential funding for education, law enforcement, and mental health programs. Crafting this $36 billion budget was no small feat, but it reflects Georgia's steadfast fiscal conservatism amidst federal spending recklessness. This budget prioritizes our children, allocating significant funds for literacy programs, pupil transportation, and school security grants. After all, our children are the future of Georgia, and they deserve nothing but the best from this body.

In addition to passing the budget, Senate Republicans passed legislation protecting vulnerable minors, Georgia elections, law enforcement vehicles, firearms carriers and motorists. House Bill 993 would create the felony offense of grooming a minor punishable by one to five years in prison. It also protects against the sexual exploitation of minors using digitally altered material. House Bill 959 would create the Victims of Human Trafficking Fund and the Victims of Human Trafficking Fund Commission. House Bill 974 requires the Office of the Secretary of State to establish and maintain a state-wide system for the posting of scanned paper ballots and expand the number of risk-limiting audits of races. House Bill 500 would create the offense of arson of a law enforcement vehicle. House Bill 1018, titled the “Georgia Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act” would require the use of a firearms code that distinguishes firearms retailers from other retailers. Lastly, House Bill 617 would develop and maintain a state-wide freight and logistics implementation plan. Each of these pieces of legislation serves a significant purpose in protecting Georgians every day, and I was proud to support them in the Senate chamber.

During the final two days of the 2024 Legislative Session HB 220 and HB 1409 , which I carried in the Senate, received full passage.

I'd like to highlight HB 1010, which received final passage this week in the House after we passed it through the Senate in our previous week of session. This measure raises the maximum amount of paid parental leave relative to public officers and employees. HB 1010 now awaits the Governor's signature after its changes were approved by the House and I was proud to see this legislation achieve final passage by the General Assembly.

In summary, the 2024 Legislative Session was marked by significant achievements that will undoubtedly make Georgia stronger for generations to come. Thank you for your support and concern—it's because of you that we can continue to work towards a better future for our state.

Senator Brian Strickland
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary

This Week in the Senate—March 25-29, 2024
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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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