GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Both the BOC’s special meeting and the BOE’s monthly work session saw discussion after falling median sales ratios in the Tax Assessors Office could set the county up for another state consent order and penalties in fees.
Chief Appraiser, Theresa Gooch stated that if the county’s median falls below a 38, the first consequence comes as the possibility of losing some public utility money or tax revenue. This number comes from the state’s Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA) studies that occur annually. This means the Audit will look at samples of sales in the year and look at the sale value and compare that to what the county Tax Assessors assessed the value at. Since the state expects the assessors to set there evaluations at 40 percent of the property’s value. The optimum ratio, according to the state, is set between 38 and 42 percent so that there is no major variations.
However, to “pass” the audit, a term presented by BOE Finance Director Trina Penland, the assessed evaluations must fall between 36 percent and 44 percent, allowing for a 4 percent margin of error on either side as some might say. The report of the test samples for 2021 in Gilmer County fell to 35.88 percent, according to Penland’s report.
The study lags, however, according to Gooch who explained that the Department uses 2021 sales to set 2021 values while the county must use 2020 sales to anticipate and set expected 2021 values. The time lag also comes as the county has to have its values set by January 1, 2021. The state, however, comes later as Gooch said in the August 2022 meeting that the county just received the study results. Since the county’s and the states values are at odds, the discrepancy arises. The difference is so stark this year with the rising inflation and market values in just the course of one year.
There is no immediate consequence this year as the county is not under an official review year, Gooch said that will take place next year with regards to the 2022 assessments currently in their final stages. The Tax Assessors will use this information to set the expected 2023 values, but the state will wait until the end of 2023 to set those values based on actual sales.
With the current issue, she urged the county to formally file an appeal to have their concerns on record that Gilmer is “not happy with the findings.” Additionally, Gooch noted that the county could rise up again and make the requirement by next year’s review, but she has concerns if the state continues studies with the time difference allowing major influences to change market values drastically between the county’s anticipatory values from 2022 and the states actuals from 2023.
Not meeting the state required study median causes a fine, County Chairman Charlie Paris noted $174,000. The option is going under a consent order. Paris also noted that the last time the county was under a consent order, “it cost us more than paying the fine.”
In addition to those, Penland reported to the BOE that the Tax Assessors will also have to change their ratios for the digest in coming years, further reducing the money collected for both the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners budgets.
Gilmer County is not the only county going through this issue currently as Penland showed reports from 2019, 2020, and 2021 audits with more and more counties falling out of compliance each year. In the 2021, the majority of North Georgia along with counties all over the state are facing this same issue of being out of compliance.
Gooch reported that the last time Gilmer County was out of compliance, with a median percentage below 36, was “prior to 2010” and the last time it was out of optimal range, with a median percentage below 38, was 2013.
EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – With a letter from from the state reapportionment office suggesting changes, this Thursday will see the Gilmer Board of Education considering redrawing district lines for the county in regards to the board members.
This does not affect the county’s voting registration or citizens voting districts within the county. Instead, it changes the lines of the county and the districts that each board of education members’ seat represents. The diagram, pictured to the right, shows these changes on Gilmer’s map. The green lines represent the former district lines, established in 2012. The colored sections represent how the districts will look if approved on Thursday.
Based on the recent census, Superintendent Dr. Brian Ridley told board members that the changes look to rebalance populations within the districts.
The new lines show three major changes to the districts with the west side of District 5 reaching further west across Mountaintown, the east side of District 4 reaching further east towards the cities, and the southwest side of District 2 reaching further west across Yukon.
According to documents presented in their work session, this redraw will see each district with just over 6,000 people living in each of the districts.
This redistricting has not been approved yet, but is set for consideration this week, having the districts set for the coming election.
About voting on board members, Dr. Ridley stated, “The only thing that this affects is where future board members may live. Since all of you are voted on at large, it really doesn’t have any effect on who votes for who.”
Board Member Joe Pflueger question the origination of the map and Dr. Ridley clarified that the map was redrawn and provided by the state reapportionment office. Pflueger further noted that there has been no local input on the districts map as presented so far. Comments were made that the board would discuss legal options in executive session.
