By: Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson)
With only 28 days remaining in this year’s legislative session, things are moving along smoothly here at the Capitol. Committee meetings are well underway and the first bill of the session has passed through the Senate. The work that has already been done is encouraging and I am enthusiastic about what we have yet to achieve.
The first bill to pass this session was Senate Bill 25, regarding when a driver needs to stop, or not stop, when passing a stopped school bus. Last session’s House Bill 978 contained an accidental measure that allowed drivers to pass a stopped school bus when moving in the opposite direction with a single turn lane separating the directions of traffic. This caused confusion for law enforcement and drivers, and put our schoolchildren in danger on their way to and from school. SB 25 clears up this language by clarifying that a stopped school bus can be passed by drivers on the other side of the road only if there is separation by a grass median, unpaved area or physical barrier. This bill passed with bipartisan and unanimous support and we hope the House takes quick action to get this legislation passed. SB 25 will go into effect as soon as Governor Brian P. Kemp signs it, so that our children are protected by the law as promptly as possible.
As a new member of the Senate Rules Committee, I am encouraged by its productivity as we already placed two pieces of legislation on the agenda. In addition to Senate Bill 25, the Senate heard and passed Senate Resolution 19, which creates a Georgia Commission on Freight, Innovation and Logistics. The Commission would formulate a strategic business plan focused on the development of statewide freight and logistics infrastructure. I look forward to seeing what this new commission can do to improve Georgia’s transportation and increase our market’s viability.
Last week we outlined the schedule for the rest of session. We set the dates for Crossover Day, the last day in which Senate bills can be voted on for the first time in our chamber as March 7th, and April 2nd as Sine Die, the last day of session. Though it seems far off, the remaining 29 days will move quickly, and I will work my hardest to ensure that we achieve as much as possible for both my district and the state of Georgia.
As always, I am honored to represent Senate District 25 and thank you for your continued trust in me. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to my office – our door is always open.
Sen. Burt Jones is the Chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee. He represents the 25th Senate District which includes Baldwin, Butts, Greene, Jasper, Morgan and Putnam counties and portions of Bibb, Jones and Walton counties. He may be reached at 404.656.0082 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.