Georgia’s Future Needs Your Attention
Today we have three bills for your consideration and for action. The future of our state, our young people, their health and education is at great risk. Our prosecutorial system faces a threat and a thwarting of the will of the people. These actions will take about 10 minutes each.
*Please be sure to indicate the bill number in your correspondence and phone calls.
Transgender Bills Will Harm Many Youth
The doctor’s office is too small for a doctor, parents, and a young patient – as well as the state of Georgia. The state has no business in your family’s medical decisions.
The Senate passed SB 140, which would severely restrict gender affirming care for transgender youth. It would prohibit doctors from prescribing hormone therapy or performing gender-affirming surgeries on transgender people under the age of 18. Another bill, SB 141, that would have outlawed the use of puberty blockers, did not meet the Crossover Day deadline, but there is concern that its contents could be added to SB 140 later in the session. The GOP is interfering in private medical decisions and harming vulnerable kids to pander to their extreme MAGA base.
SB 140 has been assigned to the House Committee on Health, chaired by Rep. Sharon Cooper. Please contact Chairwoman Cooper and politely encourage her to not allow the bill pass out of Committee, but that if it does get passed out of the Committee, it will not have the provisions of SB141, or any other dangerous provisions added to it. After sending your email to Rep. Cooper, please send a note to the rest of the public health committee as shown below to ask them to not pass this bill.
The new Speaker of the House, Jon Burns, at the beginning of the session said he wanted to avoid divisive bills and ask him to kill this one. You can email him at email@example.com or call (404) 656-5020.
House Committee on Public Health
Dale Washburn, Vice Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Margaret Oliver email@example.com
Teri Anulewicz firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Au email@example.com
Karen Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Cheokas email@example.com
Katie Dempsey firstname.lastname@example.org
Karla Drenner email@example.com
Barry Fleming firstname.lastname@example.org
Spencer Frye email@example.com
Houston Gaines firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Hawkins email@example.com
Scott Hilton firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Houston email@example.com
Karlton Howard firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelly Hutchinson email@example.com
John LaHood firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodi Lott email@example.com
Butch Parrish firstname.lastname@example.org
Clay Pirkle email@example.com
Tremaine “Teddy” Reese firstname.lastname@example.org
Devan Seabaugh email@example.com
Deborah Silcox firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Stoner email@example.com
Darlene Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
School Voucher Bill Will Damage Public Schools, Small Town and Rural Schools Will Suffer The Most
SB 233, the school voucher passed the Senate and has been assigned to the House Education Committee.
This bill would allow students in “low performing” schools to be given $6000 annually to be used for private school or homeschooling. In its current form the bill contains no means testing and no budget cap on vouchers. This bill has been assigned to the House Education Committee. Aside from the obvious result that public schools will receive less funding as a result of this bill, there are several other issues of concern. There is little oversight of how recipients use the tax-payer money they receive. There is no official analysis of the impact such vouchers would have on public school funding. The bill also does not address any sort of methodology for assessing/measuring the impact of ways the tax-payer money can be used. The bottom line is that tax-payers have absolutely no assurance that the money being transferred away from the public school system will be used in ways that actually enhance education of Georgia students. Instead of giving money away, our lawmakers need to use the money to make our schools the healthy learning environment that all of our children need. Rural and small town schools will suffer the consequences if this bill passes. Those who are in the business of building private academies win. For a deeper dive into vouchers and charter schools see this article from In the Public Interest.
Please contact members of the House Education Committee to oppose this bill.
Chris Erwin, email@example.com
Scott Hilton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Daniel, email@example.com
Segun Adeyina, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethany Ballard, email@example.com
Doreen Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Cheokas, email@example.com
David Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent Cox, email@example.com
Matt Dubnik, firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky Evans, email@example.com
Lydia Glaize, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karlton Howard, email@example.com
Rick Jasperse, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Jones, email@example.com
Todd Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mesha Mainor, email@example.com
Miriam Paris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Townsend, email@example.com
Will Wade, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Wilkerson, email@example.com
Chris Erwin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prosecutorial Oversight Bill Gets National Attention
HB 231 would establish oversight boards that could remove District Attorneys and Solicitor Generals deemed to neglect select prosecutions. There are multiple provisions in our Constitution and State Code that provide for oversight of our DAs and Solicitor Generals. They can be reprimanded by the State Bar of GA, impeached or voted out in the next election. This bill would require the Georgia Supreme Court to appoint five-member investigation panels and three-member hearing panels that will determine disciplinary consequences for prosecutors who decline to prosecute low-level offenses. It is a move by Republicans to remove liberal District Attorneys. The sponsors have been open about who they were targeting – DAs who made blanket statements about not prosecuting certain crimes such as abortion or possession of small amounts of marijuana. During hours of testimony in front of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, DAs testified that they were exercising their prosecutorial discretion and prioritizing violent crimes over these other crimes.
This isn’t about oversight. Republicans do not like Democrats winning elections. They have decided they know better than the voters who elected their DA. Subverting the will of the voters is dangerous and undemocratic. In addition, this new and duplicative layer of government will cost taxpayers at least $1.5 million plus the cost of any recall elections that become necessary. When you are told that your taxes will be lowered, Do not be fooled. It may look like lower taxes, but the hidden costs that will be passed along to us, the taxpayers will be astronomical.
This bill is a recipe for politicizing the administration of justice and is a move taken directly from the authoritarian or authoritarian-wannabe playbook. It should come as no surprise that Trump has taken to his social media platform to encourage the passage of this legislation.
HB 231 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please contact the members of that committee to oppose this bill.
Brian Strickland, email@example.com
Bill Cowsert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hodges, email@example.com
Steve Gooch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bo Hatchett, email@example.com
Harold Jones II, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kennedy, email@example.com
Elena Parent, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett, email@example.com
Ed Setzler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Watson, email@example.com
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