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  • Madeline Ryan Smith

From Under the Gold Dome

During this year’s legislative session, I have the opportunity to shadow a current representative as part of my preparation for running in District 158. This experience is providing a firsthand understanding of the Georgia State House- offering insights into decision-making, policy formation, and the legislative process. Over the last 3 weeks, I've familiarized myself with committee proceedings, engaged in discussions on proposed bills, and gained a comprehensive understanding of the nuanced dynamics that govern our state. 

This dual role of shadowing a representative while actively pursuing a seat in the legislature has been an eye-opening experience and has expanded my knowledge in effective representation for our community. Plus, I get to keep everyone in the loop with what’s happening- upcoming votes, the latest bills, and what laws are passing. Let’s work together to make sure the legislation that impacts our lives aligns with our values and priorities. I recommend you to not only read these bills, but to also share your thoughts and concerns with our current Representative. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, and I appreciate your confidence and support in my run for office!

Madeline Ryan Smith 

Legislative Updates:

SB 63, which passed in the House on Tuesday, addresses issues related to mandatory cash bail and has the potential to impact criminal legal reform efforts throughout Georgia, particularly in rural areas like ours. 

The primary concern lies in the proposed expansion of mandatory cash bail to 30 new offenses, including many non-violent misdemeanors. This means that judges would be required to impose cash bail for offenses that do not involve physical harm, such as possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, failure to appear, forgery, and criminal trespass. 

HB 915 passed in the House on Wednesday, which was a large bill that included all sorts of budget changes. These changes included new funding to Georgia Southern University’s Savannah Campus to establish a Dental School! This is a huge investment into our area and workforce, providing more educational and employment opportunities to our community members. 

HB 1035 also passed the House on Wednesday, which allows for the Board of Pharmacy to establish Naloxone (NARCAN) Vending Machines in areas such as college campuses. This bill passed unanimously with the hope to save more lives with broader access to Narcan. 

On the Campaign Trail:

Qualifying is just around the corner! On March 4th, I will qualify at the state capitol for the 2024 Election in District 158 for State Representative. After this date, we will know for sure who will be on the ballot for the Democratic primary in May! 

Our state Primaries are different then our Presidential Preference Primary, which takes place in March. Monday February 12th is the last day to register to vote in the Presidential Primaries, so be sure to check your registration today!


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