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Georgia Senate passes nine bills this week, other updates

Hello!

After taking last week to give careful consideration of budget proposals set forth by our state agencies, the Senate reconvened for four legislative days this week. This was quite a productive week for the Senate, as we passed nine bills in total, all of which will have a positive impact on Georgians throughout the state.

One of these was Senate Bill 335. This bill would support our foster families by reducing certain training requirements for qualified foster parents, allowing juvenile cases to be prioritized and allowing for the

Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to work with additional child placing agencies to connect more children with loving homes. Each and every child deserves an opportunity to grow up in a stable and supportive home where their basic everyday needs can be met. As a state, we are aware of some of the troubling statistics surrounding the outcomes of children in foster care and this bill represents a meaningful step to ensuring a better life for these foster children.

The Senate also passed another bill that will assist our children in need. Senate Bill 345 addresses an oversight in current law that prevented a charity organization from distributing handmade sandwiches to youth. SB 345, or the “Save Our Sandwiches Bill,” establishes new guidelines that remove regulations preventing this practice while at the same time ensuring that all food distributed meets state and federal food safety guidelines. This is just another example of the legislature putting those in need at the top of our priority list and doing all we can to make certain no child in our state goes hungry.

We also had the honor of introducing the Georgia Restaurant Association last week. Our restaurant and food service community play a vital role in our state’s economy. Sometimes it can be overlooked. But with nearly 19,000 food establishments in the state employing close to 500,000 individuals, our restaurants are generating a more than $24 million economic impact annually. They deserve recognition for being an important driver of growth in our state. It was a pleasure to welcome the distinguished members of this important group to the Senate Chamber to thank them for all they do for Georgia’s restaurants.

With 16 legislative days completed, we are inching closer to our important Crossover Day deadline (which this year will take place March 12). Crossover Day represents the final day a Senate Bill can pass the Senate and “crossover” to the House to be considered and vice versa. This week, we are also anticipating taking up the Amended 2020 Fiscal Year budget, which recently passed out of the House. As the volume of work in our chamber continues to increase, we will keep the interests of all Georgians in mind to make our state as great as it can be.

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.

Sincerely,

Senator Dean Burke