House Committees

Committee work is some of the most important work that gets done in the House, yet many are unfamiliar with the process and how it impacts the legislation that gets passed to become law in Georgia. Most work on legislation occurs in committee hearings, not during the debate on the House floor.

When a bill is filed, it gets assigned to a committee. If called for a hearing by the chair, the bill is presented by the author or the person who signed the bill first. This Representative must explain the bill (i.e. explain what’s wrong with the current law and/or what specifically needs to be changed).

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986 Hits

Constitutional Amendments on November's Ballot

There’s a lot of talk right now about the ballot next month. This article is about neither Trump nor Hillary!  Rather, it’s about something that might not be getting the same attention in the media — one of the four Constitutional amendments on the ballot. That’s right; there are four. Some of you may have heard about one or the other, but you likely haven’t heard about all of them. Here is a very brief introduction to one of the amendments:

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Help End the Cycle of Domestic Violence: Support the CFVC

There are many great community organizations that serve Cherokee County. The Cherokee County Family Violence Center (CFVC) is one such organization. Over the last twenty years, the organization has experienced much growth, allowing it to have a much bigger impact on the community.

Sadly, domestic violence is an increasing problem in Cherokee County. In 2015 alone, there were 3,496 domestic violence related calls to law enforcement. If Cherokee County, through the efforts of the CFVC, is not afforded the opportunity to break the domestic violence cycle, then those numbers will continue to increase at an alarming rate. And as those numbers increase, the number of children exposed to domestic violence will continue to rise as well.

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Problems with the IRS?

Many constituents have contacted me about delays and problems they are experiencing with Georgia’s Department of Revenue.

When I contacted the Georgia Department of Revenue, I learned that the state’s tax filing is taking longer this year, for a number of reasons. According to Commissioner Lynne Riley, “The tax filing and processing period has been complicated for the Department of Revenue for a variety of factors,” Riley stated; “Whether it be one of the many data breaches that have been reported in the last year, or a spoofing or phishing scam, every incident requires us to modify our systems to protect the affected taxpayers.”

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Senate Bill 193: Closing the Loophole for Repeat Offenders of Domestic Violence

As a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, I vote on and consider hundreds of bills, many of which are arcane and obscure, but from time-to-time, I have the opportunity to work on something about which I feel passionate. One of my greatest passions is helping prevent and protect victims of domestic violence. I have worked with victim advocates and prosecutors on these matters throughout my tenure in the legislature. This was the reason that I agreed to carry Senate Bill 193 in the House. Senate Bill 193 closes the loophole for repeat offenders who commit acts of family violence. Under Senate Bill 193, any prior offense of family violence, or prior offense that is more serious that was committed against a family member, triggers the same repeat offender punishment and allows for these cases to be prosecuted as a felony.

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1211 Hits

Community Engagement: Your Input Matters

As it is for many of you, December is a hectic month around my house, because along with getting ready for the holidays and relatives, I’m also preparing to return to the legislature. Once I’m done putting away Christmas decorations, I’ll start looking at policy briefs and pre-filed legislation. Our state has a 40 day legislative session that starts in January, during which time those fortunate enough to serve take time away from their families and businesses to debate policy, set budgets, and address local concerns. Georgia has a citizen legislature; that means that everyone serving also has a private-sector job they return to after the session. This type of legislative body helps ensure that those governing understand what their actions do to the people they govern.

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1617 Hits

A History of Giving Thanks

Fall is upon us. That means that pumpkin spice has returned, college football is back and Thanksgiving is around the corner. I know that in my house, Thanksgiving can sometimes get overshadowed with visiting relatives, cooking a turkey and eating too much. However, the roots of our modern day holiday are much simpler. Since the founding of our nation, we have come together to share in various moments of thanksgiving. Whether it was the prosperity of the Pilgrims or Washington’s victory over the British, the tradition of sharing in our bounty was celebrated and remained a fixture throughout our early history and remains so today. Our nation’s founders, including George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock and John Jay, all took special care to ensure that the nation set aside a day to give thanks for all that we enjoyed.

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1656 Hits

Welfare Fraud Study Committee

Study committees are an integral part of the work of the legislature in the state of Georgia. As part of my continuing work as a legislator, I have been appointed to a study committee tasked with investigating welfare fraud.

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Child Fatality Review Panel

This past spring, I was appointed by Speaker Ralston to the Child Fatality Review Panel. I would like to take this opportunity to acquaint readers to this crucial team, and the important work they do to make Georgia safe.

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1752 Hits

GCDV Goals and Objectives

Many ask what I do as a member of the Legislature when we are not in session. As a member of the Legislature, I have been appointed to two very important boards — one is the Georgia Commission on Domestic Violence and the other is Georgia’s State Child Fatality Review Board. I would like to take a moment to introduce you to the Georgia Commission on Domestic Violence and let you know a little of what they do.

The Georgia Commission on Domestic Violence (GCDV) is tasked with the responding to family violence in the state of Georgia. The Commission believes that a coordinated community response is the best way to address the problem of family violence. Coordinated community response means that every segment of the community — including judges, advocates, law enforcement, medical professionals, educators, and concerned citizens — is responsible for helping to end family violence. In other words, everyone including you can be a part of the solution. GCDV works with communities and systems across the state to provide leadership in strengthening Georgia’s families by ending family violence.

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1636 Hits