We have officially reached the half-way point of the legislative session. I am proud of the incredible things we have already accomplished under the Gold Dome, from passing a balanced Amended Fiscal Year 2019 budget, to crafting meaningful legislation that will improve the lives of all Georgians. As committee meetings continue to meet and bills continue to be passed over the next 20 legislative days, I look forward to seeing what this body can achieve.
I am proud to announce that two important pieces of legislation I sponsored and carried passed committee and the Senate last week that honor two great Georgians, former Governors Nathan Deal and Zell Miller. House Resolution 1, which I carried, passed through the Senate on Friday, Feb. 22, and received final passage. This legislation honors the life and legacy of Governor Deal and will name the new state appellate judicial complex the “Nathan Deal Judicial Center.” Governor Nathan Deal is an honorable governor who served from 2011 to 2019 and dedicated his career to improving Georgia’s economy through the introduction of new trades, such as the movie industry. It is particularly appropriate to name the judicial complex after Governor Deal because of his efforts in criminal justice reform. I am proud to have carried this bill and look forward to honoring our former governor in this way.
I sponsored Senate Bill 107 which passed the Senate Committee on State Institutions and Property last week. This bill honors former Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller by allowing for the placement of a monument in his honor on the grounds of the State Capitol complex. This monument will be funded entirely by private individuals, foundations or organizations. Additionally, SB 107 allows the Capitol Art Standards Commission and a monument committee to give the final approval of the design and placement of the monument. The Honorable Zell Miller contributed to Georgia in a multitude of positions – from Mayor of Young Harris to State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and eventually United States Senator. It is only right that this man, one of Georgia’s best, is honored in the place where he served for so many years.
In addition to our legislative duties, we often welcome outstanding citizens to the Gold Dome to be celebrated in the Senate. Last week, we celebrated Dentist’s Day at the Capitol, honoring the men and women who work to ensure that Georgians stay smiling. I sponsored a Senate Resolution to not only recognize Wednesday, Feb. 20, as Dentist’s Day, but also to recognize Friday, Feb. 22, as Give-Kids-A-Smile Day and dedicating the month of February as Children’s Dental Health Month.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, I welcomed Major Tommy Bradford and his beautiful family to the Capitol. Major Bradford is a deputy for the Dade County Sheriff’s Department who was run over while in the line of duty by someone attempting to flee law enforcement which resulted in a lost leg and hip replacement. His perseverance and dedication to law enforcement is remarkable, and I commend Major Bradford on his commitment to valor and for living out the true meaning of public service.
Every time we gavel in for a legislative day, the Senate hears from a chaplain. This Thursday, Feb. 21, I invited Pastor Jay Neal, a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives and a close friend of mine, to serve as the Chaplain of the Day. Pastor Neal spoke to us about the battle with addiction that thousands of Georgians face. He discussed the program that he runs at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Rossville, Georgia, to help those who are unable to help themselves. I thank Pastor Neal for his visit to the chamber and for his sincere and encouraging words.
As we move through the next half of the 2019 Legislative Session, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. My office door is always open for questions, comments or concerns. Thank you for your continued trust in me, it is an honor to serve the 53rd Senate District.
Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis, a Republican from Chickamauga, is chairman of the Rules Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate District, which includes Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Chattooga County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404-656-0057 or by email at email@example.com.