Important Legislative and House Activities Update

District 167 Constituents of Glynn, McIntosh and Long Counties and Citizens and Residents of the State of Georgia.

As most of you know, I am working hard every day to represent the citizens of House District 167 and the State of Georgia by following sound and honorable practices. You are to whom I report and to whom I am held accountable in my legislative activities.

Today, February 22, 2019 ended day twenty of the 2019 session, and I am pleased to report that I am making significant progress on the legislation listed on my published 2019-20 legislative agenda. My progress includes filing the very important Georgia Mariculture Development Act of 2019 (HB450).   I have hearings scheduled for two coal ash bills (HB93 & HB94) this coming Monday and Tuesday, February 25th and 26th, and a tentatively scheduled hearing on Oyster Mariculture next week as well. Plus progress on changing the drivers licenses issued too non-citizens in our state.

There are many activities going on in addition to working on my legislation.

Today, Friday, February 22, 2019, I signed on to a resolution asking House Speaker David Ralston to voluntarily step down from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Georgia General Assembly.  This was not a decision taken lightly.

My dedication and commitment to work and honorably serve the citizens of District 167 and the State of Georgia is unwavering.  Despite my having signed the resolution, I am fully expectant that Speaker Ralston will separate the politics of the office he holds as Speaker of the House of Representatives from fulfilling the same solemn oath both Speaker Ralston and I made on opening day of the 2019 session. The oath of service I made is to you.

In your service, I remain,

Sincerely,

Jeff Jones

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Related>> More Georgia lawmakers call for Ralston to resign as House speaker - AJC 2/22

Families accuse state Speaker of the House of intentionally delaying court cases - WSB-TV2 2/13

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5th Legislative Update of 2019

RepJones_ThankYou_2018.jpgWeek 5, Ending February 15, 2019

My colleagues and I returned to the Gold Dome in Atlanta on Monday, February 11 for the fifth week of the 2019 legislative session. We are now over one-fourth of the way through this 40-day legislative session, but we still have a great deal of work ahead of us.  I still have a number of bills that I am still perfecting.

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4th Legislative Update of 2019

RepJones_ThankYou_2018.jpgWeek 4, Ending February 8, 2019

Tuesday, February 4, marked the start of a very busy fourth week of the 2019 legislative session. The pace of the session is picking up, and this week brought about notable progress as we convened in the House Chamber for four legislative days and voted on the first bills and resolutions of the session. This week, the House passed several pieces of legislation on the House floor, including important measures like the Amended Fiscal Year 2019 budget and an adjournment resolution that sets the legislative calendar for the remainder of the session.

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3rd Legislative Update of 2019

RepJones_ThankYou_2018.jpgWeek Three, Ending February 1, 2019

The Georgia General Assembly returned to the Gold Dome on Monday, January 22, for the third week of the 2019 legislative session. Committee meetings started in earnest this week, some of them organizational while others are already working on significant and meaningful legislation.  Despite the threat of severe winter weather socking in Atlanta, that ultimately did not materialize, and in full view of the looming Super Bowl 53 craziness happening in downtown Atlanta near the Capitol, the House continued to meet and work, as did our Committees. A forty-day session is not much time to work on legislation to get it through the committee process and to the House floor for a vote. As I have said in past newsletters, it is not easy to pass legislation in the Georgia House of Representatives, but that is in fact a good thing – except of course unless its legislation I am working on that I believe is important, then it should be easy, right – but everyone working legislation thinks the same thing.

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2nd Legislative Update of 2019

RepJones_ThankYou_2018.jpgBudget Week of 2019-20 Session

The following report about the very important 2019 budget hearings was prepared by the House Media Office.  I am not a member of any budget or appropriations committees so I was not in Atlanta during the week of Budget hearings. This report, nonetheless, will give you important information about the 2019 budget process.

           - Rep. Jeff Jones, HD167

House Budget Hearings Began Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday, January 22 marked the beginning of the second week of the 2019 legislative session, also known as “budget week.” During this eventful week, the House and Senate Appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings, and Governor Brian Kemp presented his budget recommendations for the amended current and upcoming fiscal years to the committees. The joint Appropriations committees and subcommittees also met and began reviewing Gov. Kemp’s recommendations in order to turn those recommendations into actual legislation that will guide our state’s spending. This week was especially busy as we began the arduous process of ensuring that our state revenue is spent wisely to meet the needs of all Georgians.

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1st Legislative Update of 2019

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Opening Day of 2019-20 Session

On Monday, January 14, 2019, the second Monday of the new year, the Georgia General Assembly – the House of Representatives and the Senate - convened for the first day of the 155th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly. 

Since Monday marked the first day of the new 2019-2020 term, every member of the Georgia House of Representatives took the oath of office and was formally sworn in.  As I hope you have learned about me over the past four years of legislative service, and prior to my entering the legislature, I take this oath and my commitment to serve honorably and honestly seriously.  Thank you again for trusting me to represent your interests at the state level for another two-year term.

As I have explained in previous newsletters, the first week of the opening of Georgia General Assembly is dominated by procedural and ceremonial activities as the session officially convenes.

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Rep. Jeff Jones Appointed to Deputy Whip Team for the 2019-2020 Legislative Term

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Betsy Theroux
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
(404) 656-3996
betsy.theroux@house.ga.gov


Rep. Jeff Jones Appointed to Deputy Whip Team for the 2019-2020 Legislative Term

ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) was recently appointed to serve as a member of the House Majority Caucus Deputy Whip team. Rep. Jones was appointed to serve on the Whip Team by House Majority Whip Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), and his appointment is for a two-year term concurrent with his service as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

“I look forward to working with this team of fellow republicans to advance great ideas and move important legislation across the finish line,” said Rep. Jones.

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Georgia Illegal alien driver’s license/ID reform is past due

JeffJones-GAOfficialHeadshot2015Trans4Web.pngby State Rep. Jeff Jones | Dec 6, 2018

For those who are not yet aware, Georgia issues driver’s licenses to non-citizens who, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), do not have legal immigration status.

To increase the “head-scratcher” quotient on this, there is no difference - none - between the driver/ID credentials issued to these lucky illegal aliens and those issued to legal immigrants (green card holders) or foreign students and guest workers who obeyed American law and are here on legal, temporary visas.

While it is illegal for non-citizens to vote in elections in Georgia, state law considers the driver’s licenses and ID Cards we are granting to them to be “proper ID” at our polls.

That’s why I will soon introduce driver’s license/ID reform legislation to change this bizarre situation.

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PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Amended Budget to Address Impacts of Hurricane Michael

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Thursday, November 15, 2018
Contact: Betsy Theroux
404-656-3996
betsy.theroux@house.ga.gov

House Passes Amended Budget to Address Impacts of Hurricane Michael

ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) and the Georgia House of Representatives today passed an amended fiscal year 2019 budget during the special legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia General Assembly began a special legislative session on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, which was ordered by Gov. Deal to provide emergency funding to state agencies and local governments following Hurricane Michael.

“Our families in Brunswick might not feel the direct impacts from Hurricane Michael, but our fellow citizens in Southwest Georgia are hurting tremendously,” said Rep. Jones, “The coastal region in Georgia has experienced the devastating losses of natural disasters, and I hope that we can stand with those effected by this storm the way that Georgians have stood with us in the past. I believe it is important to inform our communities of the work that is being done to support and strengthen these affected areas in this difficult time.”

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2019-2020 Legislative Agenda Revised

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Photo Courtesy: NASA - NASA images show the polution impact Florence had on coast.

2019-2020 Legislative Agenda; February 22, 2019

NOTE:  This page will be updated as 2019-20 bill numbers are assigned. BOLD items are links to bills.

  1. Coal Ash Pond Dewatering; require public notice prior to dewatering; 2019’s bill HB93 and HB94. In 2018, voted out of House 169-3; passed out of Senate NR&E committee; Senate never brought bill for vote.
  2. Coal Ash Solid Waste Landfill storage - minimum siting standards and prior public notice for new MSW coal ash storage; 2019’s bill
  3. By law, for non-citizens, change the design of GA Drivers Licenses these individuals are currently receiving from the Georgia Department of Driver Services. 2019’s billHB270 and HB400. There a two bills required to achieve this. GA DDS records, approx. 24,000 such licenses have been issued in GA; following Federal REAL ID ACT guidelines, propose issuing these individual a uniquely designed, vertically oriented driver’s license that will not be valid for Federal ID purposes.
  4. Out of State Cash Wire Transfer Fees - collect a refundable fee for out-of-state cash wire transfers targeting drug dealers, gamblers, human traffickers and others who hide cash; $100 million annual projected net revenue, with no cost to Georgia taxpayers; 2018’s bill – HB66.
  5. Georgia’s Open Meeting Act - define that “final” meeting agenda must be publicly posted one full week prior to the meeting; establishes provisions for adding additional last-minute agenda items; 2018’s bill – HB1040.
  6. Teacher Out-of-Pocket School Supplies Tax Credit– change current tax deduction of $250 to a tax credit of $250; estimated impact of $25 million to Georgia budget; 2017’s bill – HB13
  7. GA Oyster Mariculture - 2019’s billHB450 to promote growth of the commercial oyster mariculture industry (production, harvesting and distribution) emphasizing the safe delivery of oysters to consumers; currently, commercially sold oysters must be wild grown & harvested; change code/regulations/rules to allow farm grown oyster mariculture and to allow out-of-state importation of oyster seed; DNR Commissioner Mark Williams & Department of Ag Commissioner Gary Black, the UGA Marine Extension Service (MAREX) plus mariculture producers, seafood distributors and restaurants, and the environmental community, all fully support the initiative; legislation is currently being drafted.
  8. State Owned Property in McIntosh & Long Counties; the large amount of acreage off tax roles adversely affects County and School District funding and results in significant loss of tax revenue; working to increase DNR budget to replace county’s lost revenue to replace lost local property tax revenue; working to redefine the “Equalization” formula which is used to rank GA counties by wealth and is used in state/federal school funding calculations.
  9. Hwy 84 Road Naming for Ludowici Police Chief Frank McClelland

 

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