Senate completes penultimate week of 2022 Legislative Session

Published 9:14 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

Hello!
The Senate has just completed its penultimate full week of the 2022 Legislative Session. The period between Crossover Day and Sine Die is typically composed of the most hectic action of the session with votes occur­ring on the floor at a record pace, and this year has been no exception. Last week alone, the Senate took up and considered 20 bills and resolutions. The General Calendar (all remaining bills available for action), however, remains lengthy and while it would be impossible to vote on each and every remaining measure, we are certain to hold increasingly longer days in the Senate Chamber debating and passing significant legislation.

Earlier last week, Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 1302, officially codifying the disbursement of refunds that all Georgia taxpayers will receive over the next few weeks. The refund amount will depend on filing status, with sin­gle filers eligible for a refund of $250, joint filers eligible for $500 and $350 for those filing as the head of a household. These refunds are a testament to Georgia’s strong financial leadership, putting our state in the enviable position to be able to return surplus funds back to the taxpayer.

Our state is proud of its reputation as the best state in the nation in which to do business. While we are honored to have this legacy, we are also committed to making our state the best in the nation to serve in the military. Our state contains some of the finest military installations in the world and produces the most qualified and professional fighting men and women in the armed forces. In order to keep our service members and their families financially secure here in Georgia, we passed House Bill 1064, which would exempt up to $17,500 of qualified taxable income for military service members under the age of 62. This measure supports our military service members and encourages them to continue to reside in Georgia.

Allowing TRS Retirees Who Return to Work to Continue Receiving Retirement Benefits
House Bill 385, would allow certain individuals who retire as part of the teachers Retirement System who return to work in high-need areas to continue to receive their retirement income and any other post-retirement benefits.

Creating an Elementary Agricultural Educational Program
House Bill 1303, would establish a permanent elementary agricultural education program as an elective and would require school systems to employ an agricultural education teacher and the Department of Education to establish an agricultural education curriculum.

On Friday, the Senate passed our version of the General Budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year (FY23). The FY23 budget totals just over $30 billion and targets specific areas of need including public safety, education, and healthcare.

There are only five legislative days left in the 2022 legislative session, and the Senate will be busier than ever during these final days to ensure that we pass sound policies for all Georgia residents. As we continue to work with the House to secure the final passage of legislation this year, please do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts you may have about bills being considered at your State Capitol during these final days of the session. Your input will help guide my decisions during this crucial time, and I always appreciate your feedback.

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