By: Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas)
On Monday, Jan. 11th, 2021, the Georgia Senate reconvened for the first session of the 156th Georgia General Assembly. All 56 senators including nine other new senators were sworn in. As a freshman senator, I am still learning the ropes on being a legislator, but I am eager to get started on work that will best serve Georgians across the state. I am looking forward to this session and am devoted to fighting for our state to ensure growth and be one of the greatest places to live and do business.
Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and the Senate Committee on Assignments announced new chairman committee roles earlier this week, and I am humbled to be serving as Vice Chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee. As a freshman senator, it is an honor to receive such an important leadership position. With that, I am looking forward to doing all that I can to ensure the education system in Georgia continues to strengthen. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended K-12 education across Georgia, as many schools have had to shut their doors to mitigate the spread of the virus. This session we will focus on efforts to make sure our education system bounces back stronger than before. Additionally, I will also serve on the Ethics, Banking and Financial Institutions, Science and Technology, and Transportation committees.
On Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp gave the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Senate and the House. In it, he discussed priorities such as COVID-19 relief, education and rural broadband service. Our rainy day fund remains strong. There will be no new cuts to state agencies, no additional need for furloughs, and no increase in taxes to pay for it under Gov. Kemp’s proposed budget. Additionally, a one-time supplement of $1,000 will be given to each Georgia teacher and educational staff as a thank you for persevering through the hardships of navigating educating our students through the pandemic under the proposed budget. Furthermore, the need to expand rural broadband services across Georgia has been amplified by the shift to a virtual world. Gov. Kemp announced plans to further invest in expanding rural broadband so that thousands of Georgians will have better access to education, healthcare and jobs. The Governor’s budget will still receive input and vetting from the House of Representatives and Senate.
The Paulding County Legislative Delegation has fought to secure the funding for the Paulding County Aviation Training Academy. Yesterday, Gov. Kemp fulfilled our request and has budgeted 26.8 million dollars for the completion of the construction of the Academy. This is on top of the already received 2.4 Million that has been secured for the architectural design and engineering. This appropriation to our county will serve Paulding and Georgia’s youth by starting them off in high paying aviation maintenance careers!
Thank you, District 31, for putting your trust in me to represent you under the Gold Dome. I vow to always put your best interest into consideration when making decisions on important legislation. I am looking forward to keeping you updated as we progress with the 2021 Legislative Session.