In Atlanta, William Ligon will be
an advocate for the conservative
principles of limited government,
       lower taxes, free enterprise,
              individual liberties, and
                               family values.
Paid for by the William Ligon Campaign Committee
Senator William Ligon, 121-H State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
Atlanta: (404) 463-1383     Brunswick: (912) 261-2263    Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(ATLANTA - February 22, 2019) Twenty legislative days have passed under the Gold Dome, marking the halfway point of the legislative session. We’re moving at a quick pace, setting the calendar each day with multiple bills and resolutions for consideration. This week, we passed 12 bills on the Senate floor. As a reminder, Crossover Day will be on March 7th. We have until that day to get as many Senate bills as possible over to the House for consideration.
Legislative Action in the Senate - Week 6
The first bill I would like to highlight is Senate Bill 1, also known as “C.J.’s Law.” This bill would make it a felony, punishable by one to 10 years, to knowingly commit a hit-and-run that causes serious injury. I authored a few floor amendments to this bill to ensure that the bill was as perfect as possible before being passed. For instance, the bill was not clear that if a driver hits someone and insurance information is exchanged, the person who was hit could not come back and say that the person did not know of the injury. It’s just a simple protection measure against those who would use this bill for anything other than the intended purpose. I am glad to have supported this bill’s passage and hope that this never happens to anyone, but I believe the changes in the law will ensure stronger penalties against hit-and-run drivers.
Additionally, we unanimously passed Senate Bill 48 this week. This bill addresses dyslexia detection and education. The bill implements several requirements in schools to help identify dyslexia at an early age and helps teachers to understand how best to teach dyslexic students. Currently, there is no mandatory screening for dyslexia in our public schools, though it affects approximately one in five students. This bill would require screening for kindergarten students and students who show characteristics of dyslexia in grades one through three. It also sets up some procedures to help prepare teachers to identify characteristics and teach dyslexic students by tasking the Georgia Department of Education with creating guidelines and training for teachers. Those trained in these preparation courses would then earn a dyslexia endorsement in order to provide services to dyslexic students. The bill also creates pilot programs for three school districts that will evaluate the success of dyslexia intervention models.
In addition to my legislative duties, I also held a press conference on the dangers of marijuana legalization in our state. Ironically, this week news also broke about the 20-plus Sandtown Middle School students in Atlanta who were hospitalized for eating Valentine’s Day treats that were marijuana-laced. Advocates of marijuana legalization - either recreationally or medicinally - have repeatedly told us that it will not fall into the hands of our children. Obviously, they’re wrong. Marijuana is not yet legal in this state and it is already getting into their hands, hospitalizing and frightening them. This drug poses a very real danger, and our press conference was a good reminder of the unintended and dangerous side effects of legalizing something that has yet to prove itself in medical trials.
The bills I have sponsored and mentioned last week, including increasing the penalty for terroristic threats directed at schools, Senate Bill 64, and reducing coal ash disposal, Senate Bill 123, have been assigned to committee. Senate Bill 64 was heard in the judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday.
There is a strong move again this year to bring back legislation supporting horseracing in our state. Senate Resolution 84 has already passed the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. I have a great love of horses, but do everything I can to work against any expansion of gambling. Please let your views be known on this issue to our Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Speaker of the House.
Enjoyed visiting with our Brantley County FCA students at the State Capitol.