Last week was busy, both under the Gold Dome and out and about in District 54.
Under the Gold Dome
HB 481 – the 6-week abortion ban is being considered in the Senate.
The most controversial bill this session, HB 481, which restricts access to abortion as early as six weeks gestation, before many women know they are pregnant, is in the Senate. It narrowly passed the House and was heard Thursday in the Senate Science & Technology committee.
The 4+ hour meeting included impassioned testimony from proponents and opponents of the measure, as well as numerous doctors vigorously opposed to the bill. OBGYNs, Pediatricians, and a representative for Georgia’s Reproductive Endocrinologists, and OBGYN medical students voiced opposition and disputed scientific inaccuracies espoused by the bill’s author.
HB 481 passed out of the Senate Science & Technology committee this morning and now heads to the Senate Rules committee, which decides which bills will be considered by the full Senate.
Women’s Legislative Caucus Yellow Rose Reception
On Wednesday, I joined women legislators for a bipartisan event at Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios in midtown Atlanta. GPB CEO & President, Teya Ryan, moderated a panel discussion about human trafficking in Georgia, which led to a great conversation about the ways we can lead on this issue.
HB 316 Passes the House (again)
After being amended and passing the Senate, HB 316 returned to the House Wednesday for an agreement vote. HB 316 is the voting bill that outlines what kind of equipment can be used for elections in Georgia. This bill was highly contentious. Supporters of the legislation favored touch-screen machines with paper print-outs. Opponents of the bill, like myself, were concerned that vendors were being prioritized over voters, and preferred a system using hand-marked paper ballots because cyber-security experts say they are the most secure, least manipulatable form of voting.
The bill now travels to Governor Kemp for his signature. Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, has already released the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the new machines.
In District 54
Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods (BCN) Meeting
When I speak with constituents lately, one topic dominates their concerns — crime and public safety in our neighborhood. On Thursday night, I joined the monthly meeting of the BCN, an organization comprised of representatives from Buckhead’s neighborhoods.
The meeting addressed public safety issues and included presentations from Zone 2 Atlanta Police Department Commander Major Shaw, Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts, City Council President Felicia Moore and representatives from Concerned Citizens United. The group passed a Public Safety Resolution aimed at reducing crime in Buckhead. More details can be found in the AJC article covering the meeting.
Fun in the District
I spent the weekend away from the Capitol having some fun in District 54. We attended the Opening Ceremonies for Buckhead Baseball at Frankie Allen Park on Saturday morning and also got to cheer on our family’s favorite baseball player and all of his pals.
Saturday night, my husband and I attended the Communities in Schools – 2019 Choose Success Awards Dinner at Flourish on Maple Drive. Both events were great opportunities to support young people in our community.
With eight days left in the 2019 legislative session, the next couple of weeks are sure to be a blur. Stay tuned on social media and via our weekly update from the Capitol.
Stay in Touch
If you haven’t already, please visit my website at betsyforgeorgia.com.
Also, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-656-0116 with questions, concerns, or solutions you may have regarding legislation or other happenings in District 54.
For updates on the House proceedings, follow the Georgia House of Representatives @GAHouseHub on Twitter. Additionally, in-depth information regarding current bills, Georgia’s annual and supplemental budgets, committee meetings, and livestreams from the General Assembly can be accessed via www.legis.ga.gov.
I encourage you and your family to visit our State Capitol and my office, where all constituents are welcome. I look forward to connecting with you!
My office address is:
18 Capitol Square, SW
490-B, Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
Representative Betsy Holland
GA House District 54
Monday, March 18th marks Day 33 of the Georgia General Assembly’s 40-day legislative session.