Burke qualifies for re-election, updates public on passed bills

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Hello!
On Tuesday, March 8, I returned to the Georgia State Capitol for another eventful week of the 2022 legislative session. The Crossover Day deadline is approaching in a matter of days, so this week was one of our busiest and most crucial times of the session thus far. We took advantage of an entire committee work day and spent three long days in the Senate Chamber to vote on a multitude of bills.

SB 377 Divisive Concepts in Education
This bill will require state agencies, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, units of the University System of Georgia, units of the Technical College System of Georgia, local boards of education, and local school systems to take measures to prevent the use of curricula or training programs which act upon, promote, or encourage certain concepts of discrimination on the basis of race, skin color, or ethnicity. It requires that diversity and inclusion training programs and similar efforts directed to the employees or students of such entities shall encourage such employees or students not to judge others based on skin color or ethnicity. It provides for a complaint resolution policy, process, and appeals for local school systems and for promulgation of model policy and guidance by the State Board of Education.

SB 474 was a proposal that would help our state’s farmers and exempt crop-dusting airplanes from ad valorem taxes as other states have done. These planes known as “air tractors” are basically high boy sprayers with wings. They are used only for spraying crops.

The majority of crop dusters are farmers themselves who also contract with other farmers to treat their crops. Fuel for these planes has gone up 300% in the past two years. The only people these Agricultural pilots have to pass the increased costs to are our state’s farmers who are at the mercy of the markets and will ultimately have to absorb the increase costs. Farm inputs are up 50%, farm debt is as high has it’s been since 1986 during the Farm economy collapse of the 1980’s.

The initial vote on this bill failed along party lines. It is my hope we can see this pass this week. We need to support our Georgia farmers.

The Senate will return next week to reconvene for Crossover Day. Known for being one of the longest days of the session, Crossover Day is the last day that a bill can pass out of its chamber of origin. Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have about legislation, policies or issues that impact our community.

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:

421-B State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Office: (404) 656-0040

1608 Pineland 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