Dr. Ridley did note that the board could accept the map as presented or potentially alter it and ask for changes. Tomorrow’s, January 27, 2022, Regular Meeting of the Gilmer BOE will see the board’s decision on the map at 6:00 p.m.
A thought provoking perspective from the San Diego source / Worth a Peek.
Civil War: How do civil wars happen?
Dr. Jack Devere Minzey
Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.
The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that.
But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.
What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections. That’s a civil war.
There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.
This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.
Your very own dictatorship.
The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.
Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat’s system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.
If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. He can use the IRS as his own police force and imprison citizens who speak against him. He can provide guns and money (Fast and Furious) (Iran nuclear deal) to other countries to support his own agenda, and watch while one of America’s Ambassador’s is dragged through the streets and murdered doing nothing to aid our citizens. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.
But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has ‘discretion’ to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the ‘discretion’ to reverse him. That’s how the game is played. That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.
When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission. But under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries. The Constitution has something to say about that.
Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.
Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: Professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him. Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them. They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.That’s not a free country.
It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an ‘insurance policy’ against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who
wasn’t supposed to win did.
Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist Democrat professional government.
Well now Pilgrims and Patriots, having read the above I suggest two things;
forward this very timely, very important analysis to those whom you believe think like you do and make sure you vote on every Election day!
(Dr. Jack Devere Minzey, born 6 October 1928- died 8 April 2018, was the Department Head of Education at Eastern Michigan University as well as a prolific author of numerous books, most of which were on the topic of Education and the Government role therein.)
Extent of the Deep State:
The extent of the imbedded Deep State, an unholy corruption of ignorant worker bees in the peoples government is so pervasive, so tight and so protected that its very existence is mind blowing. That Obama weaponized federal agencies as political tools for the socialist Democrat party is undeniable but, I’m convinced that the rot started as far back as the Whitewater investigation in Arkansas as the Clinton’s began their political rise. Comey, the unlamented former director of the FBI was a young DoJ attorney in that inquiry then and other inquiries that protected the Clinton crime racket. He rose favorably through the ranks as a trusted confident, with their rise from State House to White House, owing his advancement to the only person who could be trusted to stand as a bulwark against potential future prosecution, Hillary Clinton.
We saw the IRS scandal with Lois Learner denying conservative groups lawful tax exemptions; we saw James Clapper, the DNI, lying to congress, We saw Clinton loyalist, James Comey, following Mueller in the FBI, doing what was expected of him, and the two incompetent AG’s, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, all doing what was required of them to protect the machine and do the machines bidding.
It wasn’t a fluke that Obama defeated Hillary Clinton as the 2008 Democrat nominee because Obama presented an opportunity the Left couldn’t resist using, an articulate, clean, half black Senator as candidate. But it was of little matter because Obama proved himself incompetent both as a political leader and a policy maker yet, it was still the Clintons who called the shots. Everything Obama laid his hand to failed, including his Director of the CIA, the muslim, John Brennen. They have all lied to Congress, lied to investigators or were abetted by them, for the sole purpose of denying justice and yet, they all remain unaccountable for their crimes.
Now, apparently still protected by the corrupted deep state, employees who once worked diligently to ensure Hillary succeeded as President on her second try, faced a formidable opponent, a businessman, like no one they ever met before. Losing again, Clinton’s Democrat deep state is determined to destroy that businessman, Donald Trump, or ruin his presidency.
That ‘destroying Trump part,’ totally exposed as a fraud and fake investigation is, in fact, seditious, an illegal plot to overthrow a sitting president. Every excuse they’ve used to justify warrants against Trumps staff people has turned out to be bogus. No accusation has come close to meeting the standards of charge, proof and inditement required by criminal law, yet some innocents have yielded to the pressure because of the onerous costs of their defense.
Mueller himself was hired even when justification for a special council was not met. Mueller did not qualify as a special counsel because he was an insider with conflicts of his own. Comey recommended him. Instead of legally hiring unbiased investigators, He hired an all Democrat hit squad loaded with Hillary’s henchmen. The people they squeezed to turn on Trump were ambushed, tricked and illegally spied on even after any legal justification to do so, collapsed.
