Legislative Update Week 10 - March 18, 2016

GAHouseSeal.pngBy Representative Jeff Jones

The House reconvened on Monday, March 14 for day 36 of the 2016 legislative session and an extremely busy week, as sine die (the 40th and final day of the 2016 session) is just days away. We had a busy legislative agenda this week, both on the House floor and in committee meetings as we continued to review, study and vote on legislation. With day 40 right around the corner, many more House and Senate bills received final passage this week and are now on their way to Governor Deal’s desk for consideration.

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Why I Voted ‘Yes’ to Campus Carry

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Why I Voted ‘Yes’ to Campus Carry

By State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick)

              Without a doubt, this is a troubling time in America. Mass shootings have been happening with seemingly greater intensity. HB 859, the “campus carry” bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), would permit 21 year old, licensed concealed carry permit holders to carry a concealed weapon on Georgia’s publicly funded college campuses, but not in dorms or at athletic events. The following is my publicly stated position on this very difficult issue.

            First, let me share some eye-opening statistics about deaths occurring as a result of mass shootings in America from the FBI:

  • 14.3  =  number of deaths, on average, in mass shootings when everyone in the victim group is unarmed.
  • 2.3  =  number of deaths, on average, in mass shootings when at least one person in the victim group is armed.
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Legislative Update Week 9, Mar 11, 2016

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By Representative Jeff Jones

We kicked off the ninth week of the 2016 session on Monday, March 7 with legislative day 32. With Crossover Day behind us, the House has shifted much of its focus to considering Senate Bills and monitoring any changes made in the Senate to House Bills and vice versa. This week, we saw the first bills to receive final passage in the General Assembly. These bills, having passed both the House and Senate chambers, will go to Governor Deal for his consideration. The House is holding Committee Hearings on Senate passed bills; while the Senate is doing the same with House passed bills.  

Seasoned General Assembly watchers know this is a time when negotiations occur between the House and Senate Leadership as both bodies jockey bills for ultimate passage by both bodies. While the end of session is in sight, it will be a frenzied pace as a mountain of bills are processed through by the House and Senate as we approach day 40, the end of this session.

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Legislative Weeks 7 & 8 – Nine Legislative Days Remaining

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By Representative Jeff Jones

We have been very busy in the Georgia General Assembly!  But this is typical for this point in the session each year.  Let’s just hope and pray that all this “busy” activity is good for the people of Georgia.

The Georgia House of Representatives wrapped up the 29th day (week seven) on Friday, February 26.  The following Monday was “Crossover Day”, session Day 30 which is significant in the annual legislative session.  Day 30 is an important time because it’s the cut-off date for bills to be passed by either the House or Senate, to “crossover” to the other legislative body. Then, the committee process and floor debate start all over again.  This is always a hectic time and requires us, as legislators, to pay very close attention to details of legislation brought for a House vote; Reps are working to get their bills passed and so they can “crossover” to the Senate.

Casino Gambling - HR 807 and HB 677 (I would have voted NO, as I have publicly pledged.)

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North Georgia rep picks up SSI incorporation

By Pamela Permar-Shierling - The Islander

Rep. Tom TaylorRep. Tom Taylor (R-79), who represents Dunwoody, and parts of Chamblee and Doraville in North DeKalb County has agreed to introduce a bill to incorporate the City of St. Simons Island during the regular 2016 session of the Georgia legislature. Taylor was elected to the legislature in 2010.

The legal notice placed by Taylor ran in The Brunswick News on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Taylor is picking up sponsorship of the controversial bill despite the objections of the Glynn County delegation.

In a statement issued Feb. 16 local Representative Jeff Jones said, “After a careful and thorough review of the city charter bill prepared by the Citizens for Saint Simons and Sea Island, Inc. (C4SSI/SI/SI), it is abundantly clear that the legislation is so onerous and has so many problems that I have withdrawn my support for the legislation at this time.”

“While I strongly believe the citizens of St. Simons deserve the right of self-determination and a vote on controlling development on the island, this bill is not the answer to that effort.”

“The bill includes statutes and provisions that are over-reaching and create a concentration of almost unlimited power and authority to the Mayor and City Council.”

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Legislative Update Week 6 - February 19, 2016

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By Representative Jeff Jones

This past Friday, February 19 marked the end of week 6, day 24, of the 40 day 2016 legislative session. With “Crossover Day” (day 30) rapidly approaching, the pace of activity has picked up dramatically.  Crossover Day is the deadline for all general bills to have been voted on and passed by either the House or Senate to “crossover” to the other body for consideration. When bills crossover, they are subject to the same process – testimony at committee hearings – to then be considered to be place on the Rules Calendar for a vote by either the House or Senate.  A number of bills passed out to the House this week, the single most important being the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017) state budget, House Bill 751.

St. Simons Island City-Hood – Press Release Issued February 16, 2016

I have inserted a copy (Click Here) of the Press Release I issued explaining my decision to step away from the incorporation legislation draft I was provided by the Citizens for St. Simons Island & Sea Island.  I remain committed to finding a solution to the challenges of managing St. Simons continued growth without creation of a burdensome bureaucracy or extensive tax increases, which none of us want to see. My website (www.votejeffjones.com) contains links to a number of newspaper articles, and other materials explaining my position on this subject.  This issue is far from over.

Ed. Note: please also see this thoughtful opinion editorial by Reg Murphy. Brunswick News - Glynn County has avoided a very bad idea — for now, at least 2/20/2016

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Legislative Update Week 5 - February 12, 2016

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By Representative Jeff Jones

This week completed week five, and the 20th day of the session. With “cross-over day”, the 30th legislative day looming and only 20 session days remaining until adjournment, the pace of committee hearings and legislative activity increased dramatically.

Spencer Pass Law - HB 767  (I voted YES): - The House voted to add utility service vehicles and workers in the fields of electric, natural gas, water, waste-water, cable, telephone, or telecommunication services to the list of those covered under Georgia’s Spencer Pass Law, also known as the “Move Over Law.”

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The Carl Vinson Institute SSI Incorporation Study Summary

FROM: Jeff Jones <jeff@votejeffjones.com>
TO: John A O'Looney <gio@uga.edu> 

Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM  

(Ed NOTE:  John O’Looney is the CVI analyst who prepared the CVI – SSI Report)

John,

Thank you for taking time out of your Friday evening to discuss the Carl Vinson Institute (CVI) St Simons Island Incorporation study.

Below is my understanding of our discussion; please correct anything I have misstated or add to any key items I missed.

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New island city would be called Village of St. Simons

Rep_Jeff_Jones.jpgSarah Lundgren/The Brunswick News

Brunswick and Glynn County, meet the Village of St. Simons Island — the proposed name of the new city that residents of St. Simons and Sea islands will vote on if the Georgia Legislature allows it.

State Rep. Jeff Jones, R-St. Simons Island, said the charter for the Village of St. Simons Island is now in the hands of legislative services, which is writing it in the form of legislation. He presented it last week.

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Legislative Update Week 4 - February 4, 2016

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By Rep. Jeff Jones

The House reconvened on Monday, February 1 to start our fourth week of the 2016 legislative session. With a month of session behind us, we are hard at work in the General Assembly passing legislation that will hopefully have a positive impact on all Georgians.  Numerous bills have been approved and passed out of their respective committees and many made their way to the House floor this week for a vote before the entire House of Representatives. I discuss a variety of these bills later in this newsletter.

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