Local legislators reflects on new bills at legislative session

Published 6:12 pm Friday, February 17, 2017

With the 2017 Georgia Legislative Session getting underway, the senators and rep-resentatives from Decatur County have been busy in Atlanta. The bills going through the house and senate could affect not only everyone in Georgia, but there are many bills that greatly affect those in Decatur County.

As far as affecting those statewide, a new campus carry bill has been working its way through Atlanta, which is a revision of the same bill that Governor Deal vetoed last year.

District 171 Representative Jay Powell voted in favor of campus carry last year, and plans to do the same this year.

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“I understand the concern about guns on campus, but I am also aware of the stu-dents who feel like they cant protect themselves,” said Rep. Powell. “Regardless of your thinking about having guns on campus you have to think about how the thugs have guns but I can’t get one to protect myself.”

Rep. Powell does say that although he has not seen the bill yet, he thinks he will probably vote again in favor of it; specifically because the revision would include more safeguards that the Governor addressed in his initial veto.

Aside from the campus carry bill, the house has just passed an Internet sales tax bill that helps retailers across the state by requiring Internet sellers to charge a sales tax.

Rep. Powell is also personally introducing a piece of legislation that would rework the way income taxes are collected in the state of Georgia. The bill is set to help make the process easier, and in the long run will put more money back in residents pockets by making sure exemptions are not affected by inflation in future years.

In the Georgia Senate, the buzz is all focused on the water wars between Florida and Georgia. The Supreme Court Special Master assigned to the cased ruled in fa-vor of Georgia, which precedent shows that normally the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Special Master, according to District 11 Senator Dean Burke.