Legislative Update 3-30-18

 

Friends,

On Thursday at Midnight, the 2018 Legislative Session adjourned Sine Die.  I am proud of what we accomplished and appreciate the opportunity to serve you- and your families – under the Gold Dome.  While my service in the legislature will come to an end soon, my commitment to our community remains stronger than ever.

Funding Education

Thanks to federal tax reform and strong economic growth, the FY2019 budget fully funds the state’s financing of our local schools.  This year, the total funding for K-12 education is $9.9 billion representing 38% of our budget.

I am proud to report that my bill, HB713, passed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  This bill defines eligibility requirements for the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships for students.  These definitions will ensure that students from home and charter schools have an opportunity to access these educational opportunities.

 

 

Strengthening Rural Georgia

Last year, the House Rural Development Council was formed to identify pressing issues in rural communities and craft legislative solutions.

During the 2018, Legislative Session, we considered several of the committee’s recommendations and passed HB 769, which establishes the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability, clears the way for micro-hospitals, and incentivizes medical providers to practice in underserved, rural communities.

 

 

 

Enhancing Public Safety

The legislature passed SB336, which prohibits electronic communications providers from notifying subscribers who are under investigation for the exploitation of children.  This is a bill that will help law enforcement stop and prosecute child predators.

HR1414 creates a House Study Committee to enhance school security.  In addition, the FY2019 budget includes $8millino in grants to fund school security initiatives around the state.

As always, please feel free to call (404-656-0254) or email (joyce.chandler@house.ga.gov) with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Rep. Joyce Chandler

District 105

Georgia General Assembly

legislative Update 3-18-18

Friends,

We are in the final two weeks of the 2018 Legislative Session.  During week Ten (Days 33-35), the House was buzzing with committee proceedings and floor debates.  While I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far, the next five legislative days will be the most important ones of the year.

The 2019 Budget

The Georgia General Assembly is constitutionally mandated to pass a balanced budget every year.  Last week, the House passed a $26 billion dollar budget for FY 2019 that prioritizes education, healthcare, and state infrastructure projects.

Here are a few budget highlights:

  • $119.5 million for K-12 enrollment growth and training.
  • $361.7 million for the Teachers Retirement System.
  • $5.5 million for the Technical College System of Georgia.
  • $68 million for HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships.
  • $16.9 million for a 4.3% provider rate increase for nursing homes.
  • $2 million to study Georgia’s infant mortality rate.
  • $2.2 million for mental health funding for foster children.
  • $1.83 billion in motor fuel funds to continue transportation construction and maintenance projects across our state.

The 2019 budget is a reflection of our priorities as a legislative body.  It is now under consideration in the State Senate.

Legislative Update

Two bills I authored are currently under consideration in the Senate.

HB 713 alters the home school student eligibility requirements for certain standardized tests.  This legislative will open college scholarship opportunities to more Georgia students.

HB 847 allows the practice of psychology through telemedicine across state lines.  If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Deal, The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact – which I authored – will enhance access to quality, mental health services for all Georgians.

 

Honoring Georgia’s Police Chiefs

On Wednesday, we welcomed law enforcement leaders from around the state for the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs Day at the Capitol.

These brave men and women represent thousands of police officers that put themselves in harm’s way each and every day to keep our families, friends, and communities safe.  We were honored to have these Georgia heroes under the Gold Dome.

 

Sine Die

State lawmakers gathered on January 8th to kick-off the 2018 Legislative Session.

Ad midnight on March 29, the gavel will fall on the 40-day session.  In the final two weeks, I expect long days and late hours in both Chambers.  To watch the legislature in action, click HERE.

 

 

 

As always, please feel free to call (404-656-0254) or email (joyce.chandler@house.ga.gov) with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Rep. Joyce Chandler

District 105

Georgia General Assembly

Legislative Update – 2-09-18

Friends,

Week Five in the Georgia General Assembly is over and I am proud of what we accomplished.  The most notable piece of legislation passed was HB683, which is the Amended Budget for FY2018.  The Amended Budget includes additional funding for education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

 

Amended FY2018 Budget Breakdown: 

  • $118 million for school enrollment and charter school grants.
  • $12 million for technical colleges.
  • $25 million to extend runways at airports outside of Atlanta.
  • $10 million for beach re-nourishment to deal with damage done by recent hurricanes
  • $15.5 million for new school buses.
  • $15 million for children in the state’s foster care system because of the opioid crisis.

 

Adoption Reform Passes the Senate

Over a year ago, Rep. Bert Reeves introduced a bill that was intended to re-write our antiquated adoption laws.  Rep. Reeves’ tireless efforts finally came to fruition this week as the Senate passed compromise legislation that makes it easier for children to find a safe and loving home.  This was long over due and a proud moment for the Georgia General Assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

Firefighter Recognition Day 

This week, lawmakers paused to honor our fire service professionals during the 46th Annual Firefighter Recognition Day at the Capitol.  These brave men and women sacrifice their lives for our safety on a daily basis.  We are incredibly grateful for their service.

 

 

 

 

House Page Program

Applications for the House Pages are still being accepted.  If you have a student (age 12-18) who is interested in government, this is an engaging, hands on experience.

Apply at the  House Page Program website.  I look forward to seeing some of our students this year at the capitol!

 

 

 

 

 

As always, please feel free to call (404-656-0254) or email (joyce.chandler@house.ga.gove) with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Rep. Joyce Chandler

District 105

Georgia General Assembly

 

Legislative update 2-04-18

Friends,

Week 4 (Legislative Days 8-11) was incredibly productive as state lawmakers met with constituents, vetted legislation in committee, and voted on bills to ensure a bright and promising future for Georgia children.

 

Legislation Filed                                                                                             

Last week, I introduced House Bill 713, which sets eligibility requirements so children from all educational backgrounds have access to the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships.

To keep our students safe during interscholastic athletics, it is important for players, coaches, and parents to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment for sudden cardiac arrest.  House Bill 743 works to educate and raise awareness.  I am proud to serve as co-sponsor.

Last week, state lawmakers honored the Gwinnett Medical Center Concussion Institute by passing House Resolution 918.  I am proud of the work they do help educate our student athletes and keep them safe.

Finally, I introduced HR 912, which congratulates Hebron Christian Academy boys’ cross country team for their victory at the 2017 State Cross Country Championship.

 

Updating Georgia’s Adoption Laws   

On Thursday, the Georgia General Assembly unanimously passed legislation to update Georgia’s incredibly antiquated adoption code.  Thanks to the leadership of my colleague, REp. Bert Reeves, we will have a streamlined adoption process that puts more children in the homes of loving families.

 

 

House Page Program   

The Georgia General Assembly invites students between the ages of 12 and 18 to experience the legislative process under the Gold Dome.  Selected students will have the opportunity to work with lawmakers in the House chamber during a live legislative work day.  To apply, follow the link to the  House Page Program website.