Update from Bubber Epps | People
Posted from the Jones County Gray Chamber of Commerce newsletter:
I am emailing to keep you informed of the current affairs in our state's legislature. As you know, political issues move quickly during session, so I wanted to make sure that I keep you informed about the issues concerning our state, our district, and your county.
Legislative Update 02/24/12
We returned to the Gold Dome on Tuesday, February 21, after learning some exciting news for the future of Georgia's economy. On Friday, February 17, Governor Deal announced that Caterpillar Inc. will bring over 1,400 jobs to Georgia with the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Athens. In addition to these jobs at the new plant, Caterpillar's suppliers and increased retail sales are expected to create another 2,800 jobs. The announcement proves that Georgia is an internationally competitive market, as Caterpillar will actually relocate Japanese production of small excavators and backhoes to the new Georgia plant.
I was encouraged to see this positive news after all the work my colleagues and I have put into restoring Georgia's economy and promoting job creation. Last year, we started the process of implementing meaningful tax reform that would encourage small business growth and investment. While we continue to work on tax reform, this year we are also working to eliminate unnecessary government regulations through the Red Tape Watch initiative. This initiative allows us to hear directly from small business owners from across the state, which helps us identify burdensome and unnecessary government regulations that prevent Georgia small businesses from thriving. Through these combined efforts, I am confident that many more businesses will follow Caterpillar in moving production to Georgia.
HR 1162 is a constitutional amendment that will allow the state to approve charter schools when requested by parents. However, HR 1162 does not allow the state to use local school board funds for state created charter schools. Because HR 1162 is a constitutional amendment, it must now receive approval from two-thirds of the Senate and the signature of Governor Deal, before being placed on the ballot for approval from voters. If that happens, you and all other Georgia voters will have the final say on whether HR 1162 should be added to our state constitution.
Also, I am proud to let you know that the Georgia House approved House Bill 879, legislation that I told you about
when it was first introduced. HB 879 improves safety for diabetic students by requiring public schools to have personnel who are trained to care for diabetic students. Now that we have passed this bill, it must receive approval from the Senate and Gov. Deal before becoming law.
In addition to passing legislation this week, we also took time to recognize the brave Georgians in uniform who protect our great state and nation. Wednesday, February 22, was Georgia National Guard Day. On this day, we honored the sacrifice of our 45 fallen heroes who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and welcomed their families to the capitol. We also recognized our current National Guard troops who serve and protect us. It was an honor to recognize these incredible solders and airmen at the State Capitol. We are forever grateful for the sacrifices that they have made for our freedom.
As we move forward into our eighth legislative week, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding our state, as well as our local community. I always welcome your comments, because they help me understand how to better serve as your state representative. You can call my capitol office at (404) 656-0126 or email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
What's going on in the Capitol?
The previous couple of weeks have certainly been quite busy with several groups from our district coming to visit the Capitol. The first that visited was the Twiggs County Leadership Class. We had an action-packed day filled with pictures with Governor Deal and Speaker of the House David Ralston. In addition, we hosted a panel of commissioners from the various departments who came and spoke. It was a delightful learning experience.
The second group we had come to the Capitol, would be Tatnall Square Academy's Championship Football Team. The third and final group we had this week, is the Wells Elementary School Gifted Class.
Additionally, HB 541 which I sponsored, has successfully passed House floor! HB 541 speaks to the issue of obstruction of public administration. Specifically it makes the act of intimidating or threatening an officer or official a felony. As a side note, once a bill passes through committee it is then voted on the House floor. If a constitutional majority decides to vote positively on the bill, it is then sent to the Senate. If the Senate approves by a majority, it is then sent to the Governor to be signed into law.
Brother Dwayne Beddingfield from Mt. Zion Baptist Church came to Atlanta on Tuesday Feb. 28 and was pastor of the day for the House of Representatives. We appreciate him and his willingness to serve. Wednesday February 29th was Macon Day at the Capitol. We had groups from Wesleyan College, Geico, and the city of Macon represented on the House floor. We ended the day with "A Taste of Macon" at 5:00pm at the Freight Depot.