Sen. Frank Ginn: Unanimous Support for Education in the Georgia State Senate

9
Feb

Sen. Frank Ginn: Unanimous Support for Education in the Georgia State Senate

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Frank Ginn

Sen. Frank Ginn

Unanimous Support for Education in the Georgia State Senate

Last week, the Georgia State Senate convened for Days 9, 10 and 11 of the 2015 legislative session. Senate Appropriations subcommittees met throughout the week to review HB 75, the supplemental appropriations bill for FY 2015. The bill will likely hit the chamber floor this week, where it will be voted on by the full Senate. If the Senate passes an amended version of HB 75, it will need to be sent back to the House before being sent to Governor Deal’s desk for a signature. If the House does not agree with the Senate’s version of HB 75, a conference committee from both chambers will be appointed to work out the differences. Only then will HB 75 be able to be sent to Governor Deal for his final approval.

The Senate unanimously passed legislation for the second time since session started—showing that we clearly have a bipartisan commitment to improving the education and overall welfare of Georgia’s children. Senate Bill 2 will provide Georgia’s students with another pathway to success by allowing students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while also completing rigorous coursework at a Technical College. Not only will this help students reach education and career goals more efficiently, but it will also send a clear message to potential business investors that Georgia has a skilled workforce at the ready to fill their open positions.

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) will work with the State Board of Education to identify gaps in the workforce where skilled professionals are needed. Local school boards will be given reports about these areas of need and encouraged to use them in order to better assist their students in making educational choices. As lawmakers, it’s our responsibility to make sure students have multiple avenues for success at all education levels—by passing SB 2, we are keeping education a top priority in our state.

The Honorable Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson of the Supreme Court of Georgia delivered his annual “State of the Judiciary” address to a joint session of the House and Senate; highlighting the accomplishments of Georgia’s Judicial Branch as well as the challenges ahead.  Georgia’s courtrooms are committed to protecting individual rights and liberties, upholding the rules of law, and providing a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all. The courts serve as the third leg of an important tripod. They provide balance to the executive and legislative branch.

For every $100 spent by Georgia’s government, only $0.89 goes towards funding Georgia’s judiciary.  The judicial branch is very valuable to Georgia’s taxpayers, but is expected to do very much with very little. Chief Justice Thompson praised the implementation of specialty courts, including Georgia’s Veterans Court. Our veterans come home from combat with brain injuries, mental health problems, and drug and alcohol dependencies—and all too often, end up in the criminal justice system.  Georgia currently has seven Veterans Courts to serve those who have sacrificed everything for our freedom and provide additional resources and assistance for re-entry into civilian life.

Please continue to stay in touch with me and share your thoughts as we work through the legislative session, especially as more bills start moving through the legislative process.  As always, I am honored to represent you in the 47th Senate District.

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