Today marks Day 17 of the 40-day Legislative Session with 23 days of session left on our calendar. The pace is picking up here, and I am proud to be representing Senate District 43 at the Gold Dome.

Last week we passed Senate Bill 193, which amends penalties for family violence and battery, with a vote of 56 to 0, our first unanimous vote. It is always an honor and a pleasure to vote on bills such as this, especially when we can all put aside our differences and work to truly better the lives of Georgians.

Along with passing key legislation, we celebrated some very special groups this past week. We recognized representatives from the state 4-H organization who encouraged us to always remember the important role agriculture plays in our state’s economy. Along with these special guests, we also celebrated Stop Violence Against Women Day in order to bring awareness to issues that affect millions of women all across the country. We also recognized the Georgia Farm Bureau and their critical work in supporting and promoting our #1 industry in the State of Georgia – Agriculture. This industry contributes approximately $72.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development.

I also met with cadets of the Georgia Piedmont Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. As the future protectors of our state, I encouraged the cadets to act as leaders and role models for our local communities. I was very impressed with the fact that the program allows students to earn college credit while also getting POST certified. This allows them to be very close to earning their Associates Degree by completing the course that is full time for 17 weeks.

I am also pleased to announce that one of our community initiatives is well under way. The Granite Crossing in the City of Lithonia was awarded grant money in 2015, which will fund the development through 2016. The property will have 74 affordable housing units and I am told that tenants may begin moving in as early as January 2017.

It is an honor to serve as the senator from Senate District 43. To receive periodic emails specific to your interests in District 43, visit my website at Do not hesitate to reach out to me with your concerns and questions. My door and phone lines are always open. I look forwarding to having our community members at the Capitol!


Senator JaNice Van Ness represents the 43rd Senate District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties. She may be reached at 404.463.2598 or by email at