News from Sen. Horacena Tate
February 24, 2015
Sen. Horacena Tate

Monday, Feb. 23, was the 20th legislative day of the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly, which is the halfway point of the session.

I am honored to be serving in my ninth term as your State Senator and to continue serving as Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.


Please continue to contact me with information from your community, views on your issues of concern, or whenever I can be of service. For more information, please be sure to visit 


Sen. Horacena Tate

Senator Tate and Lt. Gov. Cagle welcome Rev. Lawrence L. Young as  Chaplain of the Day


Sen. Horacena Tate and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle welcomed the Rev. Lawrence L. Young, senior pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, to serve as the Chaplain of the Day on Thursday, Feb. 12 in the Georgia State Senate.


"It was an incredible honor to have my friend, Pastor Lawrence L. Young, at the Capitol to serve as our Chaplain of the Day," said Sen. Tate. "He is a humble servant, whose vision is to impact the community through his powerful ministry."   


"Today, we welcomed Reverend Lawrence L. Young to the Senate as he reminded us that even though we are all different, we represent the whole community" said Lt. Gov. Cagle. "As public servants, we should strive to be true to our constituents, but to also be true to ourselves.  We are blessed to have wonderful leaders like Rev. Young, and I thank him for the inspirational message."


Rev. Young is the senior pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta. Pastor Young was the founding pastor of Abundant Life United Methodist Church in Lufkin, Texas, where he served for 12 years. Pastor Young also served as senior pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas for five years before moving to Atlanta.


Pastor Young is a native of Bogalusa, La., and graduate of Dillard University, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in English and Political Science. He then attended Gammon Theological Seminary, at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, where he earned a Masters of Divinity degree.


Pastor Young is happily married to Karen L. Young, and they live in Atlanta with their two sons, Blair and Jeremy.


  Sen. Tate addresses her colleagues from the well of the Senate. 


Georgia State Capitol Senate Democrats propose 'Unlocking the Promise Community Schools Act'


As an alternative to Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to change the Constitution to authorize the state to take over the operation of under-performing public schools, Georgia Senate Democrats have introduced SB 124, the "Unlocking the Promise Community Schools Act."


Under this legislation, Sustainable Community School Operational Grants would be awarded to low-performing schools that apply for conversion to "community schools." The grant money would be used to provide healthcare services, academic support and tutoring and parental education programs to families living in those communities.


The community school model has worked in other states, including Kentucky, to help remove impediments standing in the way of academic success for students living in poverty. SB 124 was referred to the Senate Education & Youth Committee for its consideration.


Annexing New Braves Stadium: Sen. Horacena Tate has introduced legislation that would extend the Atlanta city limits to include the section of Cobb County adjacent to I-75 and I-285 where the Atlanta Braves are constructing the new SunTrust Park baseball stadium and surrounding mixed-use development.

The proposal is intended to keep the Braves organization as a true Atlanta entity after the team vacates Turner Field in downtown Atlanta for their new stadium in 2017. SB 96 has been referred to the Senate State & Local Governmental Operations Committee for its consideration.

Safe Harbor for Exploited Children: On Feb. 12, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation aimed at curbing the sexual exploitation of children in Georgia.


SR 7 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a "Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund" to provide funding to assist children who are caught up in sex trafficking. Monetary fines paid by individuals convicted of sex trafficking offenses would be used to pay for rehabilitative and social services to underage victims of sexual exploitation.


The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for its consideration, where it must be approved by a two-thirds vote and ratified by a majority of voters in the 2016 general election in order to change the state Constitution.


The Senate also approved and sent to the House SB 8, which would take effect only if SR 7 is ultimately approved. That legislation would establish a state commission to administer the funds generated by the criminal penalties, plus an annual operated fee of at least $5,000 to be collected from the owners of adult entertainment establishments.


Autism Treatment Coverage: The Senate voted unanimously Jan. 29 to approve legislation that would require insurance coverage of autism treatments for young children.


SB 1 represents a wise investment of insurance coverage to provide treatment to autism patients at an early age in order to avoid the need for more expensive treatments later in life. The proposal also addresses a genuine public health crisis in Georgia.


Specifically, the bill would require healthcare insurers to cover the cost of autism treatments for children ages 6 and under, with an annual payment limit of $35,000 per patient. An exemption is provided if the cost of treatments exceeds 1 percent of the premiums paid on all policies.


The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for its consideration. A similar bill passed the Senate last year but failed to pass the House before the end of the session.


Amended Budget Approved: On Feb. 11, the Senate voted almost unanimously to approve the amended $21.1 billion version of the state budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year. With minor differences between the Senate and House versions, HB 75 now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.


The most notable changes to the budget for fiscal year 2015, which ends June 30, include $126 million to cover enrollment growth in Georgia's public schools, $20 million for economic development grants used to recruit businesses to the state, $4.9 million for 103 new child welfare caseworkers, $4.8 million for clinical trials of medical cannabis at Georgia Regents University and $515,000 to create a Georgia Film Academy.


If the House does not accept the Senate changes, the minor differences between the House and Senate versions would have to be worked out by a conference committee. Still ahead is consideration of the $21.8 billion annual budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1.


Child Custody Transfer: The Senate also voted Feb. 10 to approve legislation to make it easier for parents to temporarily transfer custody of their children to an adult who is not a blood relative.


 SB 3 would extend the state law that allows parents to assign a power of attorney for a child's custody to grandparents without the need to go do court. Under the new proposal, such a transfer could also be made to non-relatives.  


An amendment to the bill would prohibit parents from transferring the power of attorney in an effort to subvert an investigation of child abuse by the Division of Family and Children Services. SB 3 now goes to the House for its consideration.


Move On When Ready: On Feb. 3, the Senate voted unanimously to approve legislation that would enable high school students in dual enrollment programs to earn credits for taking college and technical college classes.


Under SB 2, students who take college or technical college level courses would be able to leave high school as early graduates and begin their college careers.

By approving the measure, the Senate voted to expand education options and opportunities available to Georgia students to help them succeed in a 21st century job market.

SB 2 now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.


Sen. Tate and Lt. Gov. Cagle thank Isaiah Ingram for his service as a Senate page. 


Senator Tate's Legislation


Recent action on key legislation sponsored by Sen. Horacena Tate includes the following:


SB 41 Georgia Family Planning Initiative; enact; definitions; authorize public and private funding (referred to Senate Health & Human Services Committee)


SB 96 Atlanta, City of; change the corporate limits of the city by annexing certain territory (referred to Senate State & Local Governmental Operations Committee)


SR 122 Thompson Sr., Dr. Edwin A. (adopted by Senate)


SR 123 General Assembly; authorize to provide by general law for casino gambling within each county and each municipal corporation approved by referendum - Constitutional Amendment (referred to Senate Governmental Operations Committee)


SR 150 Threatt, Dr. Robert; honoring (adopted by Senate)  


Click here to review and track the progress of all of Sen. Tate's 2015-2016 legislation. 

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Senator Horacena Tate
121A State Capitol
Atlanta, GA  30334
Phone 404-463-8053 Fax 404-463-7783
Senator Horacena Tate
Senate District 38
201 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd.
Atlanta, GA  30314
Phone 404-803-2119