On Thursday, we finished day 25 of the legislative session. With less than a week to go before Cross Over Day (the day when the House must pass all bills to go to the Senate and vice versa), things are getting very busy under the Gold Dome!
I’m delighted to say that I’m seeing lots of constituents each day at the Capitol, advocating for everything from after school care to supporting nurses to protecting seniors to expanding medical coverage for new mothers. Being “called to the ropes” to talk to concerned citizens is the highlight of my day.
HB 444 – Dual Enrollment – Move On When Ready Act
I received dozens of emails from constituents concerned about HB 444, which would limit the number of hours a student could take through the state’s dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment offers a tremendous opportunity to high school students who are ready to take college courses. These courses can challenge bright students and help them accumulate credits for college, thus reducing the overall cost of attending a university. I voted against the bill – I don’t want to take this incredible opportunity away from ambitious students in our community. I’m sorry to report that the bill passed the House, 103-67.
Bills to Watch
HB 1075 – My first bill!
I’ve sponsored my first bill, HB 1075, a piece of local legislation to change the way we elect the Atlanta School Board. Right now, all school board members come up for re-election at the same time. This opens the board to the possibility of high turnover – recently, more than half of the seats changed in one election. This leads to the loss of institutional knowledge and a natural slow down of strategic decisions during an election year. I proposed that we stagger the school board elections – elect half of the board every two years, rather than the entire board every four years. This will provide better continuity of leadership which will benefit our children. Stay tuned to see if it passes out of the House!
Presbyterians for a Better Georgia
On Monday, advocates from Presbyterian churches across Georgia visited the Capitol through Presbyterians for a Better Georgia. As a lifelong Presbyterian, I was delighted to see so many friends and supporters in the halls. My own pastor was even there!
Why Have One Page When You Can Have FIVE?
On Wednesday, my rainy day was made brighter by not one but FIVE pages from my district serving in the House chamber. Pages are students over the age of 12 who take a day to support the legislators during session by delivering messages, bringing legislators to the ropes to meet with visitors, and doing tasks for the legislators when we can’t leave the chamber. Pages are invaluable support for us while we’re in session, and it’s an excellent way for young people to experience local government first hand. You can find more information about the page program here.
In the heart of House District 54, Cathedral Towers is an independent living apartment complex that offers affordable housing and provides a safe living environment and strong sense of community. Earlier this year, I visited and spoke with the residents about issues in local government. This inspired a field trip when several residents came to visit the Capitol on Tuesday. The oldest guest was 93 years young!
Coronovirus Advisory Notice
There are now two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Fulton county, but now is not the time to panic! It’s the time to be prepared, stay informed, and ensure your information is coming from reputable, verified sources, such as the CDC page on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The risk of transmission remains low. Here are some tips to remain healthy:
1. Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.
2. Use hand sanitizer, if handwashing is not an option.
3. Stay home if you are sick.
4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
The last day to request an absentee ballot for the 2020 Presidential Primary is Friday, March 20, and the deadline to return the ballot is Monday, March 23. The 2020 Presidential Primary is on March 24th. Early voting is underway, and concludes March 20th.
Meet & Greet: Coffee with your Representative
Come join me at Brash Coffee at the Atlanta History Center (130 West Paces Ferry Road 30305) on Sunday, March 15th, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. Ask questions, share your concerns, and get to know your representative!
If you haven’t already, please browse my website, betsyforgeorgia.com.
As your Representative, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me at email@example.com or 404-656-0116 with questions, concerns, or solutions you may have regarding legislation or other happenings in District 54.
To stay updated, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and follow the Georgia House of Representatives @GAHouseHub on Twitter. Additionally, in-depth information regarding current bills, Georgia’s annual and supplemental budgets, committee meetings, and livestreams from the General Assembly can be accessed via www.legis.ga.gov.
I encourage you and your family to visit our State Capitol and my office, where all constituents are welcome. I look forward to connecting with you!
My office is located at:
18 Capitol Square, SW
490-B, Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
Representative Betsy Holland
GA House District 54