Following a four-day legislative week, the Senate re-convened this week for five sequential days to vet and discuss proposed legislation for our state. These pieces of legislation encompass some of the most pressing issue areas of our state, including the budgets for an Amended 2020 Fiscal Year and a General 2021 Fiscal Year, which remain in the background to be voted on in the next couple of weeks.
As public servants, we have a sole constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget; however, as state senators, we also took an oath of office. That oath was to promote the interests and prosperity of the state, while my personal oath to you was to ensure Senate District 50 is represented to the best of my ability under the Capitol. I have and will continue to do so, in the weeks to come.
Together with this duty, we have as elected officials to serve our great state and districts, we are also fortunate enough to build longstanding relationships with critical members of our state’s community. With this, members of the legislature dedicate a significant portion of our mornings to commending some of the individuals that have contributed widely to our state’s professional, academic and economic development.
Last week, I had the privilege of presenting Senate Resolution 669, which established on February 18, 2020, as Future Farmers of America (FFA) Day at the state Capitol. Georgia’s regional FFA organization is one of the largest in the nations, with nearly 60,000 current members and 350 local chapters across the state, and has devoted an immense amount of time to educating our youth.
FFA’s intention of “learning to do, doing to learn, learning to live, living to serve” brilliantly combines the honorable aspects of our state’s education system and agricultural sector, which both seek to build the foundation for a generation of future leaders and a stronger economy. FFA wonderfully prepares students for an active career in science, business, technology, and agriculture, and has been instrumental in helping Georgia prosper even further.
I also presented Senate Bill 385 in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, relating to the prevention and control of our state’s air pollution. Through this piece of legislation, Georgia companies will be prohibited from burning certain chemically treated wood products for the purpose of commercial electricity generation.
Georgia, throughout the years, has established itself as a fantastic state to visit, raise a family and run a business due to its beautiful outdoor recreational locations and prominence of land for agricultural facilities and other industries. However, the ability for us to continue to support these structures is greatly harmed by vast pollution, which affects the health and wellbeing of our citizens, livestock and produce.
The intention of this legislation is to make sure Georgia remains a great state for all in the years to come.
If you would like to schedule a group visit to the Capitol or have any questions or concerns about the legislation being proposed and discussed, please reach out to my office. I took an oath to serve you and my work in the Chamber, and throughout meetings, is to reflect our community needs. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do so.
About the author: Sen. John Wilkinson serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee. He represents the 50th Senate District which includes Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Rabun, Stephens, and Towns counties and portions of Hall and Jackson counties. He can be reached by phone at 404.463.5257 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.