It has been another productive and busy week at the Georgia State Capitol. We have completed ten weeks and 35 legislative days, of the 2019 session. This week the Senate passed Senate Bill 17 and Senate Bill 167. I have provided for you a short description of each bill for you below. 

Senate Bill 17

Senate Bill 17 relates to the ‘Rural Telephone Cooperative Act’ and gives cooperative non-profit corporations the ability to furnish, improve, and expand broadband services. These services may be furnished in conjunction or separately from telephone services; however, broadband services are not eligible for fund recovery through the Universal Access Fund.

Senate Bill 167

Senate Bill 167 increases the amount of preference given to foster parents in custody cases. A relative of a child in a foster care home has six months from the date they receive notice of a dependency hearing to demonstrate an interest and willingness to provide a permanent home for the child. The court may excuse DFCS from considering a relative as a placement, and may presume that continuation of the child’s placement with current caregivers is in the best interest of the child if the court finds that the child has been living in a stable home environment for 12 months and that removal of the child would be detrimental to the child’s well-being. The Georgia House Republican Caucus remains committed to providing greater stability in the lives of foster children!

With just 5 days left of the 2019 Legislative Session please feel free to contact me to voice any concerns or questions you have on any passed legislation. I can be reached at my Capitol office at 404-656-0287, or by email at karen.mathiak@house.ga.gov. As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative!

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