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23 December 2019

The 155th Georgia Assembly — Part II

Written by Senator John Albers

On Monday, January 13, legislators will reconvene for the second half of the 155th Georgia General Assembly. Legislation that did not receive final passage during the 2019 session could be taken up during the second half of the biennial. Some of the pending issues address surprise medical billing, transportation updates, marketplace fairness, and tax infrastructure assessments, among others.

Along with addressing pending issues, I want to present additional priorities during the upcoming session. Even though we’ve made positive strides to address the needs of our first responders, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, I will continue to work with committee members, state agencies, and first responders to secure proper additional funding for salaries, training, and retirement services.

While protecting all citizens is always a priority, recent discoveries around the state have put senior citizens at the top of the list. An investigation into upscale senior citizen homes in the state has found 600 cases of neglect and 90 cases of abuse.

A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation uncovered cases in which “seniors were left in urine-soaked briefs, emergency calls for help went unanswered for hours, and residents with dementia wandered away unnoticed. Others fell repeatedly, suffering bruises, bloody faces, and broken bones. Some suffered in pain for days without treatment.”

These findings are horrific and unacceptable. I will work with my colleagues to address any and all necessary measures to improve care for our senior citizens in the nearly 400 facilities around the state that should always be providing quality service. In addition to addressing protection for our senior citizens, we will continue to review measures that protect Georgia’s families, specifically children. I will continue my work from last session to ensure that Georgia’s children are not only safe in our school buildings but also while they are traveling to and from school.

Safety for our citizens is critical in the physical sense, but also regarding jobs and financial stability. I am proud that Georgia was once again named the No. 1 state in which to do business, for a record seven years in a row. Currently, 90% of Fortune 500 companies have operations in Georgia, while 18 of these companies have made Georgia their world headquarters. Though these accomplishments are wonderful for Georgians, we will continue to increase economic and job growth throughout the state. I will work with my colleagues to pass legislation to incentivize businesses to not only come to Georgia, but also to stay here and expand.

These are just a few of the priorities I will work on during the 2020 session. While there are issues pending from the first year of the biennial, new ones will inevitably arise. I will continue to keep you all informed and hope you will reach out with any questions, feedback, or input. My door is always open, and I am here to help.

From the Albers family to your family, we wish a very Happy New Year!

About the Author

Senator John Albers

Senator John Albers

Senator John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton county. 404-463-8055, John.Albers@Senate.Ga.gov.