These people should be headed to the slammer for the worst anti-gov’t plot in US history. No Republican even contemplated such an action against Obama but now the new Democrat congress, under the leadership of Comrades Pelosi, Schiff, Waters & Schumer, using the odious apparatus of Democrat House Committee hearings, on the flimsy pretense of unmasking corruption and criminality in the Trump Administration will be frustrated by their failures. Trumps favorability this very day, is 52%, and they don’t know how to handle it except by blunt force.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em!
2018 Georgia Election Results
Blue Ridge, Ga. – A closely watched gubernatorial race has come to a close, at least for now. With 100 percent of the precincts being accounted for and absentee ballots having been counted, Kemp has declared victory.
Cody Hall, Press Secretary with Kemp’s campaign said in a statement of this victory, “Brian Kemp earned nearly two million votes on Tuesday – by far the most of any gubernatorial candidate in our state’s history. Absentee ballots are counted and Kemp leads his opponent by 64,000 votes. Based on counts released by the Secretary of State’s office, Brian Kemp’s margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory. Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election.”
Stacey Abrams has yet to concede the election stating that she “will not give up until every vote is counted and every voice has been heard.”
“Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box,” Hall spoke of Kemp’s declared victory, “Brian Kemp will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia. He will work every day to keep our state moving in the right direction.”
Results from this race will not be official until all counties have certified. This certification is expected to be completed by Friday Nov. 9, but could run until Tuesday Nov. 13 due to the Federal Veteran’s Day holiday.
Updated Nov. 7 @ 5:34 p.m.
100% of precincts reporting
*These election results are unofficial until being certified by the Secretary of State’s office.
Brian Kemp (R) – 50.33% 1,973,033 Votes
Stacey Abrams (D) – 48.72% 1,910,152 Votes
Ted Metz (L) – 0.95% 37,086Votes
Geoff Duncan (R) – 51.74% 1,946,232 Votes
Sarah Riggs Amico (D) – 48.26% 1,815,508 Votes
Secretary of State:
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 49.20% 1,901,394 Votes
John Barrow (D) – 48.58% 1,877,514 Votes
Smythe DuVal (L) – 2.23% 86,104 Votes
****The Secretary of State will now move into a runoff between Republican Brad Raffensperger and Democrat John Barrow.****
Jim Beck (R) – 50.47% 1,939,664 Votes
Janice Laws (D) – 46.88% 1,801,823 Votes
Donnie Foster (L) – 2.64% 101,583 Votes
State School Superintendent:
Otha Thornton (D) – 46.87% 1,801,696 Votes
Richard Woods (R) – 53.13% 2,042,221 Votes
Gary Black (R) – 53.18% 2,034,304 Votes
Fred Swan (D) – 46.82% 1,790,758 Votes
Mark Butler (R) – 52.56% 2,013,750 Votes
Richard Keatley (D) – 47.44% 1,817,341 Votes
U.S. Congress District 6:
Karen Handel (R) – 50%
Lucy McBath (D) – 50%
U.S. Congress District 7:
Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) – 49%
Rob Woodall (R) – 51%
Exclusive Interview this morning on FYNtv.com with Candidate for Governor Brian Kemp, and where he stands on the attacks of the Cagle Campaign, against him.
Join us on #GMFTO every weekday starting at 8AM! We will be featuring Fetch Your News FYNTV.com TV personality #BKP and his political opinion, and #AnythingGoes ! Have a question, comment, or want to be on the show? Call or text 706-889-9700 !
Georgia State House Representative District 8 Debate with the Incumbent Matt Gurtler vs. Candidate Mickey Cummings.
Join us on Good Morning from the Office every weekday starting at 8AM! We will be featuring Fetch Your News FYNTV.com TV personality BKP and his political opinion, and anything goes!
Have a question, comment, or want to be on the show? Call or text 706-889-9700.
I never cease to be amazed at the crap the media feeds us including the opinions of journalists just barely able to peel bananas with their hands.The otiose schemes the deranged Left keeps pushing is the political danger to Pres. Trump should he fires Mueller. Oh, the humanity of it!
