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.
Georgia driver’s license issued to illegal immigrants with “deferred action on deportation” and to legal immigrants and guest workers. Photo: GA DDS.
Georgia issues same drivers license to illegal aliens with deferred deportation as legal immigrants: DDS policy should be changed in 2018 Georgia legislative session. #SupportHB484
November 06, 2017 5:39 PM
As the late U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, D-Mass., famously observed, “All politics is local.” That observation is frequently validated all over the country, including, at the moment, the state of Georgia.
Georgia might be a Red state, but at least one part of it (and almost certainly more) wants Washington to hang on to at least some Blue policy for at least a while longer. And with very good reason.
Late last month, three coastal Georgia members of the General Assembly — Reps. Jeff Jones and Don Hogan of St. Simons, and Sen. Jason Spencer of Woodbine — sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and Rep. Buddy Carter asking them to oppose an announced plan by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to weaken regulations governing coal ash discharge.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Betsy Lynch
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Rep. Jeff Jones Presents Shawn Williams with House Resolution
ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) recently presented Shawn Williams, executive director of the Coastal Outreach Soccer (COS) program, with House Resolution 322 during a ceremony at the Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. This resolution commends and congratulates Williams for being named the Georgia State Soccer Association’s 2016 Administrator of the Year.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Contact: Betsy Lynch
Rep. Jeff Jones Applauds Republic Services’ Decision to Withdraw Coal Ash Disposal Permit Applications
ATLANTA – State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) today commended Republic Services Corporation’s recent decision to withdraw three pending coal ash disposal permit applications. These permit applications would have allowed Republic Services, a waste management company, to dispose coal ash at its Broadhurst Environmental Landfill in Wayne County, near Jesup, Georgia.
On Monday, March 6, 2017 we reconvened both the Georgia House and Senate at the State Capitol in Atlanta to begin the 9th Week (legislative days 29 - 31) of the 2017 session. The last time you heard from me in my “weekly” newsletters was at the conclusion of week 6, for week ending February 17; so I am behind by three weeks in updating you on Legislative activities. But not-to-worry, I am not going to cover every nitty-gritty detail for the past three weeks. It would likely put you to sleep.
In these past three weeks, leading up to Day 28 or “Crossover Day” on March 3, 2017, I and many other House and Senate members worked long hours to perfect sponsored legislation, to get the bills voted favorably out of sub-committee and full committee by testifying on our sponsored legislation, then work to get them on the Rules Calendar to be voted on and passed out of the full House, in my case. The legislative goal is to get all of this done by Crossover Day.
Highway 17 widening project, Glynn County:
a meeting was held in Glynn County on March 9 hosted by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) as GDOT finalizes plans to widen Highway 17 from Yacht Road to intersection of Highway 99.
Many citizens object to the GDOT’s plan which entails installing a raised median the full length of the project with very limited turn access as the roadway is widened to four lanes. In some cases, this means residents will need to turn right out of their neighbors, and drive two miles to the first turn opening to make a U-Turn to be able to go in the direction they originally intended. In many other cases, shoppers who wish to visit one of the many businesses that have operated for years along the roadway, will not be able to turn into the business without driving well beyond the business, then making a U-Turn to get back to the business.
For the past couple of years, I have been working with area residents and GDOT engineers in support of an alternative plan which entails adding a CENTER TURN lane the majority length of the project, perhaps selectively building a RAISED MEDIAN in stretches of the roadway where it will not adversely affect residents or businesses.
At this point, GDOT is not in favor of the alternate center turn lane plan. Interested citizens can voice their concerns and ideas to GDOT by the DEADLINE of March 23, 2017:
At the bottom, select “Glynn County” and hit GO;
At the bottom, select “SR 25/US 17 WIDENING AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT"
Finally, select “Comment”.
2) Mail your comment to:
Mr. Eric Duff, GDOT
600 W Peachtree St. NW, 16th Fl
Atlanta, GA 30308
On February 8, Brunswick-Glynn County Library Manager Lori Hull visited the State Capitol in Atlanta to represent our libraries at an event affectionately known as "Hot Dog Day." Public library staff from across Georgia serve our legislators Varsity hot dogs as we remind them about the important roles that libraries play in our communities. Pictured above, left to right, are State Librarian Julie Walker, State Representative Jeff Jones, and Lori Hull.
Rep. Jones is a strong supporter of Georgia Public Libraries and in particular the Glynn County Public Library.
"Unfortunately Rep. Hogan and I were unsuccessful in obtaining $2 million in state funding from the House Appropriations Committee that would have been used for a much needed $4 million renovation project for our local library," explained Rep. Jones. "There is a possibility that the Senate may still appropriate the funds. And I want to give a big `Thank you` to the Glynn County Board of Commissioners for appropriating $1.5 million towards the project. We are fortunate that we have a vibrant, busy library in Glynn County."
On February 14, 2017 both bodies of the Georgia General Assembly convened for the sixth week of the 2017 session; by weeks-end we concluded the 20th day or the halfway point of this session.
HB44 – 2018 Budget (I voted YES)
The singular Constitutional requirement for the Georgia General Assembly each year is to pass a “balanced budget.” Were it not for all of the other business that we conduct, we could call it a good year and go home. As I have commented in past newsletters, our federal government could learn from states such as Georgia regarding balancing our budget.
On February 7, 2017 just two days after our Atlanta Falcons valiant efforts fell short to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, both the Georgia House and Senate returned to the Gold Dome in Atlanta to begin the 5th Week (legislative days 13 – 16) of the 2017 session. By the end of next week, we will have completed 20 days or half of the 2017 session, and it seems there is still much work to be done.
HB146 - (I voted YES) Fire Fighters Cancer Insurance bill passed overwhelmingly out of the House thanks to Rep. Micah Gravely (D67). Last year, Rep. Gravely was able to get a Firefighter’s Workers Comp bill passed by the House and Senate, only to have Gov. Deal veto the measure. I agree that this version of firefighter insurance is much better primarily because it allows our counties, cities and community to better project and manage the costs for the coverage. I am proud to support this important step to help our brave firefighters.
Also look at two Firefighter related bills that passed the House HB83 and HB84 (I voted YES to both) which seek to improve Firefighter Pension Fund management.
Rep. Jeff Jones pledges to work to protect Georgia from potential coal ash disposal problems by sponsoring three pieces of coal-ash related legislation, to be introduced to the Georgia House of Representatives this session: