State leaders give Columbus residents a recap of legislative ses - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

State leaders give Columbus residents a recap of legislative session

For 40 days, state leaders have been working together in Atlanta during the legislative session.

On Tuesday, State Representatives Debbie Buckner, Carolyn Hugley and Calvin Smyre and State Senator Ed Harbison gave Columbus residents an overview of their progress and answered all questions and concerns.

The controversial RFRA or religious freedom bill was discussed, with audience members praising state leaders that it didn't pass.

"We don't want to go back to a place or era where anyone is discriminated against," explains Hugley.

In an earlier interview, Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon says opponents are sharing a false narrative of the bill.

"This bill has been passed in 20 other states, which eleven states have adopted through court decisions; you have 31 states with this in place. They all have one thing in common; they stop the government from discriminating against people of faith," says McKoon.

Representative Smyre explained the new transportation bill and the nearly $1 billion plan that passed. 

The fund will be used for projects including potholes, bridges and the resurfacing of roads.

Representative Hugley explained her disappointment in the Opportunity School District legislation that passed.

It allows the state to intervene in "chronically failing schools." 

She is asking residents to pay close attention when voting on the bill in 2016.

"The governor is the only person who has a say in the opportunity school district superintendent is going to be and that person has complete authority. They can fire everybody; they can close schools if they want," says Hugley. 

Residents were also pleased to hear the early voting bill that would shorten voting opportunities from 21 days to 12 days did not pass.

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