Governor also enacts law to create agriculture commodity commission for Georgia Grown products
At the Georgia Sheriffs' Association's annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner in Glennville today, Gov. Nathan Deal signed two bills, one that allows long-serving officers to keep their firearms when they retire and another to promote Georgia Grown products.
HB 482 allows former certified employees of the Department of Corrections and Pardons & Paroles to retain their department-issued duty weapon upon leaving their respective department. Employees are eligible to retain their department-issued duty weapon after accumulating 20 or more years of service as a certified officer.
"This legislation provides an opportunity to reward men and women who have served our state honorably and dutifully," said Deal. "These two agencies will now have the same privileges as the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation when it comes to department-issued weapon retention."
HB 298 provides for an Agriculture Commodity Commission for Georgia Grown products. Funding will come from those producers and agribusinesses who voluntarily choose to utilize the "Georgia Grown" trademark. The bill also makes changes to the Georgia Cotton Commission by increasing producer members of the commission from five to seven.
"Agriculture is Georgia's No. 1 industry, and as governor I want to see that the farmers and producers of our state have every opportunity to succeed," said Deal. "This commission will assist in raising awareness to local and national retailers of the high-quality product that we produce right here at home."
Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black praised the legislation.
"Creating a Georgia Grown commodity commission will not only allow an avenue for agribusiness to connect with one another to promote Georgia Grown products, but it will also provide consumers a better understanding of the agribusiness industry, its impact on everyday life and the opportunities it affords in terms of future employment and investment," Black said. "I want to thank Governor Deal for signing and the General Assembly for passing this important piece of legislation that will benefit Georgia agriculture for years to come."
All of Georgia's commodity commissions are producer-funded and reimburse the state for any costs. The Agriculture Commodity Commission may only use its funds to educate, promote and do research for Georgia Grown Products.
In addition to Black, Deal was joined at the event by Attorney General Sam Olens, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and school Superintendent John Barge.