Monday, Feb. 3, was Legislative Day 10 and marked the start of the fourth week of the 2020 legislative session.

On Wednesday, the House unanimously adopted House Resolution 935, a bipartisan measure that would reauthorize the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for the 2020 calendar year. The commission, which was first created in 2019, would continue its work to develop unique and specific solutions for trucking, rail and air cargo, including reducing the driving risks for truck drivers and other motorists, expanding dedicated lanes for moving freight and reducing traffic impacts in and out of the ports. By the end of the year, the commission would submit a comprehensive report detailing a legislative framework for funding and policy development ahead of the 2021 legislative session.

Over the last few years, the House has spearheaded legislation to develop the new Georgia State-wide Business Court, which launched in January 2020 and will begin taking cases in August 2020. These specialized courts were approved by Georgia voters and are dedicated to providing expedited resolution of cases for complex commercial lawsuits. The Georgia State-wide Business Court system is designed to enhance Georgia’s position as the number one state to do business.

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed Georgia’s Right to Farm Act and now it will be considered by the full Senate. This improved law will better protect Georgia’s family farms from frivolous lawsuits. Agriculture and the families that provide our food, clothing and shelter contribute roughly $75 billion to the state’s economy and should be protected.

The Georgia Help Farming Act will be finalized next week and hopefully give Georgia farmers the ability to produce a new crop if they choose. By growing Hemp in our state it will also ensure that Georgia citizens who may want to use CBD products have the peace of mind that they will be getting a quality product from a local source. Several Georgia based processing facilities are already being built.

Before we adjourned for the week, the House adopted Senate Resolution 712, which is a second adjournment resolution that determined our legislative calendar for the coming weeks. This adjournment resolution is unique in that it allows the General Assembly to remain in recess until February 18 so that we can better focus our time and energy on the Amended FY 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 budgets. My colleagues and I will use this time to craft balanced budgets that invest wisely and move our state forward. Hopefully we can craft a balanced budget that will enhance the needs of rural Georgia.

The House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, February 18 for Legislative Day 13. As always, I greatly appreciate any feedback I receive from my constituents, and I welcome you to contact my office with any questions or concerns about the legislative session. Your Capitol office number is 404-656-5099, and my email address is tom.mccall@house.ga.gov. Please contact me anytime.

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative.

Tom McCall represents District 33 in the Georgia House of Representatives.

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