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Summary for 11th Week of 2021 Session

Summary for 11th Week of 2021 Session Summary for 11th Week of 2021 Session

The last full week of the 2021 legislative session began on Monday, March 22. With only a few days remaining, my colleagues and I spent many hours in the House Chamber this week voting on House and Senate legislation.

Senate Bill 202, or the “Election Integrity Act of 2021,” was passed through both the Senate and the House and was signed by Governor Kemp. This bill will allow communities to open early voting on Sundays if they choose to do so and would require two mandatory Saturday early voting dates. Additionally, individuals who wish to submit their vote via an absentee ballot must also provide a driver’s license or state ID card number.

The House unanimously passed legislation this week to ensure that Georgia students with disabilities do not miss out on HOPE Scholarship opportunities and funding. Senate Bill 187 would allow the Georgia Student Finance Commission to waive certain eligibility requirements for the HOPE Scholarship for students with disabilities. This commission would consider these waivers on a case-by-case basis and only extend the time frame to students with disabilities that are diagnosed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Senate Bill 6, or the “Tax Credit Return on Investment Act of 2021,” also received passage in the House this week to examine our state’s tax revenue structure, ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently, as well as expand tax incentives to restore our economy. SB 6 would allow our state to evaluate how this pandemic has affected state revenue, while also promoting job growth and creation.

The House also gave unanimous passage to Senate Bill 33 to allow victims of human trafficking to seek justice from those who have exploited them. SB 33 would establish a civil cause of action for victims of human trafficking against a perpetrator, such as a person and/or entity that knowingly benefited financially or gained anything of value from exploiting these individuals. Finally, the bill would allow the attorney general to seek a cause of action against human traffickers on behalf of the state under certain circumstances. This legislation is a continuation of the General Assembly’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking in the state of Georgia, and I am proud that this bill received final passage this week.

Before this week ended, we passed Senate Bill 195 to increase the responsibilities of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission. This legislation would allow the commission to review new treatment and delivery methods of low THC oil and products that result from medical research. The bill would also require the commission to provide information and documents to the Medical Cannabis Commission Oversight Committee, as well as clarify the duties of that committee. Under this bill, licensed low THC oil producers could partner with universities and colleges, such as Georgia’s historically black colleges and universities, to engage in joint medical research.

When we return next week, we will complete our final two legislative days before we adjourn “Sine Die,” which will mark the end of the 2021 legislative session. These two days will most certainly be some of our longest days on the House floor as we work to pass meaningful legislation before the clock runs out. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding legislation. My capitol office number is 404-656-0116 and you can reach me directly via email at robert. As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative and I look forward to seeing you soon.

As the State Representative for District 149, Robert Pruitt serves Dodge County, Telfair County, Wheeler County, Cadwell, and Hazlehurst. During the second week of the 2021 Legislative Session, Rep Pruitt was appointed to serve on the Industry and Trade, Economic Development, and Small Business committees for the next two years. Robert and his wife Kelly have been long time residents of Eastman.

By Rep. Robert Pruitt (District 149)

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