House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and House Representatives Stephens and Gilliard Recap Legislation Session

L-R: House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, along with Representatives Mickey Stephens and Carl Gilliard at Savannah State University
L-R: House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, along with Representatives Mickey Stephens and Carl Gilliard at Savannah State University

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and Representatives Carl Gilliard and Mickey Stephens held a Savannah Resists Town Hall Meeting last Monday at Savannah State University.

Georgians are ready to fight for progress at the state, local, and national levels. Dozens of members of the community came out to hear a recap of the 2017 legislative session. Several attendees participated in a conversation about ways to create change in our state.

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams began the dialog explaining the details of what she termed as the “Good”, the “Bad” and the “Ugly” bills. The “Good” bills generally receive unanimous or near unanimous support. “Bad” bills generally receive a majority of NO votes from Democrats. The “Ugly” bills were opposed by the Democratic Caucus via a formal vote of opposition.

Many attendees wanted to hear more about HB 280: Campus Carry which allows licensed holders to keep their weapon on their person while in or on any building or real property owned by or leased to any technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education.

Abrams advised the audience to call Governor Deal to have him veto this bill.

House Bill 338: Treatment of Low-Performing Schools was also a topic of discussion. It creates an alternative system of supports and assistance for the lowest performing schools that fall under the State Board of Education’s intervention power. Schools performing in the lowest 5 percent, according to the statewide accountability system are eligible for selection as a turnaround school. Interventions will include a chief turnaround officer, turnaround coaches, and Education Turnaround Advisory Committee (comprised of educators, administrators and parents), who will work together to ensure resources are targeted to increase student achievement. The bill was written by Rep. Tanner and Abrams contributed some language to the legislation to ensure the Democratic concerns were heard.

Abrams encouraged all in attendance to make the phone call to Gov. Deal’s office to have him veto HB 452: Domestic Terroism; SB 160: Back the Badge as well as HB37 Sanctuary Campuses.

Rep. Ron Stephens and the Savannah delegation pushed really hard for HB434: Eminent Domain. “A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 1 of Title 22 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to eminent domain, so as to provide for an exception to the requirement that condemnations not be converted to any use other than a public use for 20 years from the initial condemnation; to provide for definitions; to provide for procedure; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.” The U. S. Senators from Georgia are Sen. Johnny Isakson and Se. David Perdue. Reach out to them to lobby on federal issues, such as presidential cabinet or Supreme Court nominees. Find your U. S. House member at www.house.gov/ representatives/find and call them when you have a concert about Trump’s dangerous agenda,

Abrams also encouraged attendees to join Georgia Resists . It is a political organizing tool launched by the Georgia House Democratic Caucus in response to the dangerous Trump administration. The initiative aims to mobilize Georgians to engage with their elected officials and organize their communities around progressive issues at the state, local, and national level.

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