The 154th meeting of the Georgia General Assembly is now complete, and many long hours were spent considering legislation that have been signed into law by our governor. Every bill could ultimately impact our homes, jobs, family, safety and future and there were many highlights to this session, with one of the most significant being the largest income tax cut in Georgia’s history, totaling nearly $6 billion in tax relief. This will be a great help for hard-working, taxpaying Georgians who don’t need the additional burden of hefty taxes.
Our children’s education was a high priority on our legislative agenda. For the first time in 33 years public school education was funded 100%. In addition, bills were passed that will allow Georgia’s schools to teach critical thinking and core concepts, increase funding for Georgia’s Student Scholarship Organization scholarship program to $100 million, and improve school safety with $16 million in new statewide grant funding. The safety of our children and the importance of education is never a partisan issue. Both sides of the aisle agree that our children need and deserve quality education in a safe environment so that they can be equipped for a successful future. The bills that were passed this legislative session will have a positive impact on Georgia’s students and allow many to have opportunities that were previously out of reach.
Healthcare is an important issue in our state and it is vital that Georgians have access to the best care available in a country that has the world’s best medical professionals, technology, and medical advancements. The bills that were passed, HB 769 and SB 357, will improve access to quality health care in rural communities and begin the process of comprehensive health care reform that will allow our state to lower the cost of health insurance, reduce pressure on hospital emergency rooms, and increase access to appropriate care at the lowest possible cost. In the protection of our senior and disabled population, HB 635 will establish and outline the membership of the Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Multidisciplinary Team as directed by district attorneys for each judicial circuit throughout the state. The team will work with local jurisdictions to address suspected incidents of abuse, neglect or the exploitation of the elderly or disabled. Another bill, HB 803, will prohibit trafficking of disabled adults or senior citizens. Under HB 803, a person participating in this form of trafficking would be guilty of a felony and serve one to twenty years in prison, receive up to a $100,000 fine, or both. If you have any questions regarding the session and how new laws could affect your life, please feel free to contact me at 404.656.0287. It is a great privilege to represent you and I always appreciate your valuable input. Thank you for allowing me to represent you!