The 2019 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly officially began on Monday, January 14, 2019. During the past week, my colleagues and I completed legislative days 1-4 which leave us with just 36 days remaining for this legislative session. We are prepared to work diligently during these following weeks to discuss and pass important legislation for the citizens of Georgia.
On Monday, with my wife Donna by my side and my hand on my Daddy’s Bible, I took the oath of office as State Representative for Georgia House District 141, while my friends and family watched from the gallery. This opportunity to serve is a gift from God to me and I am so grateful for the privilege and opportunity to serve the wonderful people of District 141.
While many aspects of this 2019 Legislative Session were new and exciting for me; the most notable moment of the week was the inauguration of Georgia’s new Governor, Brian Kemp. In Kemp’s inaugural address delivered Thursday, January 17 from the House floor, he highlighted a few of the following budget initiatives:
- A $3,000 pay increase for teachers.
- A $69 million increase in school security grants that are to be equally apportioned among all of Georgia’s 2,000 plus public schools.
- An additional $1 million for the state health department’s budget in order to expand access to Federal Medicaid waivers.
- A recommendation to eliminate state support of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District which totals to approximately $200,000.
- Rejected a $250,000 request by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority for additional Xpress operations support as well as rejection a $10 million request by the State Roads & Tollway Authority for year 3 of the 10-year operations of the Northwest Corridor and I-75 South.
Council members can expect to see a continued focus on transit and transportation solutions at the State Capitol which will be led by House Transportation Chairman Kevin Tanner and Council Board Member and State Senator Brandon Beach. As part of our Legislative Agenda, the Council will continue to advocate for legislation that funds multi-year transportation and infrastructure needs and measures to expand and streamline the operation of metro Atlanta’s transit system.
In his State of the State address, Governor Brian Kemp also recognized Officer Matt Cooper, who was wounded in a line-of-duty shooting on Labor Day last year, as well as six other law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty last year. Kemp assured the General Assembly and the families of the officers that they remain in the state’s thoughts and prayers.
I am honored to be under the leadership of so many thoughtful and hard-working men and women. Below is a list of the House Leadership for the 2019 Legislative Session:
Speaker of the House – David Ralston
Speaker Pro Tempore – Jan Jones
Majority Leader – Jon Burns
Majority Whip – Trey Kelley
Majority Caucus Chair – Matt Hatchett
Majority Caucus Vice Chair – Micah Gravley
I am pleased to tell you that I have become a member of the following committees:
I am looking forward to working on these committees with my fellow colleagues and collaborating together to pass meaningful legislation for the citizens of Georgia. It is an honor that I do not take lightly.
If you ever find yourself in Atlanta during the session, I encourage you to visit me at my Capitol office, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding any current or upcoming legislation. I can be reached via email at a Dale.Washburn@house.ga.gov.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative! God bless.