During my first two years in the Legislature, I’ve had the opportunity to sponsor, co-sponsor, and vote on many important measures. Below is a list of the measures I think best reflect my commitment to the people of Georgia and the residents of the Legislative District I represent. Most of these measures passed and were signed into law. Some are still being considered by the Legislature. We’ll keep working on the measures that haven’t passed yet.
HB100 creates the Georgia Tax Court which would provide a venue for taxpayers to resolve problems with Georgia Department of Revenue.
HB386 raises the tax exemption for married couples to reduce the “marriage penalty,” replaces the sales and ad valorem taxes on automobile sales with a one time title tax, eliminates the State sales tax on energy for manufacturers and agricultural business, provides other tax exemptions for business inputs in the agricultural industry, brings back annual sales tax holidays for certain items, and requires certain online retailers to collect Georgia sales tax to provide a more level playing field for Georgia’s bricks and mortar retailers. When fully implemented, the bill will be about a $200 million tax cut for Georgia’s businesses and individuals.
HB500 provides additional job training for those receiving extended unemployment benefits.
HB863 changes State law to give small businesses a better chance to sell products to the State government.
HB868 was recommended by Governor Deal’s Competitiveness Committee. It modernizes several business tax credits making Georgia more competitive.
HB872 seeks to strengthen Georgia’s laws dealing with metal theft. It’s not technically a jobs bill but metal theft is costing Georgia employers millions each year.
HB1027 renewed Georgia tax credit for film and video production as well as tax credit for video game production. According to the Motion Picture Association, this tax credit is responsible for 23,757 direct jobs and $1.3 billion in wages in Georgia.
HB33/SB33, the Zero Based Budget Act would require every Department of State Government to submit a detailed budget showing every expense they make. This will allow the Legislature to find wasteful and outdated programs.
HB456, the Sunset Bill, would require the Legislature to reauthorize Departments of Georgia government. This will allow us to take a close look at each Department and determine if they are still needed.
HB811 would prevent the State of Georgia from diverting certain fees collected by the State into the general fund.
HB899, a bill I introduced that included several election law “clean-up” items and several recommendation of Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s Election Advisory Council.
HB806 fixed a quirk in Georgia law preventing the DOT from immediately spending gas tax revenue. This freed up almost $1 billion in money that can be immediately used to address traffic problems.
HB87, called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, targeted “coyotes” and others who traffick in illegal immigrants, requires businesses to use the Federal E-Verify system to insure people they hire are here legally, and provided immunity to illegal immigrants who report crimes committed against them, as well as other provisions.
HB47 allows people in Georgia to purchase insurance sold in other States. This will increase insurance options for Georgians and lower costs.
HB248 confirmed in Georgia law that Healthcare Sharing Ministries, where members help each other cover their medical costs, are not insurance programs and thus not subject to regulation by the PPACA (otherwise known as Obamacare).
HB461 allows Georgia to for compacts with other States for the purpose of health care insurance. This could broaden health insurance options for Georgia’s citizens and reduce cost.
SB17 creates an expert panel to examine proposed health insurance mandates to determine if they provide a benefit or merely drive up insurance costs.
HB200 strengthened Georgia’s laws relating to human and sexual trafficking, especially as it relates to minors. Sadly Georgia is a hub of human trafficking.
HB861 allows the caregivers of children who receive State TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) funds to receive those funds directly when the parents fail a drug test. This would insure State funds do not support drug habits, those addicted to drugs can get the help they need, and State funds intended to help children, do.
HB954, the Fetal Pain Bill, would limit abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. No mother would be required to carry a non-viable pregnancy to term, there are also exceptions when the mother’s life or health are in danger.
HR1151 is a bill I introduced that creates a study committee to look at how we care for victims of human trafficking. The committee must report back to the Legislature by the end of 2012.
HB173 allows a teacher’s employment records to be expunged of false accusations once they’ve been proven false.
HB175, called the Online Clearinghouse Act” would allow teachers to offer courses they teach to other school systems around Georgia via the internet. These teachers, as well as the school system that employs them would a financial benefit to offering these courses. Thus, expert teachers would financially benefit from their expertise and students taking their courses would benefit from learning from the best teachers.
HB186 the Career Pathways bill, allows students to receive specific training in a field of their choice. We hope this will better prepare students for the higher educational path they choose.
HB326 addressed financial problems with the HOPE scholarship, ensuring HOPE’s financial stability in the coming years.
HR1162/HB797 is a Constitutional Amendment allowing the Charter schools who have been denied by their local Board of Education.
HR1130 urges Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment and return to election of US Senators to the States as originally spelled out in the Constitution.
HR1137 calls for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of enacting a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment.
HR1237 urges Congress to allow Georgia to keep the Federal Gas Tax revenue and use it on transportation needs here in Georgia.
HR1809 urges Congress to replace our current tax code with the Congressman Rod Woodall’s Fair Tax.
I evaluate proposed legislation according to this 5 way test:
1) Less Government – Does the bill tend to reduce government regulations, size of government, or eliminate entitlements or unnecessary programs?
2) Lower Taxes – Does the bill promote individual responsibility in spending, or reduce taxes or fees?
3) Personal Responsibility – Does the bill encourage responsible behavior by individuals and families and encourage them to provide for their own health, safety, education, moral fortitude, or general welfare?
4) Individual Freedom – Does the bill increase opportunities for individuals or families to decide, without hindrance or coercion from government, how to conduct their own lives and make personal choices?
5) Stronger Families – Does the bill enhance the traditional American family and its power to rear children without excessive interference from the government?
I’m pro-life, having been endorsed by Georgia Right To Life, and an active member of Victory @ Hamilton Mill. Two years ago I signed the Mount Vernon Statement, an this passage from the sums up my core political beliefs succinctly:
A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.
- It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
- It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
- It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
- It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.
- It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.