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2013 Legislative Blog Update

Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones discusses the progress of the 2013 Georgia General Assembly.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

The 152nd session of the Georgia General Assembly kicked off to a productive start on Jan. 14 with 37 freshmen Representatives joining 141 returning legislators in the House. In addition, special elections for two newly vacant seats take place today.

The House began the term by overwhelmingly re-electing Rep. David Ralston as
Speaker and myself as Speaker Pro Tempore. I’m grateful and excited to continue
to represent your interests in this leadership position.

I’m also pleased to continue serving as ex officio of all House committees, in
addition to my stated position on the Appropriations, Education, Ethics,
Reapportionment, and Rules Committees.

The remaining 29 official days of session will be spread out over February and
March. Although we’ve introduced several important pieces of legislation in the
past three weeks, we have much more to accomplish before the session ends.

Governor Nathan Deal’s State of the State address included recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2014 budget. He proposed a $19.8 billion budget that will allocate
funds to juvenile justice reform, greater educational opportunities for children, and many other important initiatives. For the Governor’s complete address, visit my website, www.janjonesforgeorgia.com.

Earlier this session, House and Senate members met with the Governor and state agency heads to modify the remaining Fiscal Year 2013 budget and finalize the FY2014 budget. State revenues show a slight increase from FY2013, but greater spending requirements in important areas like healthcare and education, plus an
uncertainty regarding federal funding, resulted in the majority of state agencies taking a three-percent budget cut.

Please note that our House District number has changed from 46 to 47. As always, I look forward to assisting constituents, so feel free to visit me at the
Capitol, call my office at 404-656-5072, or contact me through my Facebook
page, facebook.com/janjonesforgeorgia.

Sincerely,

Jan Jones

State Representative

District 47, Fulton County



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lee Fleck February 14, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Passing new county commission district maps, eliminating the current Chairman, as well as the initiative to double the homestead exemption while implementing limitations on millage rate increases just might provide an impetus for Fulton County the endorse the re-creation Milton County so they can regain control of what is left.
Morris Devereaux February 19, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Mr. Cross, perseverance is a fine quality which I'm sure we both admire. However, there comes a time when perseverance becomes simply tilting at windmills. As I'm sure you know, this initiative requires a amendment to the state constitution to increase the number of counties in Georgia. Georgia already has far too many counties and I think it's highly unlikely that we'll ever get the support in the state legislature for that amendment, regardless of the support we may get elsewhere. in addition, rural lawmakers aren't fools. They know if Milton becomes a reality, then the City of Atlanta becomes a welfare child of the state. In other words, all that money that we in North Fulton spend on Atlanta and the South side now has to come from other counties as well. They know that WE want out of Fulton so WE can quit supporting Grady and other programs in Atlanta....which means THEY will. No, I'm sorry. I think it's a great idea, but one that will never come to pass regardless of how many times it comes up. In my humble opinion, the best and most productive route to go is to try for reapportionment and get another seat on the Fulton County Commission. One seat in the North could change everything on that Commission, particularly if our friends in Sandy Springs could elect someone for THEIR district that can stay awake during an entire commission meeting.
Morris Devereaux February 19, 2013 at 01:20 PM
If we want to talk about impetus Mr. Fleck, then what we SHOULD be talking about is our failure to get two people elected in the "at-large" districts. If we worked harder for that, perhaps we could get the majority we need.
Pat February 19, 2013 at 05:09 PM
How much effort was put out to oust Pitts in the last at large election? Plenty from North Fulton. We had a great candidate in Lori Henry, but unfortunately, we were still overwhelmed by the remainder of the county. It didn't matter how hard we worked, and some of us worked very hard indeed. In short, the deck was stacked against us. This is the first opportunity to correct an unjust map. The changes proposed by Mrs. Jones will help the representation of us up here and we should be asking how we can help her effect change in the legislature and in Fulton County.
Morris Devereaux February 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I certainly support proposed legislative changes (particularly reapportionment) but otherwise I don't know that we're doing what we could. While I certainly think Ms. Henry is a fine candidate, she's not well known in the rest of the County. We HAVE managed to elect at large candidates in the past...Mike Kenn and Mitch Skandalakis for example. But these were people who had great name recognition all over the County. That's what it takes to win at-large. But as for Milton County....I think if one looks at the current occupant of the White House, that illustrates as well as anything that no matter how wise one choice may be, or how obvious it may seem, if you can't get the majority of voters to go along with you, you're wasting your time.

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