By: Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas)
Week seven under the Gold Dome has come to a close, and we have completed 24 Legislative Days. Crossover Day is right around the corner, with the date set as Monday, March 8. As Crossover Day is the final day to send legislation from the Senate to the House, this means next week will be very busy. We had an eventful past five days here, as we heard several elections bills, and I am eager to provide you with some updates.
An issue that I know is of importance to my constituents is election reform. This week, the Senate passed five election reform bills: Senate Bill 40, Senate Bill 67, Senate Bill 89, Senate Bill 184 and Senate Bill 188. In the end, they passed in the Senate because my colleagues and I are listening to Georgians’ calls for secure and transparent elections. When trust has been broken, it must be restored. The intent of these bills is to ensure every real legal vote in Georgia is counted and to restore faith in our election system. I believe these bills do just that, and I will keep you updated on them and inform you of new election reform bills as they present themselves this week and going forward.
Committees are still hard at work vetting legislation to ensure only the best bills make it to the Senate floor. This week, I presented Senate Bill 200 to the Senate Government Oversight Committee. This bill creates a pathway for small businesses and churches to stay open during a state of emergency as long as they follow protocols issued under the declared state of emergency. We have seen so many other states like New York, Michigan, and California close down businesses and churches causing businesses to shutter and to see our rights to assemble in our churches literally taken away. As long as businesses and churches modify their operations, they should be able to stay open.
It is an honor for me to serve on the Senate Ethics Committee, as we voted out the following pieces of election law reforms for Georgia this week:
- SR 69 would require those wanting to register to vote to check a box when receiving their driver’s license.
- SB 71 would require a reason to vote absentee.
- SB 72 would call for more reporting of voters who have passed away.
- SB 74 would allow poll watchers in tabulation centers.
- SB 178 would ban the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot request forms.
It is my honor to represent the 31st Senate District under the Gold Dome. If you ever have any questions about the legislation I am sponsoring and supporting or any concerns you would like to make known, please feel welcome to contact my office. I am here to serve you and I would love to hear from you. Thank you for your support, it truly means the world to me. God bless Georgia.