It’s difficult to put into words the emotions flowing from such a difficult week in our community. Like many of you, I’m still reeling from the mass shooting deaths of eight people on Tuesday night:  Soon Park, Hyun Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Yue, Delaina Yuan, Paul Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng. I’m grateful that law enforcement apprehended a suspect in the shooting, but I’m deeply disturbed to know that the suspect purchased the firearm used in these murders just hours before the shooting began. My heart breaks for our neighbors in the Asian American Pacific Islander community. If you find yourself wanting to do something – anything – to help, I highly recommend contributing to the Asian American Advocacy Fund or to the victims and families through Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Rep. Nguyen speaks to the House from the well the morning after the horrific murders.

My Voting Record

I was the co-signer on two local bills that passed the House this week that will help my constituents. HB 732 removes the sunset for the homestead exemption from City of Atlanta Independent School District ad valorem taxes for educational purposes in the amount of $15,000.00 of the assessed value of the homestead for residents of that school district. HB 757 amends the Atlanta Urban Enterprise Act. An “urban enterprise zone” (UEZ) is a designated district that is located within an economically-depressed area of the City where property owners receive a tax abatement over a ten- year period, if certain conditions are met.

SB 221 circumvents existing campaign finance laws by creating “leadership committees” that could be used to fundraise at any time. This includes during session! Legislators have been unable to accept donations during session since the early 1990s, and for a very good reason – legislators should not be paid for their votes. This bill passed the House along party lines with my no vote. 

SB 140 provides for a monument for Zell Miller to be erected in the Capitol or on the grounds using private funds. The bipartisan debate was a moving tribute to the man responsible for 1.9 million Georgians attending college with the HOPE scholarship. The bill passed the House nearly unanimously. 

Bills to Watch

SB 202 was a simple two-page bill stating that absentee ballot applications could only be mailed to registered voters. In the House Special Committee on Election Integrity, it suddenly morphed into a 94-page omnibus election bill, provided to the members of the committee on the same day they met. It is still not available online, and the committee is likely to vote on it Monday. 

Key provisions of the proposed election legislation would:

  • Require more absentee voter ID
  • Limit absentee ballot drop boxes
  • Set a deadline to request absentee ballots 11 days before election day
  • Disqualify provisional ballots cast in the wrong county precinct
  • Prohibit the distribution of food to voters waiting in line
  • Restrict absentee ballot application mailings
  • Authorize the State Election Board to take over underperforming county election offices

Here are the email addresses of the committee members: barry.fleming@house.ga.govalan.powell@house.ga.govkimberly.alexander@house.ga.govshaw.blackmon@house.ga.govrhonda.burnough@house.ga.govbuddy.deloach@house.ga.govdemetrius.douglas@house.ga.govhouston.gaines@house.ga.govjan.jones@house.ga.govchuck.martin@house.ga.govbonnie.rich@house.ga.govlynn.smith@house.ga.govrick.williams@house.ga.govcalvinsmyre@synovus.com

HB 289, originally a motor vehicle bill about Class C driver’s licenses, was stripped to mirror legislation that failed to pass in Senate committee. The only piece that stayed the same was the title of the bill. This bill now increases penalties for people who commit crimes during a protest. This bill is a clear reaction to the Blacks Lives Matters protests held last summer. The ACLU says that the legislation “makes a mockery of the First Amendment” by imposing limits and increased penalties on how and when Georgians can gather.

The bill is in the Senate Committee on Public Safety.

Here are the email addresses for the committee members: 
john.albers@senate.ga.govtyler.harper@senate.ga.govrandy.robertson@senate.ga.govlee.anderson@senate.ga.govkim.jackson@senate.ga.govharold.jones@senate.ga.govchuck.payne@senate.ga.govvalencia.seay@senate.ga.govcarden.summers@senate.ga.gov


I have canceled the Listening Session for this Sunday, March 21st! There is still a session scheduled for March 28th, 4 pm. You can register for the link here: 
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0scOipqz8uHNeOwwzcWOcqQv_WLh5dOicA

I’ve also scheduled a Legislative Wrap-Up Session with Rep. Shea Roberts (HD 52) for Thursday, April 1st, 7 pm – the day after Sine Die. We will be tired, but we’ll have lots to talk about!
You can register for the link here:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcocO-hrDoiHd0fHQZ_dGBekEZtp2sxYNSf


If you are eligible, don’t forget to sign up for your vaccine! Here are the current eligibility requirements:

  • 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.)
  • Adults with Intellectual & Development Disabilities & their Caregivers
  • Parents of Children with Complex Medical Conditions
  • Pre-K thru 12 Educators & Staff –  The Fulton County Board of Health is working directly with Fulton County Schools, Atlanta Public Schools, and select private school teachers to arrange dedicated vaccination days throughout the month of March. If you are a teacher in Fulton County, please reach out to your school or faculty administrator for details.
  • Adults 55 + and older
  • Residents with serious health conditions: Asthma (moderate to severe), Cancer, Cerebrovascular Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart conditions, Immunocompromised state, Liver disease, Neurologic conditions (Dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s), Overweight and obesity (BMI > 25 kg), Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia 

You can pre-register for the Georgia mass vaccination sites here: 
https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/
You can pre-register for Georgia Department of Health vaccinations here:
https://gta-vras.powerappsportals.us/
This website tracks open appointments at pharmacies:
https://www.vaccinespotter.org/GA/
Pharmacies with vaccine appointments are linked from here:
https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine


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