State representatives recap session - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State representatives recap session

Albany- State representatives recently ended the first session since Reconstruction with Republicans in charge of both houses. "Extremely busy, very, very busy. There was a lot of work to be done and you really have to go ready to work," says state representative Freddie Powell-Sims.

They've been working for the people of Georgia. State representatives Freddie Powell Simms and Ed Rynders stayed busy saying yes or no to hundreds of bills and asking many questions. "Is it too easy to sue? Do we need to do something to make sure that rural students have access to advanced placement in classes? Do we need to do something in the funding of education?," says state representative Ed Rynders.

Those are just some of the major issues tackled this legislative session but of the many bills, there were some that caught the attention of the public the most. "The bills that really received a lot of attention from the state was of course tort reform," says Sims.

"I think when you ask everyday people is it too easy to sue and to have ridiculous jury awards, I think the answer is yes so I think that was a great accomplishment this past session," says Rynders. Along with bills for education, voter ID rights, the state budget and healthcare issues. Many bills brought about mixed views from Democrats and Republicans.

"When one side does something, the other side wants to make it seem as bad as possible but overall when you look at the votes on some of these bills that we've discussed, it certainly wasn't straight down party lines," says Rynders.

 "We have to remember that we have both parties in South Georgia so they're gonna be some that are extremely pleased with those bills and some of us that arent gonna be too happy," says Sims. There are bills that still have yet to be put into law. The smoking ban bill is still up in the air.

"The smoking question is a fair question, and what it is a question of public health, really versus private individual rights," says Rynders.

"That's a major concern and of course that has bought about a lot of controversy throughout the state," says Sims.

Many of the new bills voted on in this session will go into effect in July.

posted by len.kiese@walb.com

 

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