This was an exciting week, celebrating the inaugurations of President Biden and Vice-President Harris, as well as the swearing-in of our two new Georgia Senators Ossoff and Warnock. At the state level, it’s the second week of the legislative session, and – as is often the case – the House adjourned to allow time for the Appropriations Committee to hold budget hearings. Just because I wasn’t at the Capitol doesn’t mean we weren’t busy. See more details below!

It’s my great honor to have been elected Chair of the City of Atlanta House Delegation. The Atlanta Delegation serves as a liaison between the state legislature and local governmental bodies and organizations, like the City of Atlanta or Atlanta Public Schools. The delegation also passes local legislation, a category of state legislation that only impacts one county or municipality. I’m excited to delve into the many issues facing Atlanta alongside Vice-Chair Rep. Bee Nguyen and Secretary Rep. Park Cannon.

Legislation is already hitting the hopper in the House! Last week, I signed on as a co-sponsor to HB89, a bill to increase students’ access to scholarship funds. This bill gives students a second chance to qualify for the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships by demonstrating outstanding academic accomplishments once enrolled at a university. This could be crucial in retaining bright students who might struggle to afford their college degree.


Budget Hearings

No time to watch the budget hearings this week? No worries! The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute has a great budget primer, located here.

If you’re concerned about the drastic cuts to education and public health during this unprecedented public health crisis, I suggest you contact Governor Kemp or Rep. Terry England, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. 

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged Georgia’s economy into recession and driven many of the state’s thinly staffed agencies to the brink, Gov. Brian P. Kemp’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 maintains $697 million in cuts to education, $283 million in cuts to health agencies and largely preserves the status quo of significantly underfunding core areas of state government. Overall, the governor’s budget proposal would underfund state government in FY 2022 at a level approximately $1.2 billion below the state’s pre-pandemic budget (FY 2020).” Georgia Budget & Policy Institute Overview of Georgia’s 2022 Fiscal Year Budget


VACCINE UPDATE

We are still in Phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccinations. Phase 1a includes the following people:

  • Paid or unpaid people serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including but not limited to Staff in clinical settings (e.g. nurses, physicians, EMS, laboratory, environmental services, etc.)
  • Long-term care facilities staff and residents
  • Adults 65 + and their caregivers
  • First Responders (fire, police, sheriff, 9-1-1 personnel, etc.)

Fulton County Board of Health is now offering a waiting list for appointments. Fill out this form, and you will be notified when appointments are made available. Alternatively, you can put your name on the vaccine wait list by calling 404-613-8150 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays.

More information about Fulton County Board of Health vaccinations is available here.

Sign-ups from other participating providers (Kroger, Publix, etc.) are available from the Georgia Department of Public Health site. 


The next Listening Session will be held this Sunday, January 24th, at 4 PM!
You can pre-register here: 
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0scOipqz8uHNeOwwzcWOcqQv_WLh5dOicA
I will be holding Listening Sessions most Sundays at 4 pm over Zoom until the end of the Legislative Session. The sessions are scheduled for January 31st, February 7th, February 21st, February 28th, March 7th, March 14th, and March 21st.
Registering once will automatically register you for every Zoom, but feel free to only attend the ones you want!


If you haven’t already, please browse my website, betsyforgeorgia.com.

As your Representative, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me at betsy.holland@house.ga.gov 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.

When this is all over, 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
409-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