The blog.

22
Feb

Gov. Nathan Deal: WebstaurantStore to create 150 jobs in Dougherty County

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal Jobs

Deal: WebstaurantStore to create 150 jobs in Dougherty County 

E-commerce site to invest $10 million into a new distribution and fulfillment center in Albany

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that WebstaurantStore, an e-commerce brand that sells restaurant equipment and supplies, will create 150 jobs and invest $10 million into a distribution and fulfillment center in Albany over the next three years.

“E-commerce companies such as WebstaurantStore choose Georgia because they can trust that here they will find opportunities for innovation and growth,” said Deal. “With our skilled, dedicated workforce and business-friendly environment, I have no doubt that WebstaurantStore will remain highly competitive in today’s ever-changing market.”

WebstaurantStore will locate to an existing 472,000-square-foot facility. The company’s Albany distribution center will serve clients in the Southeast and will help meet the company’s goal of providing one-day shipping to its customers. Hiring is expected to begin in December 2015.

“We are very excited to be coming to the Albany area and look forward to being part of the community for many years to come,” said WebstaurantStore President Dave Groff.

WebstaurantStore, headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., is the leading restaurant supply store, with more than 4 million orders shipped to date. The company’s current three U.S. distribution centers provide restaurant supplies and equipment to the foodservice industry and individual customers worldwide.

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22
Feb

Sen. Johnny Isakson: Co-sponsors Legislation to Restrict Amount of Union Business Federal Employees May Conduct While On Government Payroll

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson 

Isakson 2016

Isakson Co-sponsors Legislation to Restrict Amount of Union Business Federal Employees May Conduct While On Government Payroll

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced that he is a co-sponsor of legislation that would restrict the ability of federal employees to conduct as much union-related business as they want at the office while on the government payroll.

The Federal Employee Accountability Act seeks to curtail the amount of time federal employees are allowed to perform union-related activities while working on the government payroll. The legislation would allow federal employees to conduct union business at their government jobs only in rare circumstances when the federal agency and the union agree it is “reasonable, necessary and in the public interest.”

“While on the taxpayers’ dime, federal employees should not be allowed to spend the entire day, every day, conducting union-related business and not doing the government job they were hired for,” said Isakson. “This is commonsense legislation that would help ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being used for union activities that should instead be conducted during the employees’ paid time off, as would be demanded in the private sector.”

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the government spent more than $157 million paying federal employees for conducting 3.4 million hours of union business in 2012. The Government Accountability Office, in a November 2014 study, found that in just eight government agencies alone, there were 386 federal employees spending 100 percent of their time on union business.

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22
Feb

Sen. Dean Burke: Expanding Access to Affordable Medications for Georgians

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Dean Burke

DEan Burke

Expanding Access to Affordable Medications for Georgians

As a practicing physician, I have served the community of southwest Georgia for more than 25 years, dedicating my life’s work to providing patients with the best care available. Now as a State Senator, I have an expanded opportunity to help patients as well as my constituents by sponsoring SB 51, a piece of legislation that will improve patient care statewide. One of my priorities is ensuring that patients receive safe medications at a lower cost.

Medical innovation continues to advance, and more doctors are using complex drugs made from living organisms called biologic medicines, to treat their patients with chronic diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis. Humira, a biologic medication used to treat arthritis, can cost upwards of $3,000 for one refill. By allowing physicians to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense biosimilars —similar to a generic version of biologics— the cost of medication can be reduced by up to 80 percent.

The advent of biosimilars only furthers the expanded access of available medicine for doctors to prescribe to their patients. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing the first biosimilars application, and it is possible that these alternative treatment options will be on the market in the next few months.

Despite their promise—highly complex biologics are expensive, which is why I am excited that biosimilars will soon be on the market to provide more patients access to these innovative drugs. The more confident physicians are in prescribing biosimilars as separate, but equally viable treatment options to biologics, the more cost effective it will be for patients. My co-sponsor, Representative Sharon Cooper, and I have been working diligently to create a piece of legislation, SB 51, that ensures the proper framework is put in place to enable a safe uptake so physicians can prescribe medication that will be cost effective for their patients.

