State Sen. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) was among the guest speakers at Saturday’s Baldwin County Republican precinct election convention. He provided an update on the legislative session.
The event was held at Victory Baptist Church in Milledgeville.
Other guest speakers included state Rep. Ken Vance (R-Milledgeville); Baldwin County Solicitor General Skye Gess; and Vikki Consiglio, the current assistant treasurer now seeking the office of treasurer of the Georgia Republican Party.
“This session of the Georgia legislative session has been like all of them,” Williams said. “It’s been like drinking from a firehose. You start at 5:30 in the morning and you get through about 8 at night. There has been a record number of bills that have gone out this year.”
There have been 151 bills passed by the Georgia Senate thus far in the session. And there has been a total of 212 bills passed thus far by the Georgia House of Representatives.
“Of course, they (Ga. House of Representatives) have three times as many people as we do, so they really turn out the legislation,” said Williams, who is serving in his first year in the Senate.
Williams was a state representative for several years before getting elected to the state senate after Burt Jones vacated the seat and became the state’s new lieutenant governor.
The last day of this year’s session will be March 29.
“We’ve passed a lot of good legislation,” Williams said.
Williams discussed one bill that he introduced in this session, which focuses on dogfighting.
“This is something that’s near and dear to the lieutenant governor, and of course his wife (Jan),” Williams said. “They run a lot of animal rescue operations.”
Williams said the legislation ties dogfighting into a law involving the RICO Act.
“What we have found out is a lot of the gangs are using dogfighting to raise money for drugs and just racketeering, so it will increase the penalty from just a misdemeanor or from one to five years to a felony and from eight to 20 years, and also gives the government the right to seize all their assets,” Williams said.
Williams said another bill that he has worked on involves the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.
“I know most of you have heard about Victor Hill (the former Clayton County sheriff) who was just tried and convicted, and the feds recommended he get about four years in federal prison for violating people’s rights,” Williams said.
Williams explained that Hill’s chief deputy took over as the acting sheriff and then the acting sheriff appointed a chief deputy.
“Well, the guy who had become sheriff retired, so the person he appointed became sheriff,” Williams said. “This just so happened to be Victor Hill’s godson. You can’t make this stuff up.”
He pointed out that the series of events in Clayton County resulted in the most powerful law enforcement person in the county was not voted into office by the people.
“Under the new proposed legislation, the chief judge of Superior Court would instead make the appointment rather than the judge of Probate Court,” Williams said.
The person appointed would then serve in the capacity of acting sheriff until an official election could be held.
Williams also introduced a bill that would help chiropractors so they have the legal right to file a lien against people to be compensated for their professional services.
“Doctors and even interior decorators could do it,” Williams said. “Chiropractors could not.”
Williams serves as chairman of the retirement committee in the Senate, as well as vice-chairman of the ethics committee. He also serves as secretary of the public safety committee.