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Sen. John F. Kennedy gives his State of the Assembly

MGN

ATLANTA, Ga. - Macon Sen. John F. Kennedy gave his State of the Assembly:

"The 154th General Assembly kicked off in full force on Monday and the Senate is eagerly moving forward with all that is planned for this legislative session.

Sen. David Shafer resigned as President Pro Tempore and we elected Sen. Butch Miller as the 69th President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the Senate Committee on Assignments announced newly appointed chairman and committee assignments. In addition to serving as the Majority Caucus Chair, I am happy to announce that I am serving as Vice Chairman of Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, a member of the Appropriations, Judiciary and Regulated Industries committees and as ex-officio of the Senate Assignments and Rules committees.

The Senate is prepared to work hard this session for the people of Georgia and we are wasting no time. We have several pieces of major legislation pending from last session that will soon be brought before the Senate for a vote, such as House Bill 159, also known as the Adoption Bill. The Senate Judiciary Committee met on day three to continue discussing changes made to the legislation and passed a version which will be brought to the Senate floor as early as next week.

This legislation would update adoption codes in Georgia that have not been updated since 1990. The Senate is working hard to get the best version of this legislation passed on the floor and over to the House for their hopeful approval and final passage. We are prepared to work with our counterparts in the House and all vested parties to ensure the final version of HB 159 benefits thousands of kids in foster care and for the many couples who are eagerly waiting to give these children a loving family and home.

Along with HB 159 and other pending issues from last session, we will look at improvements to broadband access in rural Georgia, proper and adequate access to healthcare, improving transportation and many other important topics. We will also review proposals for the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets after budget hearings next week. Our obligation is to pass a balanced budget but our priority is to use taxpayer dollars in the fiscally conservative manner. Georgia’s economic growth and status as the best state to do business in for the fifth year in a row are achievement we want to expand on.

I would be remiss without congratulating our University of Georgia Bulldogs for a well-played game at the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship earlier this week. I would like to also commend the Atlanta Football Host Committee for a job well done with the extreme attention to detail that kept this city safe and running with the large influx of traffic into Atlanta. The championship had a significant boost on Georgia’s economy and we look forward to hosting future events.

It is an honor to serve the 18th Senate District under the Gold Dome. I will do my best to improve the lives of my constituents and the lives of all Georgians. If you have questions about the budget, our legislative calendar or the process in general, feel free to contact my office."

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