Legislative Days 32-35
March 15, 2021 to March 18, 2021
This week, there have been some exciting events as we get within two weeks of Sine Die for this year's session. The continued slow down for getting bills scheduled to both chamber floors continued right at the beginning of the week. I have learned that this rivalry between the House and Senate is an annual thing after Crossover day.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Melton delivered his third and final State of the Judiciary address. He announced earlier this year that he would be leaving the Supreme Court of Georgia and his role as Chief Justice on July 1. . He was met with a warm welcome from the joint assembly and gave a speech about the justice system's accomplishments this year. However, he did talk about the incredible hardships that the justice system has had, especially the backlogs facing the judiciary as a result of the pandemic. He spoke about the multiple declarations of Judicial emergencies that he has had to renew every 30 days since the pandemic started to keep the whole system going. He praised the work being done in both the House and Senate to help alleviate these new stresses on the justice system and those affected by the pandemic needing assistance. He finished up with an overall reflection over the last year and how strong Georgia has been to get to this point today.
I had the honor of meeting Chief Justice Melton while working for the Fayette County State Court in 2018. I was invited by the then President of the Georgia Council of Municipal Court Judges to attend a round table committee meeting which Milton led. Afterward, I had the opportunity to meet with Melton. I believe he directly influenced my decision to get more involved in Legal and Governmental Affairs, which led me down the path to get to be a part of CBA today. I, like many other throughout the state of Georgia, am grateful for Chief Justice Melton’s service to our state.
Later in the week, the slowdown affecting both chambers were resolved until Thursday when a Senate bill overwhelmingly failed on the House floor 20 - 136. The House abruptly adjourned right after the vote until next week as soon as the Senate realized during their Floor deliberation on House bills what had happened. I witnessed the Senate immediately get halted and adjourned for the day in response to the House. Next week should prove to be interesting, to say the least, as it unfolds.