Press Releases

Sen. Mike Dugan Attended State of Tourism Breakfast

ATLANTA (January 26, 2017)  |  Chairman of the Senate Economic Development and
Tourism Committee, Senator Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton), attended Georgia Chamber’s
2017 State of Tourism Breakfast Tuesday to learn about what is driving the tourism
industry in Georgia.
“Georgia’s tourism industry is quickly becoming the heart of our state’s economy,” said
Sen. Dugan. “This industry sustained more than 439,000 jobs and had an economic
impact of over $59 billion in 2016, proving that the opportunities for tourism in Georgia
are endless. In addition, Georgia was named as a ‘Best Trip’ destination for 2017 by
National Geographic, which will undoubtedly add to our state’s tourism industry.”
The State of Tourism Breakfast attendees heard presentations from Georgia
Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson and Tourism
Economics CEO Adam Sacks. Both Wilson and Sacks provided a unique insight into
national and Georgia tourism industry trends.
Following the breakfast, tourism partners joined Governor Nathan Deal to unveil the
2017 Georgia Travel Guide and present a check representing the $3 billion in state and
local tax revenue generated from tourism related expenses.

Sen. Mike Dugan and Lt. Governor Cagle Announce “The FAST Act” to Remove Regulatory Burdens on Small Businesses

ATLANTA (January 13, 2017)  |  Senator Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton), Lt. Governor Casey
Cagle and the Senate Majority Caucus announced Senate Bill 2, “The FAST Act – Fairness,
Accountability, Simplification, and Transparency – Empowering Our Small Businesses to
Succeed” this week. This pro-business, pro-job creation legislation will address and remove the
costly hassles placed on Georgia’s small businesses by creating a more efficient and transparent
permitting process.
SB 2, the second of the Senate Majority Caucus’ six legislative priorities, provides new
guidelines for regulatory activities designed to hold state and local agencies accountable. If
enacted, this measure will remove many of the duplicative aspects that plague the current
regulation process. The FAST Act requires both a fair and customer friendly system, especially
when looking at communication between state agencies and businesses under their jurisdiction.
“Nearly half of our citizens are employed by small businesses – many of these are often held
back by redundant government bureaucracies,” said Sen. Dugan. “I’m proud of the work we
have done on the FAST Act as we continue to look at avenues to remove pointless constraints for
our greatest drivers of job creation. Georgia’s priorities are the Senate’s priorities, and we will
continue to champion small business growth throughout the legislative session.”
“We are creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs by removing the barriers to entry for both
new and existing businesses,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “Government cannot create jobs but it
can create an environment that fosters job creation and innovation. The Senate is committed to
working with our state agencies to simplify administrative processes within small businesses so
that they can do what they do best: create jobs and drive economic growth throughout Georgia.”
State and local government agencies that issue licenses or permits will be required to establish a
fee schedule which will include turnaround times. If the agency fails to meet that schedule, the
fee will be reduced by 10% for every ten days past that deadline. In addition, agencies will be
required to offer expedited processing for a rush service charge, which can be no more than twice
the original fee.
To create a transparent environment, the FAST Act will put in place the “Building and
Infrastructure Transparency Score” (BITS) system to rank and compare each state and local
agency’s permitting process.

Sen. Mike Dugan Appointed as Chair of Senate Economic Development Committee

ATLANTA (January 11, 2017)  |  Sen. Michael Dugan (R – Carrollton) was recently appointed to serve as chairman of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee and as a member on several influential committees for the 2017 Legislative Session by the Senate Committee on Assignments.

“It was a privilege to serve as a Governor’s floor leader for the past two years and I am honored that individuals I greatly respect have now appointed me to serve as chairman of the Economic Development Committee,” said Sen. Dugan. “We have seen a significant rise in new industries and companies relocating operations to our state. I look forward to working with my colleagues and vested stakeholders to ensure our state remains the number one state to do business.”

In addition to being appointed chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, Sen. Dugan will also serve as secretary for the Senate Public Safety, Transportation and Veterans and Homeland Security Committees.

“Sen. Mike Dugan has distinguished himself as a leader in the Senate, someone who is committed to advancing the interests of every Georgia citizen,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “I look forward to his work as chair of the Economic Development Committee and am confident Sen. Dugan will bring a great deal of insight to the legislation that comes before his committee.”

“The Georgia Senate is composed of individuals with a breadth of talent and experience,” said President Pro Tem David Shafer (R-Duluth). “I believe our new committee chairs and members have the right expertise to address critical issues.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that Georgia’s priorities are the Senate’s priorities.”

Once a piece of legislation is introduced in the Senate, it is assigned to a Committee, depending on its topic.  If the Committee gives the legislation a “do pass” recommendation, then the proposed law is sent to the Rules Committee for consideration. The appointed chairs will oversee the operation and order of Senate committee meetings, including calling for action on bills, resolutions or other matters assigned to that committee.

The first session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly convened on January 9, 2017 at the Georgia State Capitol.

Senate Chairman for the 154th Georgia General Assembly

ATLANTA (January 10, 2017)  |  The Senate Committee on Assignments has announced the full list of standing committee chairman for the first session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly:

  • Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee: Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa)
  • Appropriations Committee: Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville)
  • Banking and Financial Institutions Committee: Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
  • Economic Development and Tourism Committee: Sen. Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton)
  • Education and Youth Committee: Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta)
  • Ethics Committee: Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge)
  • Finance Committee: Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome)
  • Government Oversight Committee: Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen)
  • Health and Human Services Committee: Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford)
  • Higher Education Committee: Sen. Fran Millar (R – Atlanta)
  • Insurance and Labor Committee: Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson)
  • Interstate Cooperation Committee: Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta)
  • Judiciary Committee: Sen. Jesse Stone (R – Waynesboro)
  • Natural Resources and the Environment Committee: Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville)
  • Public Safety Committee: Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla)
  • Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee: Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah)
  • Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee: Sen. Rick Jeffares (R – McDonough)
  • Retirement Committee: Sen. Ellis Black (R – Valdosta)
  • Rules Committee: Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga)
  • Science and Technology Committee: Sen. Bruce Thompson (R – White)
  • Special Judiciary Committee: Sen. Curt Thompson (D – Tucker)
  • State and Local Governmental Operations Committee: Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell)
  • State Institutions and Property Committee: Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus)
  • Transportation Committee: Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta)
  • Urban Affairs Committee: Sen. Lester Jackson (D – Savannah)
  • Veterans, Military and Homeland Security: Sen. Hunter Hill (R – Atlanta)

For additional information and full committee lists, please visit the Georgia Senate website.



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