Well, let’s get on with it; watch where the smoke comes from then put out the fire. This wasted, year long Mueller drama which all but indites Hillary Clinton and her coterie of conspirators in the DOJ, the FBI, the IRS and the State Dept. as the true criminals, needs to be resolved and soon. The patience of the American voters who put Trump in office is growing thin. They will not abandon Trump when the real problems are so clear. Heads must roll and then we can heal the wounds,and work to return to a true constitutional republic like the founders envisioned.
“Is their a constitutional confrontation in the offing?” asks one headline. The article posits the notion that Mueller is nearly omnipotent in fighting crime and or evil and has the power and authority like a Grand Wizard, to demand the President of the United States present himself before a Grand Jury, presumably to arrange his public execution by burning at the stake. Right!
The article allows that the President has some outs like any other citizen, such as invoking his 5th amendment rights; that he can simply remove the Deputy. AG, who hired Mueller after Jeff Sessions abdicated his responsibility, daring to face the slings and arrows, that will come or, he could simply swat the Mueller nuisance away, de-fund the investigation and move on, a proposal most Americans really want. It reminds us that the president is not “above the law” but fails to warn us that Hillary Clinton, the corrupt James Comey, Loretta Lynch, et. al., are above the law. “Oh, the harm it would do to the FBI’s reputation..& etc., etc.” Well, the top management has been exposed as a nest of vipers and does need to be cleaned out, the sooner the better.
We know that the Supreme Court ruled that Nixon, who did have tapes and records, had to produce them as physical evidence. What does Trump have to produce he hasn’t already freely given? Nothing, so the hunt goes on until they find something. They can forget any more Stormy Daniels stories. No body cares. Bill Clinton saw to that. That’s old news. The issue behind the issues here is that the Democrats have no issues they can convince Americans to embrace other than the Obama socialist disaster that Trump is now happily discarding. They can run on no other issue except “hate Trump” because he beat ‘em soundly, leaving them bereft of power and like Biblical Moses, wandering aimlessly in the Sinai. Listening to the morose former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi is evidence enough of that.
It’s in their best interests to attack Trump, in fact it’s their only interest if they dream of ever recapturing the Congress again but, I suspect “dreams” are not policies. Democrat dreams cannot possibly move or replace Trumps successes like his tax cuts, killing the regulation state, his rising employment and GDP numbers and low unemployment rates, ripping America away from stupid trade deals that have hurt us, and ignoring the pseudo science environmental nonsense that the left believes will empower them to create their ‘dreamed’ one world order to save the planet. More importantly, he’s not afraid to face off Iran, which is facing its own internal problems, and the North Korean dingbat who pushed himself onto the world stage as a nuclear competitor and now can’t let go. Trump, the protagonist, has challenged them all and they react as he has expected them to. The Democrats are in disarray, Iran has squandered the billions Obama gave him and are almost broke and Kim is in fear of losing it all by his over extension.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em!
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Continuing his campaign for Governor, Hunter Hill made a stop in Ellijay on May 2 to speak with local citizens about his plans for the office if elected.
Hill spoke to local citizens over breakfast at Mike’s Ellijay Restaurant on Highway 282.
Hill is a former Army Ranger who has been in the State Senate for five years now. After resigning his seat in August to run for Governor, Hill has been focusing on his vision for Georgia and spreading that message to rally voters. Today, he spoke with citizens in Ellijay about the ideals for “less government, less taxes, and more freedom.”
With “career politicians,” as Hill noted, in office, it is an undermining of our values as a nation. He called out those politicians saying they were not even willing to risk their next election to uphold their oath.
Focusing more specifically on the recent issue of sanctuary cities. Adamantly against the topic, Hill said, “If a city or county in this state were to claim itself a sanctuary city, they would not receive a nickel of state funding.”
His second point on his vision for the office reiterated his opinions and intention to eliminate the state income tax. With bordering states already without an income tax, the competitive disadvantage is hurting our state, according to Hill. He went on to say replacing the income tax with a consumption tax setup would alleviate the tax burden from honest Georgians and redistribute that to everyone including visitors to the state and even those making money in illegal ways. Hill stated, “A broad-based consumption tax allows us to have more people that we’re bringing money in from, which allows us to do so at lower rates.”
On a personal note, Hill mentioned his faith pushed him to focus not only on the points of pro-life, pro-second amendment, and also religious liberty. FYN asked Hill if he would be seeking a “Faith Restoration Act” in his first year to which he replied, “Very good chance of that, yeah.”
Hill did confirm that he wanted to pursue faith-based adoption as a part of it saying, “We’ve got to protect our faith-based adoption agencies. We’ve just got to do it. A lot of the reasons that faith-based adoption agencies get involved is to be helpful in congruence with their faith. If you don’t protect their ability to do it in congruence with their faith, then they will just stop doing it altogether.”
Protecting people of faith and their ability to live and work based on that faith was a focus of Hill’s speech about the governor’s office, but also on his words about his future view of the state. He noted after winning on key policy issues aligned with our values and principals, he wanted to remind senators and house members of the values and principals that they were elected for, providing a singular vision to move forward under.
“Fighting for the people of Georgia” is what he says his focus is as Hill says he sees polls with him ahead of Kemp and closing in on Cagle. Separating himself, Hill says he’s not the career politician like Cagle and is very different than Kemp on issues like the income tax and limited government. But when comparing, Hill said he wanted to focus on his campaign and his vision to protect liberties and endorsements like the Georgia Right to Life to be a different candidate.
While most of those present were already Hill supporters like retired Gilmer county citizen, George Winn, who said he’s been a Hill supporter “all the way.” Based upon his stances as a military, Christian conservative who is a believable and trustworthy conservative.
Others like Ken Bailey find themselves supporting Hill as the best candidate. Following the campaign because “Hunter is not a politician. He is a fresh, young face and not a part of the established system, which needs to be broken up I think. I think he’s got good ideas. We don’t need to have a state income tax, that puts a handicap on us.” Bailey went on to say that he liked some of the other candidates and even knew some personally, but felt Hill was the best choice.
He also commented his appreciation of the choice in the election. With fine candidates available, Bailey said its great to not have to pick the best of a bad selection.
Hill continues his bus tour across Georgia with his final stop at the Cobb GOP Headquarters in Marietta on Saturday afternoon, May 2.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee yesterday took action to speed up debate time on executive and judicial nominees. U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) joined Senator James Lankford (R-OK) in supporting this effort to eliminate the gridlock stalling confirmations.
“For the last year, Democrats have done all they can to draw out the nominations process in order to delay the Senate from working on real issues. At this rate, President Trump will never have a full team in place. These delays are petty, and the American people have had enough. The Senate should be focused on tackling this debt crisis, fixing Congress’ broken budget process, and funding the government before the September 30 deadline.
“Last August, we pushed to have the Senate stay in session longer and more nominees were confirmed during those two weeks than had been confirmed all year. The United States Senate should start working around the clock to get through as many confirmations as possible and change the existing rules on confirming nominees. James Lankford has a plan in the Senate to cut the 30 hours of debate on most nominees to 8 hours. I support this plan. Every single Democrat in the Senate today, who was also here in 2013, supported this plan and they should again now. This will speed up the confirmation process and allow us to focus on the results the American people sent us here to deliver.”
- The Trump Administration has fewer nominations confirmed than the last four administrations at this point.
- Senate Democrats have forced three times as many cloture votes on President Trump’s nominees than the last four presidents combined.
- 66 of the Trump Administration’s nominees were returned at the end of 2017, compared to just five in former President Obama’s first year.
- On average, it takes 85 days for one of President Trump’s nominees to be confirmed.
- As of today, there are currently 139 executive, 57 district court, and 10 circuit court nominations pending.
- For the last year, Senator Perdue has fought to end this historic obstruction. He and nine other senators pushed to cancel the August recess and turn the Senate on 24/7.
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), issued the following statement upon the release of memos that former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey authored and in response to the inspector general’s criminal referral of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Collins is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which exercises oversight over the Department of Justice and FBI.
“As James Comey himself has insisted time and again, truth and integrity matter enormously, and federal law enforcement must prosecute people who lie to investigators. On this point, I agree with Mr. Comey, and I support the inspector general’s conclusion that Andrew McCabe’s dishonesty during an investigation within his own law enforcement agency warrants a criminal referral.
