It’s been a unique ayear for all parts of life, and that includes for the local lawmakers representing Forsyth County.
Due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Georgia General Assembly legislative session ended in late June rather than the regular time of around early April, but that was far from the only change.
The plan coming into the year was to pass a reduced budget, and the assembly voted to approve a $26 billion budget, including $2.2 billion in cuts.
Lawmakers also approved a new hate crimes bill, new rules for surprise medical billing and provided funding for a number of local projects.
Despite the unique circumstances, lawmakers, including District 26 state Rep. Marc Morris, said they were proud of what had been accomplished this session. "
Morris was elected in 2017 and this was his final term after deciding not to seek re-election.
He served as secretary of the House's economic development and tourism committee and was a member of the appropriations, banks and banking and intestate cooperation.
Here's what he had to say about his final session.
“Since the Fall of 2019, the legislature has been engaged in discussions related to spending reductions. When we returned to the Capitol in January the revenue estimates support a $28.1 billion spending plan. But in the end, we passed a $25.9 billion budget that will almost certainly require adjustments as soon as the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2021. Many worthy causes will go underfunded until all Georgians united and work tirelessly to regain strong our economic footing.”
“I did not sponsor any legislation during the 2020 session however I did co-sponsor local legislation related to the ability to expand of Community Improvement Districts (CID) within Forsyth County. Other co-sponsored legislation that did not gain momentum included an attempt at closing a loophole within the Legislative Leave Act as it relates to the most egregious crimes against individuals.”
“The bill which passed this year has multiple flaws that were simply overlooked by those seeking to pass anything entitled Hate Crimes. I opposed the version submitted via the Senate Rules (circumventing the appropriate senate committee) because it specifically and intentionally failed to protect uniformed military personal, law enforcement officers, and all other emergency responders. I continue to encourage all to read this bill and dedicate serious thought to how punishments are not based on facts rather perceived notions related to gender, race, and sex orientation.”
“Like many others I completely misunderstood the most critical work at your Capitol. The FOCO delegation’s most important task is to protect our community and state against legislation that can produce negative impacts lasting years into the future. Do not get me wrong, changes in legislation are often needed but rushing the process typically does more harm than good. I can say in all honesty that our delegation does an outstanding job in creating a unified front against actions which are not in the best interest of our community. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group which regularly challenge themselves and each other to do the best job possible.
“Finally, I would say that regarding the adage “You never want to see laws or sausage made” – well it is true. Thank you for the opportunity to represent the 26th District!”