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Update from the Capitol - 3/20/2017

tyler harper By: Sen. Tyler Harper (R - Ocilla)

Another week has come and gone here at the state Capitol as we continue our march towards Sine Die. After this week, only five legislative days remain to debate legislation and vote it out with enough time it to be signed into law by the governor this year. With that deadline in mind, we have been hard at work on bills to better the lives of all who live in our state.


This most important bill we passed this week was the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 general budget. This is the second budget we have passed this year and is based on an estimated $24.9 billion dollars of revenue, making it the biggest budget Georgia has ever passed. This is due, in part, to Georgia’s continued economic growth since the economic recession nearly a decade ago and the state’s continued efforts at attracting businesses across all industries and training a skilled, modern workforce.  

This budget includes $55.4 million to fund a 20 percent salary increase for state law enforcement to help increase recruitment while at the same time reducing turnover. The budget also allocates $160 million to provide funding for a two percent base salary increase for our teachers, school bus drivers and school nurses. These professions are the backbone of our communities and I am grateful for any progress towards granting them the recognition and financial compensation that they deserve. 

I also had the opportunity to carry several House bills this week, one of which I believe will directly affect our district. House Bill 49 would update the surety requirements authorizing the Georgia Department of Agriculture to charge fees of no more than $25 dollars for livestock licenses and implements an expiration date on these licenses. This is a simple measure which will protect our livestock farmers, who sometimes spend years investing in their livestock, from those just out make a fast dollar.

I was also happy to welcome Leadership Coffee and Leadership Waycross to the Capitol this past week. These are wonderful programs out of our district which teach members the importance of economic development and give them the skills needed to build up their communities to be the best that they can be. It’s always great to see folks from home and it was especially meaningful to meet representatives from organizations that have such a positive impact on our communities.

The clock is winding down as we only have five legislative days remaining in the 2017 legislative session. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about any pending legislation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with my office. If you plan on stopping by the Capitol in the next few weeks, please let me know. It’s always nice to see folks from the district and I am never too busy to address your concerns.

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Sen. Tyler Harper serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He represents the 7th Senate District which includes Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Coffee, Irwin, Pierce and Ware counties and portions of Charlton and Wilcox counties.  He may be reached at 404.463.5263 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .