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Politics & Local Govts.

Feb. 15 – Letter from State Representative Jeff Jones

Category: Politics & Local Govts

Beth Eastham, BBJ Editor

February 15, 2017 - OnFebruary7, 2017just two days after our Atlanta Falcons valiant efforts fell short to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, both the Georgia House and Senate returned to the Gold Dome in Atlanta to begin the 5th Week (legislative days 13 – 16) of the 2017 session. By the end of next week, we will have completed 20 days or half of the 2017 session, and it seems there is still much work to be done.


HB146- (I voted YES) Fire Fighters Cancer Insurance bill passed overwhelmingly out of the House thanks to Rep. Micah Gravely (D67).  Last year, Rep. Gravely was able to get a Firefighter’s Workers Comp bill passed by the House and Senate, only to have Gov. Deal veto the measure.  I agree that this version of firefighter insurance is much better primarily because it allows our counties, cities and community to better project and manage the costs for the coverage. I am proud to support this important step to help our brave firefighters.

Also look at two Firefighter related bills that passed the House
HB83 and HB84 (I voted YES to both) which seek to improve Firefighter Pension Fund management.

HB88- (I voted YES) closes a loophole that could have allowed a disbarred lawyer to serve as a Superior Court Judge. (This almost happened in Georgia!)

HB14- (I voted YES) a bill I sponsored, makes it clear that all Georgia Sheriffs who are paid on salary, as they currently all are, must remit any fees they collect to the County fiscal office.  The kind of fees include process server fees, metal recycle fees, and similar.

SB70- (I voted YES) This somewhat controversial bill passed the House 152-14. With the election of Pres. Donald J. Trump, the future of the Medicaid program is unknown. This legislation is vital to help keep our rural hospitals afloat and ensures that the $300 million Georgia has committed to Medicaid will continue, on a year-by-year basis, for the next three years. Passing this bill also ensures that Georgia will continue to receive the $600 million “match” from the Feds. Despite Medicaid’s exploding costs, Georgia’s contribution to this program ranks 49th among states in per capita spending.

HB154- (I voted YES) This is another bill that seeks to help provide health care to rural Georgia, as well as other areas of Georgia, by making it legal for Dental Hygienists to expand the scope of services they are permitted by law to provide their patients.

HB64- (I voted YES) seeks to make sure that our local insurance agents are fairly compensated for their time, expertise and efforts.

There are a number of other bills that the House approved this week.
This link will take you directly to web pages listing every bill and resolution filed in the Georgia General Assembly. This link will work for the entire 2017-18 session so I encourage you to Bookmark it in your browser.

Local Issues

River Road on Shellman’s Bluff, McIntosh County– This road, which in many ways represents its name-sake “Shellman’s Bluff”, is quickly deteriorating and is very much in need of over $300,000 in basic maintenance.  There are serious problem in getting this much needed work done ranging from “who owns the road and has responsibility for its maintenance” to “getting the cooperation of surrounding property owners” to “where will the money come from”.

Please contact Diane Williams for more information or to offer assistance at 770-841-5462 or by


Staying In Touch

As always you are welcome to visit me at our capitol office, which is located at Suite 501 in the CLOB (Cloverdale Legislative Office Bldg.). You may call my capitol office at 404-656-0126; additionally, I can be reached via email at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I encourage you to reach out to me and share your thoughts and opinions as this legislative session progresses.

Now that session is underway, I want you to know that I will be working diligently on behalf of our entire district while at the Capitol. I hope you will take the opportunity to review updates like this to stay informed on legislative matters that affect our district and state. Our House website,, has a number of tools to help you stay up-to-date on what’s going on at the Capitol: you can watch a live-stream of the House proceedings, and or archived committee meetings and review legislation we are considering.

As always, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your state representative.

For Georgia,

Jeff Jones

State Representative

Georgia State House

District 167-Brunswick
(912) 386-0428
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Representative Jeff Jones



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