Burke says legislative session picking up momentum in senate

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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On Monday, February 10, my colleagues and I returned to the State Capitol for the fifth week of the 2020 legislative session. Previously, we voted on a legislative calendar to postpone meeting on the Senate floor in order to devote additional time to the state budgeting process.

Crafting the state budget is always an arduous process, and the fifth week of session proved to be especially significant as we dedicated our time to gathering more information on potential budget adjustments for the current and upcoming fiscal years and discussed budgetary priorities.

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Governor Brian Kemp previously instructed our state agencies to reduce spending by four percent in AFY 2020 and six percent in FY 2021, saving taxpayers millions of dollars on inefficient operational costs. Gov. Kemp’s recommended budget would reduce operational spending by $216 million in the AFY 2020 budget and an additional $341 million in the FY 2021 budget. Even with these reductions, the FY 2021 budget is still set at several hundred million dollars above the current fiscal year’s budget.

After hearing from state agencies throughout our subcommittee meetings, we gained a better understanding of the proposed budget and how state dollars may be appropriated for statewide services.

While we worked on the state budget last week, my colleagues and I received word that the federal government is taking steps to support the growth and expansion of the Savannah harbor and Port of Savannah, which is one of the busiest ports in the country and an economic driver in our state. President Donald Trump announced that his budget proposal includes $93.6 million in funds for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which will deepen Savannah’s harbor to allow for larger vessels. This vital project has a total projected cost of $1 billion, and these federal funds will help the project stay on track to finish by 2022.

Additionally, the Georgia Ports Authority announced that the Port of Savannah has been awarded $34.6 million through the Port Infrastructure Development Grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation to modernize the port’s loading docks. The Port of Savannah plays an important role in global commerce, and these investments will provide a great opportunity for the port to remain a worldwide leader in imports and exports.

I remain dedicated to serving your interests as your State Senator.

Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts or concerns on pending issues, or whenever I can be of service. My legislative offices are:

301-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.

Atlanta, GA 30334

Phone: (404) 656-0040

1906 Legette Drive

Bainbridge, GA 39819

Phone: (229) 243-6267

You can also stay in touch by visiting our website at http://www.senate.ga.gov/spo/en-US/SenateVideo.aspx to watch a live stream of the Senate in action, as well as archived committee meetings, and review legislation that we are considering.

Follow me on facebook for updates throughout the year.

I am honored to serve Senate District 11. Thank you for allowing me to be your Senator.


Senator Dean Burke