With the Georgia General Assembly preparing to convene next Monday, Jan. 9, two members of Fayette County’s legislative delegation have a to-do list: Newly-elected District 72 Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Peachtree City) and newly-elected District 64 Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone).
Bonner won his seat after Peachtree City’s Matt Ramsey decided against another term. As a freshman legislator, Bonner said he will have a better idea how “I can be effective for the district once I receive a committee assignment, which will be after the first week of the session.”
In addition to the issues related to the state budget and potential conversations regarding education and healthcare, Bonner said he believes he can add value in the area of workforce development.
“Georgia continues to be an attractive state to do business, but we need to improve our strategy when it comes to training our folks for the jobs that are here today in fields such as information technology, film and the construction trades,” said Bonner.
“Fayette County has a good delegation and a history of solid representation. I look forward to continuing that tradition and serving the good folks of the 72nd District,” Bonner added.
Jackson, a retired U.S. Navy officer and adjunct professor, won his post after Rep. Virgil Fludd declined to run again.
In his comments, Jackson said, “We are in a time of unprecedented opportunity, but may be challenged with speculation by the electorate, which spurs the top legislative issues from year-to-year. The 2016 election cycle was eccentric and with Trump’s administration at the helm in 2017, there is much uncertainty at the federal level, because his policies remain unknown.”
Nonetheless, said Jackson, some states may still execute their legislative agenda and Georgia is no different.
Jackson said in Georgia, based on today’s political climate, it is shaping up that the Top 10 biggest legislative topics and contests could be:
1. Medicaid expansion
2. Casino gaming
3. Public schools improvements
4. Drugs: legalize marijuana and deal with opioid addiction
5. Jobs, jobs, jobs
6. Gun laws
7. Community policing and accountability
8. Environmental regulation
9. Transportation and infrastructure improvements
“In the end, no legislation (bill) should be passed that will adversely impact Georgians, their quality of life, or the business community that has positioned Georgia as ‘the best state’ to do business,” Jackson said.
The Citizen by press time Tuesday did not receive comments from Sen. Valencia Seay (D-District 34), Sen. Marty Harbin (R-District 16), Rep. Debra Bazemore (D-District 63), Rep. Karen Mathiak (R-District 73) or Rep. David Stover (R-District 71).