By Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge)
From the world’s busiest airport to the fastest growing container port in America, Georgia leads the nation in moving people and goods. That didn’t happen by accident.
On the contrary, for generations, Georgians have invested in the infrastructure necessary to facilitate our forward momentum.
Recently, we have invested in deepening the Port of Savannah with a quarter of a billion dollars in state funding. We have also modernized our funding for roads and bridges through the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170).
We have planned prudently and invested wisely, but we still have more work to do. And, for the first time in many decades, we have an ally in Washington, D.C.Read more
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."
Pictured: Rep. Jeff Jones with Georgia House Pages; Christopher and Anna, and the Honorable Speaker David Ralston.Read more
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.”
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.
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.Read more
By Representative Jeff Jones
One year-ago – Earth Day, April 22, 2014 – the Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Department of Natural Resources, announced that the State of Georgia would no longer enforce a long-standing provision requiring a 25-foot marsh protection buffer. (View EPD Director Jud Turner’s letter) The marsh buffer stipulation, which appears in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, requires marsh front developments - whether large or small, commercial or residential - to observe a 25-foot buffer. The buffer’s purpose is to protect salt marshes from upland soil erosion, and runoff from construction and from commercial or residential marsh-side developments.
As a resident of coastal Georgia serving my first term in the Georgia House of Representatives, I was extremely concerned about the prospect that our coastal marshes were unprotected by a buffer and the possibility that our environmentally and economically important marsh buffers would continue unprotected.
Throughout the end of 2014, I continued to read, listen and learn more about coastal marsh protection issues. In the process, coastal residents and legislators voiced strong concerns and objections to EPD's decision to cease enforcement of the buffer provision. The EPD Director justified the decision to stop buffer enforcement because he said that language in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act was confusing, EPD's enforcement was inconsistent across the state and that the 2004 letter from ex-EPD Director Carol Couch, which had been acceptable for over 10 years was not enforceable as law (View Carol Couch’s 2004 memorandum). For example, for more than a decade, the agency had been enforcing the buffer on coastal salt marsh, but not on freshwater wetlands, which have their own, separate complexities, issues and challenges. Upon reading the language in the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, I began to better understand the confusion about the Act's applicability to coastal salt marsh and became convinced that we needed a legislative remedy.Read more
From the Desk of Representative Jeff Jones
Legislative Update Week 11, March 27, 2015 - Crunch Time!
We returned to Atlanta and reconvened the House of Representatives on Monday, March 23, 2015. This is quite literally crunch time as legislators in both the House and Senate work to get legislation they have sponsored pushed through the process and on to the floor of the House and/or Senate for a vote.
It’s interesting to see the types of bills that come before the General Assembly anywhere from mundane, but necessary, laws to bring Georgia tax code in line with Federal tax code, to a bill allowing the non-traditional zero-emission Tesla automobile to be sold in Georgia not following the traditional auto manufacturer-franchised dealer network (current Georgia law prevents vehicles from being sold “direct to the public” from the manufacturer.) I sit on the Motor Vehicles Committee that heard that bill, and I voted to pass it out of committee. The “Tesla” bill, like many others, may or may not make it through the Senate, and may or may not be signed into law. Again, just another example of the type of bills that are considered.Read more