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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Press Release: Rep. Jeff Jones to Reintroduce Legislation to Protect State’s Water Supply

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, September 17, 2018

Contact: Betsy Theroux
(404) 656-3996
betsy.theroux@house.ga.gov

Rep. Jeff Jones to Reintroduce Legislation to Protect State’s Water Supply, Issues Statement on Collapse of Coal Ash Landfill

ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) today announced that he will reintroduce legislation in the 2019 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly that will focus on protecting the state’s water supplies from heavy metal toxicity that exists in coal ash. 

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Editorial: Support Georgia’s oyster industry

"Oysters are more than just tasty bivalves pulled from local waterways and enjoyed at local oyster roasts. They’re potentially big business for Georgia." Read the full story here.

"Legislative support needed

"Rep. Jeff Jones, R-St. Simons Island, has already pledged to bring oyster farming legislation up in Atlanta during the next legislative session. Our local elected officials in the Savannah area should do everything in their power to support this initiative."

Sources: Savannah Morning News, GPB

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Legislative Update Week 4-6, Feb 16, 2018

GAHouseSeal.pngOn Thursday, February 15, we completed the 22nd day of the 40-day 2018 session. “Crossover Day”, which this year is on February 28th, is also the 28th of the 2018 session. This date, which can vary from session to session, is the cut-off date for legislation that has any chance of being signed into law by Governor Deal.  For bills to move ahead in the legislative process, they must have passed out of each respective legislative body – the House of Representatives, in my case, or the Senate - by the end of the session day on “Crossover Day.”

For several challenging bills I am sponsoring (HB-66-Cash Wire Transfers; HB-484-Changing Driver’s License for Certain Persons; HB-879-Coal Ash Dewatering Public Notice; HB-880-Coal Ash Landfill Storage Public Notice) it means I have seven legislative days left to: 1) get the bills voted out of sub-committee, then 2) voted out of full committee. Next, 3) I have to work on the surviving bills to get them added to what we call the “Rules Calendar” by the Rules Committee; the Rules Calendar is the calendar of bills that have a chance of being voted on by the full House of Representatives. Whew! Makes me tired thinking of all the work still to be done. But I do not give up easily on legislative matters that I, and many others in our state, believe are important.

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Press Release: Georgia Water Coalition applauds legislators

GAWater_Logo.pngFor Immediate Release:
February 8, 2018
For More Information: Jennette Gayer
o-404-370-1764, c-703-475-3228
jennette@environmentgeorgia.org

Bills to Protect Communities from Coal Waste Introduced

Georgia Water Coalition applauds legislators for taking steps to protect communities and waterways

Atlanta, GA—The Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) applauds state Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) and a bipartisan list of cosponsors for their work to protect communities around Georgia from the toxic contaminants found in coal ash. After working to address concerns from Georgia Power and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division regarding legislation filed last year, Representative Jones introduced two bills that will help keep coal ash out of the water in which we swim and from which we drink, and people informed about coal ash present in their communities.

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1st Legislative Update of 2018

Welcome constituents, friends and supporters to our first newsletter of the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly - House of Representatives, which convened on January 8th. Thanks for taking a few minutes to let me catch you up on Georgia law-making activities. The first two weeks (6 session days) were primarily ceremonial, “session opening” activities, including Governor Deal’s State of the State address. Georgia’s economy continues to grow, and our state was once again named the number-one state in which to do business. Governor’s Deal education initiatives continue to reap great rewards. We are a state on the move.

On Monday, January 22, 2018, we convened week three and as of January 29, we completed over one-fourth of the way through our 40-day session.  This session week was considerably busier and productive, and the pace has noticeably picked up as House committees met more frequently to consider and vet proposed legislation.  Remember, the majority of debate and discussion about legislation occurs in committee hearings well before bills reach the House floor for a vote.

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The Georgia House of Representatives authorized the issuance of a new Honey Bee license tag today (2/1/2018) the proceeds for the sale will go to the education of Georgians regarding the importance of honey bees. As silly as that may sound, honey bees are vital and critical to agriculture throughout our state. Without honey bees we don't have crops for our Agri-businesses to harvest to put on our tables.
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