Sine Die has come and gone, officially ending the 2017 Session of the Georgia General Assembly.
This will be my last weekly update, but I will be periodically submitting columns throughout the year to stay in contact with you, the voters. I’d like to thank the North Georgia News & Towns County Herald once again for their help. Last Friday morning, at about 1:00 am, the House adjourned for the last time this year. We accomplished a lot of good during these past 40 days and prevented a lot of bad. If you’ve been reading my column weekly, you know about some of these legislative measures already.
Here’s an update on the final status of some of those bills that had yet to pass both chambers.
HB 225; which unfortunately passed the House, stalled and effectively died in the Senate. This means Georgians won’t be subjected to a tax increase on Uber, Lyft & AirBnB.
Another bill that met an untimely death was HB 61, a huge internet sales tax hike. That means Georgians will keep an estimated $274 million dollars in their pockets.
I previously told you that HB 340, which dealt with changes to the TAVT tax. It had some very good parts and some very bad parts. In the end, the fix for leased cars was included, lowering taxes by approximately $ 75 million, and even more importantly, the tax increase on used cars was stripped, saving those who buy used cards, hundreds of millions of dollars!
Sine Die, especially in non-election years, can be a scary day. In my time being around the Capitol, this might be the best ending to session I’ve seen in a while. Not everything was sunshine and lollipops of course. While Campus Carry did pass, it was compromised again, and again, and again. I’m not even sure we can really call it Campus Carry anymore. The only places Georgian Weapons License holders will be able to conceal carry seems to be parking lots and hallways. We will have to come back next year and continue to push for the restoration of our Second Amendment rights, starting with Constitutional Carry. On that note, I will be a speaker at the Chatuge Gun Club’s annual meeting on April 18th, which is only the start of the work I will be doing before next session.
Another bill that I haven’t mentioned yet was an adoption bill that passed the House unanimously. It brought much-needed modernization to adoption laws in Georgia but political games struck again and it died despite many attempts to bargain with the Senate.
I’ve probably overused this expression, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to continuing the conversation and giving you more details on the issues that are important to you during my April Town Hall Tour of all four counties in District 8!
Here is the information for all four Town Halls. Rabun County is this Thursday!
Rabun County, April 6th at 6:30pm
Kingwood Resort – 401 Country Club Drive, Clayton GA 30525
Hosted by the Rabun County GOP and sponsored by the Rabun County Teenage Republicans
White County, April 17th at 6:30pm
Truett McConnell University, Nix Student Center – 100 Alumni Drive, Cleveland GA 30428
Hosted by the White County GOP
Union County, April 25th at 7:00pm
Union County Community Center – 129 Union Co Recreation Road, Blairsville GA 30152
Hosted by the Union/Towns Tea Party and sponsored by the Union County GOP
Towns County, April 27th at 6:30pm
Young Harris College, Wilson Lecture Hall – 1 College Street, Young Harris, GA 30582
Hosted by Young Harris College & President Cathy Cox and Sponsored by the Towns County GOP & the Department of Business and Public Policy
The Capitol isn’t all about passing or killing bills. Much of it is about relationships and debate. While I had been a Legislative Aide for four years previously, it’s different being the one who pushes the button. My experience since January 9th has given me hope. My colleagues have given me hope. You have given me hope. I believe we can turn things around and make sure that Georgia remains the shining state upon the hill.
We still have some hard work to do as we fight against subsidies (aka corporate welfare), strive to have a fairer tax system, and advocate for the restitution of ALL our God given rights. That being said, regardless of the current establishment reign, the thirst for freedom and prosperity are not dead at the Capitol, and are alive and well in District 8 and around Georgia.
On that note, thank you again for all your support & prayers and I hope to see you very soon, back home in our beautiful Georgia Mountains.
It’s always an honor to serve you.