Someone who we feel has our best interest in mind.
Someone who we trust to listen to our concerns and articulate those concerns to the General Assembly.
Someone who we see more often than just at election time.
Someone who will do the right thing regardless of the effect on getting re-elected.
Someone who fulfills his obligations and commitments.
Someone who give us a straight and honest answer to a questions, not what he thinks we want to hear.
Someone who makes promises that he intends to keep.
Someone who supports good legislation regardless of the sponsor's political party.
It seems as if elected representatives lose contact with their constituents the longer they serve, becoming more concerns with lobbyist and their internal power struggles. That is why we need to refresh the representative base on a regular basis. Anything beyond 10 years of service tends to become entrenched and less responsive to the voters.
You should not have to lower your expectations in your representative integrity.
I strongly support the constitutional right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The U.S. Constitution clearly protects this right and an individual should only lose this right through due process.
Tax, Spending, and Budget Reform
The recent Georgia General Assembly in Atlanta has streamlined the Georgia Tax Code and I applaud their efforts. Pro growth, pro business incentives need to be put in place to attract more business to Georgia.
Federal spending and growth of government are out of control. We must work aggressively not to let Georgia follow their bad example. Georgia must maintain a balanced budget by growing our economy and reducing waste. We should be good stewards of your tax dollar.
Economics, Trade, and jobs
Government does not create jobs. The role of government is to create a welcoming business environment, reasonable regulation, and economic incentives conducive to job growth in industry, agriculture, and technology. These pro-business government policies will allow entrepreneurs to generate more wealth and create jobs through the economic engine of capitalism. Georgia has been listed as the #1 state for attracting business and I will work to keep it that way. We need to focus attracting jobs in the rural portion of our state, not just metro Atlanta. As the world becomes a marketplace for our products, we need to remain in the forefront of technology to aid trade. The $1 billion dollar Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is about 50% complete which will reduce shipping cost 20-40%. This will create more demand for our agricultural products. Many of our agricultural products are in high demand throughout the world now and use this infrastructure for getting the products to market. We must keep our east-west rail and road infrastructure in good condition to handle the anticipated demand for access to the interior of the state. Georgia needs to maintain a sound and modern network of water, rail, road, air and broadband connectivity which will attract new industry and investment that then attracts jobs.
Our country has the most expensive health care system in the world and the turmoil of the last 8-10 years has not helped. This is a very difficult problem to solve. We are paying more and getting less.
We should look at innovation solutions that other states have tried. Consumers should know in advance how much a procedure cost. At a time when the internet makes information online available, we should try to bringing transparency to health care. Our district is heavily dependent on government assistance for health care. Hospitals can't turn away patients who increasingly are using the emergency room for care. This is very expensive and inefficient. Georgia needs to re-evaluate the expansion of Medicaid and encourage insurance companies and hospitals to work together to reduce delays, payment and care approval, and red tape.
The Founding Fathers feared the danger of a professional political class. Unfortunately our fears have become a reality. I strongly support any measure that will distribute the power of Georgia to where it belongs - with the people. I will support efforts to impose term limits on members of Congress and the Georgia Legislature, reform campaign finance rules so the average citizen can afford to run and serve, and place restrictions on former legislators’ ability to work as lobbyist. We must get our representatives back to work for us, not for themselves.
Civil War Monuments
I support keeping monuments where they are but would support adding additional interpretation, if needed, of the circumstances of how each monument may have come into being, to add to the story of our nations history.
The Confederacy certainly seceded from the Union and slavery was an evil institution but people who lived during the Civil War were a product of the time in which they lived, and we should not rush to judge them based on the standards of today's society. Robert E Lee was a product of his time, a Mexican War hero, and a top Army officer of his day. Even though he fought for the Confederacy, he still exhibited many honorable traits and sought to heal the wounds of division after the Civil War. He is still worthy of our respect today.
