The legislative session is well underway, with our adjournment on Thursday of this week we have successfully completed 12 days of our 2017 session.
The first piece of legislation we passed this year was the Amended Budget for the 2017 Fiscal Year. Each year the General Assembly passes two budgets-a budget for the upcoming fiscal year as well as an amended budget for the current fiscal year. In the 2017 Amended Budget the Republican led House of Representatives continued to demonstrate our dedication to our state’s children and our education system.
This amended budget includes over $100 million in increased funding for system enrollment growth as well as $16 million in new funding for our Move on When Ready program. Investments in education are investments in Georgia’s future, and I am proud of the work we have done, and are continuing to do, for our state’s students.
Unfortunately, our community is one of the highest in the nation for children in DFACS custody and we have a great need for foster parents.
To help with recruitment and retention of foster parents the 2017 Amended Budget provides $1 million to fund a 57 percent increase in the per diem rate for foster parents effective on April 1, 2017.
These families are doing the Lord’s work and every little bit can help them change the lives of these young children in their care.
Our state owes a great gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day as law enforcement officials. The Amended Budget includes a 20 percent pay raise for these dedicated state law enforcement officers.
Most of the time we spend during session is packed with legislative business, however, it is important that my colleagues and I take time to honor the dedicated Georgians we are privileged enough to serve.
Last year during the legislative session the House lost one of our greatest members, Representative Bob Bryant of Garden City. During my first three and half years in the legislature I had the honor to sit next to Representative Bryant and found it extremely fitting for the House to honor his legacy with House Resolution 116.
This year the Cedartown High School Cheerleaders won the AAAA GHSA State Championship. We should all be proud of these young athletes and their coaches for this great accomplishment and I was honored to host and recognize them in the House.
With one-quarter of the legislative session now completed, I want you to know I am and continue to be focused on representing our community to the fullest of my abilities. It is my honor to serve as your Representative. I take my responsibilities seriously, and make it a point to carefully weigh any legislation which crosses my desk for a vote. To help me accomplish this goal, please feel free to contact me to share your opinion on pending legislation or if I can help you in any other way. My cell phone is 770-324-2275 and you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I ask you to keep me and our other state officials in your prayers.
May God Bless You and Your Family,