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Gov. Nathan Deal: Releases Child Welfare Reform Council Recommendation

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal Leadership

Deal releases Child Welfare Reform Council recommendations

Gov. Nathan Deal today released the final report of recommendations from his Child Welfare Reform Council. Deal tasked the council in March 2014 with improving Georgia’s child welfare system by completing a comprehensive review of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and advising on possible executive agency reforms and legislative actions.

“Last year, I called to action our state’s top child welfare advocates, administrators, legislators and experts to improve a system in clear need of meaningful reform,” said Deal. “I’m proud to say that this council heeded my call, and then some. As we enter the 2015 legislative session, these recommendations will provide a framework for strengthening the system and allow us to better serve our state’s children and those who work to protect them. Every child deserves his or her best shot at a good life, and the work of this council is a step toward providing just that.”

The recommendations work to address the challenges facing the child welfare system in the categories of safety, permanency and well-being. The council recommends the establishment of vertically integrated advisory boards to streamline internal communication and improve service delivery to families across the state. To promote the safety and security of DFCS caseworkers in the field, the strengthening of relationships between law enforcement and DFCS is critical. Also to bolster security efforts, the council recommends that technological options such as ‘panic buttons’ be explored as ways to increase the safety of caseworkers in the field, and joint training sessions be conducted with local and state law enforcement officials. Another recommendation is to increase state agencies’ ability to share data and custodial records, which would allow caseworkers to have an up-to-date, accurate and complete picture of a child’s records and improve overall caseworker effectiveness.Continue Reading..


Rep. Tom Price: Applauds Passage of Keystone Pipeline

Your Washington – GA 6 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Price 


Price Applauds Passage of Keystone Pipeline

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline: 
“Once again, the House has acted with broad, bipartisan support to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we expect swift action in the Senate. This common sense project will create jobs and strengthen America’s energy security. It reflects the will of the American people who are ready to see Congress work together on real solutions to expand economic opportunity.  

“Instead of working across the aisle like he has repeatedly claimed he would, President Obama has already issued a veto threat. He has blocked this project for years – putting political considerations above the interests of American workers.

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Rep. Tom Graves: Votes to Build Keystone Pipeline, Create Jobs

Your Washington – Ga 14 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Graves

Tom Graves 2

Rep. Graves Votes to Build Keystone Pipeline, Create Jobs

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (H.R. 3), which would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:

“Building the Keystone XL pipeline is just common sense. It creates tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and adds billions of dollars to our economy. With five safety and environmental reviews conducted by the State Department and the breaking news this morning that the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed their governor’s right to approve the pipeline’s route inside Nebraska, I’m not sure how the administration would justify anything but signing this major private-sector jobs project into law.”

According to the State Department, the Keystone XL pipeline would create approximately 42,100 jobs and roughly $2 billion in earnings throughout the country.

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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: House Passes Jobs Bills in First Week of 114th Congress

Your Washington – Ga 3 – Desk

From Congressman Lynn Westmoreland


House Passes Jobs Bills in First Week of 114th Congress

This week, the House passed three bills to provide job opportunities and security, and stability to American energy production. The three bills were H.R. 22, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act, and H.R. 3, Keystone Pipeline XL Act. Congressman Westmoreland strongly supported each of these bills.

“House Republicans have always made their priority jobs, and this week we have once again proved our commitment to getting all Americans back to work,” stated Westmoreland. “First, we passed the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, which creates incentives for businesses to hire veterans by allowing businesses to exempt employees with healthcare through the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs from being subject to Obamacare’s employer mandate. By exempting them from the employer mandate tax, businesses can use this tool to hire those who gave so much for our nation by providing stable jobs following their service.

“Obamacare has also done a tremendous amount of damage to our workforce in terms of what is defined as ‘full-time employment.’ The healthcare law defines ‘full-time’ as 30 hours a week and employers must provide health coverage to employees who meet those hours. Many businesses have reduced employees to part-time hours, or just below 30 hours, to avoid having to purchase more health benefits or else be forced to pay a fine to the federal government. The Saving American Workers Act the House passed this week changes the definition of ‘full-time employment’ back to 40 hours a week, meaning more employees can work longer hours and small businesses aren’t subject to being fined by the government. It helps middle-class Americans keep the jobs and hours they have by relieving the employers from the burden of Obamacare and its hefty fines. I support a full repeal of Obamacare, and these bills are another step forward in breaking down this job-killing healthcare law.Continue Reading..


Sen. – Elect Michael Williams: Appointed to Serve as Deputy Whip – Senate Majority Caucus

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator-Elect Michael Williams

Michael Williams


Senator-elect Michael Williams Appointed to Serve as Deputy Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus

Senator-elect Michael Williams (R – Cumming) was appointed to serve as Deputy Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus by Senate Majority Whip, Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega). He will serve during the upcoming biennial legislative term of the Georgia General Assembly. In this role, Senator-elect Williams’ primary responsibility will be to assist the Majority Whip with researching legislation, educating and informing caucus members, and ensuring a full caucus presence during important legislative votes.

“I am honored to be selected to serve as the Deputy Whip by the Senate leadership team during my first term as a senator,” said Senator-elect Williams. “I look forward to working with leadership to advocate for policies that continue to make Georgia the best state to live, work and play.”

“I think Senator-elect Williams will be an asset to the Republican leadership team. He is well-liked by his colleagues, and has proven he knows how to get the job done. We are looking forward to working with him” Sen. Gooch said, following the appointment. Continue Reading..


Sens. Isakson, Perdue: Announce GA Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Your Washington Desk 

From U.S. Senator’s Johnny Isakson and David Perdue 

isakson Perdue

Isakson, Perdue Announce Georgia Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Students will visit Washington, D.C., receive $5,000 scholarship

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., today announced that two Georgia students have been selected as delegates to the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 7 through 14, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

Kylon Harris of Americus, Ga., and Jacob Pierce of Conley, Ga., were chosen to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 53rd annual Washington Week.

While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, House representatives, congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums.

“The selection of Kylon Harris and Jacob Pierce to represent Georgia in the Senate Youth Program speaks volumes about their character and commitment to service,” said Senator Isakson. “They set a positive example for their peers, and I looking forward to welcoming Kylon and Jacob to Washington during their trip.”

“It’s easy to be proud to be from Georgia, but Kylon Harris and Jacob Pierce make it even easier,” saidSenator Perdue. “Their dedication to both their schools and their communities are truly impressive, and I am excited to meet them when they come to Washington on behalf of all Georgia students.”Continue Reading..


Sen. – Elect P.K. Martin: Applauds Grayson & Snellville – Give Hunger the Boot

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator-Elect P.K. Martin

PK Martin state SEnate 9 Logo

State Senator-Elect P.K. Martin Applauds Grayson and Snellville on Efforts to Give Hunger the Boot

Senator-elect P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville) today applauded the joint efforts by the cities of Grayson and Snellville to fight hunger and help those in need in our local community and encouraged local residents to join the challenge.

Snellville Councilman Dave Emmanuel and his wife Kathy created the ‘Give Hunger the Boot’ Program in Snellville, which has raised more than $10,000 in food and financial donations for the Southeast Gwinnett Food Co-Operative in the last three years.

Last month, the city of Grayson challenged the city of Snellville to a donation-raising contest to see which city could collect the most canned and dry food donations. The outcome will be decided on Jan. 19 when all donations are delivered to the Co-Op.

“I want to applaud the cities Snellville and Grayson for reminding us that hunger doesn’t end at Christmas. There still a great need in our community, and I am proud of those in each city who are working hard to make a difference. My family and I have donated food to the effort in both cities, and I encourage people to please consider joining this effort by giving to the local food co-ops today,” said Senator-elect Martin.Continue Reading..


Rep. Tom Graves: Announces Staff Changes

Your Washington – Ga 14 – Desk 

From Congressman Tom Graves 

Tom Graves 2

Rep. Tom Graves Announces Staff Changes

Rep. Tom Graves today announced staff changes in his Washington and Dalton offices.

John Donnelly, who previously served as communications director and deputy chief of staff for Rep. Graves, was named chief of staff.

Garrett Hawkins, who most recently worked as deputy communications director on Ed Gillespie’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia, and also served as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, was hired as communications director.

Valerie Jones, who previously served as staff assistant in the Dalton office, now serves as a constituent service representative.Continue Reading..


Rep. Allen Peake: Announces Changes to Medical Cannabis Legislation

Your Georgia Desk 

From State Representative Allen Peake

allen child

Rep. Peake Announces Changes to Medical Cannabis Legislation

State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) today met with Governor Nathan Deal to announce changes to Rep. Peake’s medical cannabis legislation, House Bill 1, for the 2015 legislative session.

“I have been in intense conversations with the Governor over the last several days about HB 1, and I view today’s progress as a huge step in the right direction,” said Rep. Peake. “After much discussion, it is clear that we need to conduct more research on setting an in-state growing scenario in order to provide the best and most effective infrastructure for our citizens. Last year, I made a promise to bring our families home and to give Georgians a chance to obtain cannabis oil in our state without fear of prosecution, and this has remained a priority. The changes that we have agreed upon for HB 1 vary slightly from the original version, but the bottom line is that we will be bringing Georgia families back home.”

Proposed changes to HB 1 include immediate decriminalization, upon the Governor’s signature of HB 1, for possession of cannabis oil containing between 3-5% THC for individuals with certain medical conditions who have obtained the cannabis legally in another state. Also included in the changes to HB 1 is the creation of a council whose sole charge will be to examine the future establishment of a regulatory model for an in-state growth and distribution infrastructure in Georgia. The committee will also be charged with making its recommendations to the General Assembly by December 31, 2015.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 9, 2015

Segregated seating on Atlanta buses was held unconstitutional by a federal court on January 9, 1959.

Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter arrived in Athens to register at the University of Georgia on January 9, 1961.

After Julian Bond’s election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, the chamber voted against seating him ostensibly because he had publicly state his opposition to the war in Vietnam. On January 10, 1967, after the United States Supreme Court held the legislature had denied Bond his right to free speech, he was seated as a member of the State House.

Georgia Politics

Dawsonville Ga Yellow Ribbons

Dawsonville, Georgia.

Brigadier General Joe Jarrard has assumed command of the Georgia Department of Defense, comprising the Georgia Army National Guard, Georgia Air National Guard, and the Georgia State Defense Force. The Marietta Daily Journal has a nice set of photos from the change of command ceremony.

Early voting in House District 50  will begin on January 20th for the February 3d Special Election Runoff. That is also likely the date for early voting to begin in the House District 120 runoff.Continue Reading..