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22
Feb

Sen. Tyler Harper: Update from the Capitol

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Tyler Harper

Sen Tyler harper

HARPER: Update from the Capitol

Another week has come and gone at the State Capitol as we continue our march towards the last day of the 2015 Legislative Session. This week was one that saw the senate pass several pieces of important legislation aimed keeping Georgia the best state to call home.  We also had the honor of recognizing many upstanding Georgia citizens, many whom call Senate District 7 home.

With 2015 Legislative Session in full swing, I would like to share with you some of the highlights of the past two weeks:

The Georgia Senate unanimously passed SB 5, which amends legal language relating to the Georgia Ports Authority’s ability to accept federal loans in Georgia’s effort to deepen the Savannah Port.  This is just one more step toward making one of Georgia’s best economic-development engines even more prosperous.  We must continue invest in this essential project to ensure economic growth and employment opportunities in this great state for generations to come.

The General Assembly has set its working calendar for the rest of the session, which rarely gets done so early in a legislative year. I want to applaud the leadership in the General Assembly not only for being decisive about our schedule, but ensuring that we are a citizen legislature sent to carry out our limited responsibilities then return home to our districts. The resolution set Sine Die, legislative day 40, for Thursday April 2nd, which is just before the Easter holiday.

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22
Feb

Sen. Jeff Mullis: Update from the Gold Dome

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Jeff Mullis

Mullis

Update from the Gold Dome

The Georgia General Assembly got off to a delayed start this week when then threat of severe winter weather closed Capitol Hill offices on Monday. Although Monday wasn’t an official legislative day, it did impact the time legislators and staff members need to properly prepare for the week. Many of us still spent the day at home reviewing bills or completing other legislative tasks.

I was pleased to see the Georgia Senate approve two bills this week that will create and enhance the educational and work opportunities available to our military service men and women. These individuals make great sacrifices in order to keep our nation safe, and it is important that we do everything possible to support their career goals both in and outside of the military. Senate Bill 18 will allow practical military work skills or experience to be accepted by the Technical College System of Georgia as academic credit. This means that valuable experience in highly skilled military jobs will help our soldiers be able to reach their educational goals more quickly and efficiently.

Senate Bill 58 is a bill that will create the Georgia Leadership and Service Admissions Act. This Act will give each legislator the ability to recommend one student each year for admission to a school within the University System of Georgia, as long as the student meets HOPE scholarship requirements and commits to serving in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) throughout their term of enrollment.

Other bills the Georgia Senate took action on this week include:

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22
Feb

Sen. Greg Kirk: Week 6 Updates from the Capitol

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Greg Kirk

KIrk

 

Week 6 Updates from the Capitol

Bouts of snow flurries and ice came and went this week, but it didn’t stop the Senate from staying on track and completing Legislative Days 16 through 19. We are right on track and quickly moving through legislation. This week we passed several important bills that will now move on to the House.

On Tuesday, I had the tremendous honor of introducing one of my good friends, Rev. Bud Womack, as Chaplain of the Day. Rev. Womack spoke inspiring words reminding us that while we have important jobs here at the Capitol, it is important to take a step back and enjoy the small things in life.

Under current state law, probate courts and superior courts split the jurisdiction for game and fish violations. Georgia probate courts currently have jurisdiction of misdemeanor game and fish violations, but with the passage of SB 62, certain limitations will be removed granting probate courts full jurisdiction over these violations.

College educations are becoming more and more vital as young people enter the work force, but as they become more expensive, young adults are going straight into the workforce and returning to school later in life. This is why the Senate came together and unanimously passed SB 18, a bill that will allow the Technical College System of Georgia to accept prior work experience and skills learned through the military for academic credit. The brave men and women who serve and protect our country deserve to be credited for the knowledge they acquired through their service.

In addition to helping those who have already served in the United States Military, we passed SB 58, a bill that will support the dreams of high school students who wish to obtain military training while earning a college degree. SB 58 will allow each member of the General Assembly, the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor to give a recommendation to one high school senior each year to use for admission to an ROTC program at any institution in the University System of Georgia. This opportunity will provide exceptional students with proven leadership abilities to become involved in a program that will teach them skills they cannot gain from a traditional college program.

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22
Feb

VIDEO – Sen. Johnny Isakson: “It is Time to Destroy ISIL”

Your Washington Desk

From U.S. Johnny Isakson 

Senator Isakson: “It is Time to Destroy ISIL”

Isakson urges Congress to pass stronger authorization of military force against ISIL

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss the president’s request to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and its affiliates that would allow the president and our military to do everything necessary to destroy the terrorist group.

“We need to have unfettered authority to go after ISIL, and do whatever it takes to wipe them out,” Isakson, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said during today’s interview. “You can’t negotiate with somebody who will cut your head off or burn somebody alive. It’s time we took them out and destroyed them. If we don’t, we’re going to have to deal with them in a bigger fashion later on.”

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22
Feb

Sen. John Albers: Week 5: Education Initiatives for Bettering Georgia

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator John Albers 

John Albers

 

Week 5: Education Initiatives for Bettering Georgia

This time last year we were recovering from the effects of “snowmageddon,” the storm that shut down Atlanta. This week, we were threatened by forecasts of sleet, snow and ice, but that didn’t slow us down. We are continuing to pick up the pace as we move closer to the end of the 153rdLegislative Session and I look forward to keeping you updated as we move along.

This week we passed several pieces of legislation designed to benefit and protect the service men, women and animals who serve in our nations’ military and our state’s police force. On Tuesday, we unanimously passed Senate Bill 18, a bill that will allow the Technical College System of Georgia to accept previous military work experience for academic credit. The brave men and women who serve and protect our country deserve to be credited for the knowledge they acquired through their service.

In addition to helping those who have already served in the United States Military, we passed SB 58, a bill that will support the dreams of high school students who wish to obtain military training while earning a college degree. SB 58 will create the Georgia Leadership and Service Act, a bill designed to encourage exceptional high school seniors who show leadership capabilities to join the ROTC program at any institution in the University System of Georgia. This bill will allow every member of the General Assembly, the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor to recommend a student, who meets the requirements, for admission into an ROTC program.

Not only do we need to ensure that the men and women who serve our country are protected under the law, but we also need to ensure that the service animals who serve our country are protected to the same degree. Friday, the Senate passed SB 72, a piece of legislation that will establish new crimes and punishments for an individual found guilty of harming or killing a police animal while it is performing its duties.

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22
Feb

Sen. Bill Heath: Almost Halfway Home

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Bill Heath 

Bill Heath

Almost Halfway Home

This week’s newsletter is going to be more about the bills that passed the Senate this week. Last week, “the pace had picked up,” and the Senate is now moving bills through with some speed; passing 8 Senate Bills and agreeing to minor changes in the Senate’s version of the amended budget.

Here’s a brief summary of the bills that will now pass over to the House for their consideration:

Senate Bill 18 establishes policies for the Technical College System of Georgia to grant academic college-level credit for learning from military service, prior work experience or self-study.

Senate Bill 62 removes limitations on probate courts so that they now have jurisdiction over all fish and game violations. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division has historically filed these offenses with probate courts.

Senate Bill 58, called the “Georgia Leadership and Service Admission Act,” will allow every member of the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to recommend a student who meets HOPE Scholarship requirements to a college in the Board of Regents system if that student agrees to participate in Reserve Officer’s Training Corps while enrolled in college.

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22
Feb

Sen. Michael Williams: Updates from the Capitol

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Michael Williams

MIchael Williams

Updates from the Capitol

Bouts of snow flurries and ice came and went this week, but that didn’t stop the Senate from staying on track and completing Legislative Days 16 through 19. We are right on track and moving quickly. This week we passed several important bills that will impact people all over our great state.

College educations are becoming more and more vital as young people enter the work force, but as they become more expensive, young adults are going straight into the workforce and returning to school later in life. This is one reason the Senate came together and unanimously passed SB 18, a bill that will allow the Technical College System of Georgia to accept prior work experience and skills learned through military service for academic credit. The brave men and women who serve and protect our country deserve to be credited for the knowledge and leadership skills they acquired from their service.

In addition to helping those who have already served in the United States Military, we passed SB 58, a bill that will support the dreams of high school students who wish to obtain military training while earning a college degree. SB 58 will allow each member of the General Assembly, along with the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor to designate one high school senior each year who will receive a written letter of recommendation to use for admission to an ROTC program at any institution in the University System of Georgia. This opportunity will provide exceptional students with proven leadership abilities to become involved in a program that will teach them skills they cannot gain from a traditional college program.

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