This past week’s effort was made to try to move House bills out of Senate committees so that the House bills would be eligible for the Rules committee to place them on the Senate floor.
I have two bills in House committees. SB 258 – can’t increase a property tax assessed value when the property owner appeals unless there is a clerical error or appeal during a freeze. SB 378 eliminates the DeKalb CEO position and replace with a Chair and a County Manager.
I am hopeful both bills will be eligible for House Rules by Wednesday and given votes before we adjourn on March 24.
I would like to comment on two bills on which I voted no. HB 370 gives amnesty through 2016 for local officials that didn’t file financial disclosures from 2010-2014. The state filing systems has been fixed for some time and I felt this was ridiculous.
HB 859 is the campus carry legislation. The bill creates a new exception allowing any weapons at post-secondary education institutions. If a person holds a valid weapons carry license (21 years of age or older) the person can carry a handgun on campus if the handgun is concealed. However this exception does not apply to buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing (includes fraternity and sorority housing).
Arguments for included support of the 2nd Amendment and increase in violent crime on college campuses. Arguments against included growing prevalence of suicide on campus, maturity of college students, and propensity of firearms to escalate confrontations, especially when alcohol is involved.
The University System has always opposed weapons on campus and I can assure you that feeling has not changed.
I agree with Governor Deal that the world will not end with passage of this bill. However, many parents are not comfortable with their child being in an environment where handguns are available.
We are witnessing an increase in the attitude of anger and fear in our country versus optimism and hope.
I would rather see us invest in increased campus security and awareness than allow handguns on site.
I also believe this sentiment was felt by several of my Republican Senator colleagues. However, politics cannot be escaped (especially in an election year) and the bill passed with overwhelming support.
We passed HB 751 – Senate version of the budget and I will wait to comment when the final conference committee version is done.
Finally, qualifying took place this past week and I hope I am allowed to continue as your Senator. Representative Taylor and myself drew opposition and there is a definite contrast between us and our opponents.
Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.
Senator Fran Millar