2014 Capitol Update – Week 3 – Start, stop, run

We started fast, we stopped, we raced to the weekend

Well, this was an interesting week at the Capitol to say the least. We started fast on Monday, came to a grinding halt on Wednesday, and accelerated again playing catch-up on Friday.

I attended the Mayor’s Day breakfast sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association on Monday morning. After a brief floor session, the Alcohol and Tobacco Subcommittee of House Regulated Industries passed two bills I presented – HB 737 (permits home brewers to transport a gallon of beer) and HB 751 (repeals a section of meaningless code). Monday afternoon I met with representatives from several Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) to hear their concerns about HB 649 that would require submission of annual audits to the state (the audits are already prepared and subject to Georgia’s Open Meetings Act – the bill allows submission by email).

After Tuesday’s floor session, I presented HB 762 to the Highway Safety Subcommittee of Motor Vehicles and received a unanimous “due pass” recommendation. HB 762 adds active sanitation workers / vehicles to Georgia’s existing “slow down to get around” law by requiring motorists to change lanes, reduce speed, and/or stop when approaching an active sanitation worker operating in the roadway. Did you know that in 2012, the Labor Department ranked sanitation worker was the fourth most dangerous job in America as measured by deaths per 100,000?Snow began to fall Tuesday afternoon necessitating cancellation of the Ways & Means Committee meeting. I had hoped to present HB 648 that upon adoption into law would reclaim the fourth cent of motor fuels sales tax for transportation rather than the state’s General Fund. [Related article: An old penny for transportation]

Wednesday and Thursday the House adjourned and conducted no business. I hope you and your family fared well during the snow and ice storm.

The House reconvened at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. In addition to passing several local issues, the House passed HB 176 the Mobile Broadband bill.

Committee calendars

House committee meeting calendar:

Senate committee meeting calendar:

Family Page Day

The Swilley's served as pages in the Georgia House.
The Swilley’s served as pages in the Georgia House.

Upcoming bills of interest

HB 875 the Safe Carry Protection Act further expands and secures our Second Amendment Rights – I have co-signed this legislation. This proposal expands areas that licensed citizens may carry a weapon in Georgia including Church and Bar (with property owner permission) and Public Buildings (without active security). The bill also eliminates the requirement for fingerprinting when renewing your license.

HB 885 Haleigh’s Hope Act provides a pathway for prescribing medical cannabis strictly controlled for a limited number of serious health conditions – I have co-signed this legislation.

As always, I remain appreciative that you allow me to serve as your state Representative. I encourage you to contact me with any comments or questions you have about the legislation being considered at the state Capitol.  You can reach me at my Capitol office at 404-656-0254 or on my cell at 404-966-5804 or via email at brett.harrell@house.ga.gov.

Thank you,


Brett Harrell