Paulding Legislators Speak to Chamber Chairman’s Club

Paulding County, GA – The Paulding County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Chairman’s Club breakfast this week that included a panel discussion with the Paulding Legislative Delegation.  The panel consisted of Representative Howard Maxwell (R-HD17), Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), and Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30).

L-R:  State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), State Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw Braddock (R-HD19), State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17), Ford Thigpen, President, Westside Bank.

L-R:
State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), State Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17), Ford Thigpen, President, Westside Bank.

The discussion centered around expectations for significant legislation for the upcoming session, and gave each member of the delegation an opportunity to discuss with the members of the Chairman’s Club the pieces of legislation they plan to carry in the next session.

Rep. Howard Maxwell, chair of the Paulding delegation, said, “We expect an aggressive agenda this session.  We will move through it very quickly.  I have a couple of retirement bills I will be carrying and the Regulated Industries Committee that I chair will have several bills come before it, but I think there is an appetite to not pass a lot of legislation this session.”

Rep. Paulette Rakestraw discussed a couple of bills she is carrying.  One will eliminate the tier tax system in Georgia, to help the state be more economically competitive.  She is also sponsoring a compact in Georgia to call for an Article V Convention that will force Washington to operate under a balanced budget and lessen federal ability to raise the debt ceiling.  According to Rep. Rakestraw, this is a big initiative because several states are banding together to pass this compact so it can be expedited and happen quickly — in a year or two rather than over 20-30 years.  Rep. Rakestraw also discussed H.B. 707 that she is co-sponsoring to nullify the implementation of Obamacare in Georgia.

Rep. Micah Gravley is carrying a 911 bill that will prohibit releasing to the media the audio portion of 911 calls when there is a victim of rape or aggravated battery. This will prevent media use of these calls to sensationalize a tragedy.  Rep. Gravley said, “This needs to be a session of common sense.  We need to get in and address issues that matter to the tax-paying citizens of Georgia.”

Senator Mike Dugan discussed his “Merry Christmas” bill, S.B. 283.  This bill clarifies the law to state that it is okay for a school system to use a seasonal holiday greeting like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah.”  Senator Dugan also has S.R. 734, a constitutional amendment that would place term limits on Georgia senators.

Ford Thigpen, the Chairman of the Government Affairs committee and the President of Westside Bank, moderated the panel discussion.