Right to life
Abortion should only be in the case of rape, incest, and to preserve the health of the mother. These are very personal and difficult decisions which should be made by the mother, not the state. However, I oppose using public funds to pay for abortions. Adoption laws and procedures should be such that all children can more easily join a loving family. The role of the legislature in this matter should be to reduce the bureaucracy to encourage adoption.
Georgia should not become a haven for illegal immigrants like California. We should support the Federal government in securing our borders, enforcing existing laws, and reforming our immigration system to serve the needs of Americans first. We are a welcoming nation but those we invite in should share our values. Immigration, when conducted legally and focused on the best interests of America, can be a national asset.
One thing we should do to help our new citizens is to provide easy access to English language training.
Conservation and the Environment
Georgia is blessed with a broad range of natural resources and we must constantly be on guard to preserve these God-given treasures. One of my favorite pastimes is canoeing down a lazy river or stream. I am a supporting member of Georgia Conservancy and applaud their efforts to keep Georgia clean and preserved for future generations. I believe we should work to balance our needs for economic progress with environmental awareness. Georgia should work to become a leader in renewable energy product and usage. Solar power is an untapped resource that has become more affordable through recent significant technological advances. Our 138th District stretches from the Flint to Chattahoochee River covering huge watersheds while water rights are being challenged upstream. We must ensure farmers are secure in their use of irrigation while being aware of the needs of others. I support mass transit efforts in Metro Atlanta, but those cost should be borne by the user, not rural Georgia.
First Amendment Rights
The First Amendment guarantees the right of speech, press, religion, and assembly. Perhaps it is the first of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights because it is the most important. When a university invites a speaker to share his opinion with the students or public, we all have the right to listen but not the right to interfere. One does not have the right to prevent another's First Amendment rights.
We need to make all our schools a safe and nurturing environment for our children. There are many possible ways to ensure the safety of schools without them appearing to be armed camps. I think the role of state government is to provide the assets, training, and guidelines for local school boards to decide what method is most appropriate for their community. Schools vary in their design, size, and location so there is no one solution to school safety that fits all circumstances.
If a school district chooses to armed the staff, no one should be armed if they they do not volunteer to participate or are uncomfortable being armed. They should meet state mandated psychological screening, initial and recurrent firearm training, compensation, and anonymity.
An increase in the number of school counselors who could identify a troubled students before the problem gets critical may be more effective than additional armed staff. It is a combination of community involvement, pro-active parenting, and loving assurance from professional educators that our children can look at school as an exciting opportunity to learn and grow.
EDUCATION IS MY PRIORITY Education is the engine that drives the local economy. A skilled workforce is vital to the future of South Georgia. My daughter and daughter-in-law are teachers. Both are very dedicated young women with advanced degrees who teach in the public school system. I respect their input and agree that the following are widely held opinions by school teachers that should be given serious consideration:
Reduce class sizes
Support all aspects of education, including the arts
Allow local school districts flexibility to schedule the Georgia Milestones exams while stabilizing the CCRPI criteria.
Consider more flexibility in how the ELOST funding is spent, ie. SROs, Nurses, Mental Health specialists.
Teachers should be well compensated, encouraged and thanked for the incredibly important role they play in the development of our most precious resource, our children. Retired educators on a fide income should feel secure that the commitment Georgia made to their retirement remains unchanged.
Being inquisitive is the secret to a long and productive life; from kindergarten through college and beyond. We should encourage continuing learning for adults well into their senior years.
Parents consider many variables when deciding how and where they educate their children and government should give them the tools to help them make a wise decision. Private schools, home schools, charter schools, and public schools all have their place in the various choices of what and where is most appropriate for their children’s education.
I am a product of the public school system and had a wonderful educational experience. I have always thought that the public school system is the economic engine that drives and unites a community. The equation is simple: the better the public school, the more cohesive and productive the community. Families seek out and move to communities with strong public school systems.
I strongly believe that education is the best investment any government or individuals can make. Education is not a government expense; it is an investment in the future of Georgia.