The 2024 Legislative Session kicked off on January 8th. This is the second year of a two year session, so we will be considering a lot of bills that were discussed last year. Things will get busier much faster this year than last year. I’ll keep you updated each week. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to subscribe to this newsletter. Click and fill out the form in the middle of the home page under “Join us, sign up for email updates.”
It is my great honor and privilege to represent District 57 under the Gold Dome. Please reach out to me to voice your opinions on legislation that we are debating or that you think we should consider.
I will continue serving on the same committees as last session; Judiciary, Retirement, Transportation Appropriations, Technology and Infrastructure Innovations, and Urban Affairs.
Meet My Staff
We have a great team ready to serve you this year. Kennedie McClung will continue to serve as my Chief of Staff and Scott Caplinger joins us as a legislative intern this session.
Scott is a sophomore at the University of Georgia and is currently majoring in consumer economics. He has always been interested in government and is now exploring it as a career choice. A fun fact about Scott is that he plays clarinet for Georgia’s Redcoat marching band. Go Dawgs!
Virtual Town Hall – mark your calendar!
My first town hall for this session will be on January 30th from 7:00-8:30 pm. State Senator Sonya Halpern and I will bring you the latest news from the Gold Dome and answer your questions. Please register for the event here.
Calendar set; budget hearings start Monday
We voted to set the legislative calendar for this session. You can find a copy of the full legislative calendar here. The two most important milestones for the session are “Crossover Day” (the day by which a bill must pass either the House or Senate to stay alive for the session—with some exceptions) is February 29 and “Sine Die” (the last day of session) is March 28.
On Thursday, I delivered a speech to emphasize the importance of acknowledging the service of men and women in public safety. As public servants, it is our responsibility to recognize their sacrifice and service, and we should not let our fear of criticism stop us from doing so. This week I was appalled to see that not a single republican House member stood while Rep. Shea Roberts stood in honor of those public safety officers who were injured during the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Then the next day, a handful of my democratic colleagues did not stand to honor police officers injured while responding to violence at the Public Safety Training Center. Honoring sacrifice in the line of duty and condemning violence is not a partisan affair. You can click below to listen to my speech.
State of the State
Last Thursday, both the House and Senate members gathered in the House Chamber for a joint session. The Governor delivered his State of the State Address, outlining his legislative priorities and budget proposals. I was happy to hear that his priorities include more funding for K-12 education, support for college access programs, pay raises for state employees, and additions to our state employee retirement accounts. But I was disappointed that for yet another year (of many!) he does not seem willing to make expansion of Medicaid or addressing gun violence a priority.
I’m also disappointed that instead of using Georgia’s record budget surplus to make long-term investments in education, transportation, and healthcare infrastructure, Republican leaders are focused only on short-term “band-aid fixes” that won’t sustain the test of time on any large scale.
House Page Program
The House Page Program is for Georgia’s students between 12 and 18 years of age and older to visit the State Capitol, learn about the legislative process, and help facilitate business on the House floor by relaying messages between legislators and citizens and lobbyists, delivering copies of legislation, and performing other tasks.
This year each House member has only have 5 slots per representative. If your child would like to apply to serve as a page this Legislative Session, please fill out the form on the official House Page site linked here and follow the instructions. If you have any questions, please reach out to my Chief of Staff, Kennedie McClung at [email protected]