“Mr. Comey’s memos illustrate that he used different standards in his official work involving President Donald Trump than he applied to his work with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others. The memo he leaked—in order to effect the appointment of a Special Counsel—reinforces the inconsistency and bias with which he acted as FBI director as well as his willingness to substitute his own judgment for FBI policies. These facts indicate that Mr. Comey is less fettered to objective standards of integrity and the policies of our justice system than his public declarations claim.”
By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)
Week nine had a slower pace when compared to the legislating marathon of the last few weeks. The Senate passed 11 pieces of legislation this week and held several committee meetings to hear bills, most of which originated in the House. Now that we are passed the Crossover Day mark and through Legislative Day 32, we have hit the home stretch leading up to Sine Die.
Of the 11 pieces of legislation passed this week, the most significant was House Bill 683, which is the supplemental appropriations budget for the 2018 Fiscal Year. The amended version of the House bill was passed by the Senate on Monday and signed into law by Governor Deal on Friday. While we may have completed the budget process for the 2018 Fiscal Year, we wasted no time getting to work on the 2019 Fiscal Year budget. During week nine, the Senate Appropriations Committee held subcommittee hearings where state agencies, organizations and institutions presented their budget requests. In addition to my role as the Senate Majority Whip, I serve as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation. It is always beneficial and important to hear how we can improve transportation in the state by allocating necessary funds.
Of the bills passed on the Senate floor this week, I believe House Bill 354 will have the biggest impact on transportation. The bill reconstitutes the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority (GIMTCA) as a public corporation and an instrumentality of the state. Located in Savannah, where the Port of Savannah continues to grow by the year, GIMTCA aims to bring increased economic growth to the state’s import and export markets.
I am also happy to announce that House Bill 159, the “Adoption Bill,” was signed into law by Governor Deal on Monday. HB 159 is a much needed update to Georgia’s adoption laws and is the first of its kind in nearly 30 years. The bill will allow more children in foster care to be adopted into caring homes, extend the list of family members who can undertake legal guardianship and give parents in difficult situations more options to provide the best opportunities possible for their child.
In addition to this week’s action in the Senate, two of the three bills I sponsored to expand broadband access in rural Georgia saw movement in the House. Senate Bill 232, or the Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act, and Senate Bill 426, the Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act, each received their second reading and have been assigned to committee. SB 232 has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee and SB 426 has been assigned to the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee. The third piece of this rural broadband package – Senate Bill 402 or the Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act – received its second reading on Crossover Day and has also been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee for further review. I am confident that each of these bills will continue through the legislative process in the coming weeks and provide a solid starting point for broadband expansion.
Though the pace may have slowed this week, it is going to pick back up first thing Monday morning. There are only eight legislative days remaining and still much work to be done as our time winds down under the Gold Dome. Thank you for the continued opportunity to serve as your Senator, I will be sure to stay in touch as we wrap up the 2018 session. If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office. We are always here to help in any way we can.
ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that the FY 2019 state budget includes $1.26 million in infrastructure funding for the Ellijay Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority (EGCSWA). The funding will be used to build the “Yukon Road project” which will provide service to new customers, ensure redundancy for the utility, and provide fire protection.
“Funding this project is an important priority for Ellijay, Gilmer County and all of our North Georgia mountain region,” said Speaker David Ralston. “The Yukon Road project will help us plan for growth while providing fire protection for residents and property. It will also give both the Pickens and Gilmer water systems an important back-up capability in the event either system requires it.”
The Yukon Road project will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will consist of a new water main on Yukon Road to the Gilmer/Pickens County line and an interconnection with the Pickens County Water Authority system. The first phase of the project is expected to cost $710,000.
The second phase of the project will consist of the construction of a 300,000 gallon water storage tank and booster pump station upgrades. This will allow EGCWSA to deliver 500,000 gallons per day to Pickens County in addition to new customers on Yukon Road. The second phase of the project is estimated to cost $550,000.
The funding for the project will be provided through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA).
The FY 2019 budget was adopted by the General Assembly during the 2018 legislative session that ended last month. The budget is on the Governor’s desk awaiting his approval.
COLLINS BILL TO HONOR FALLEN CLERMONT MARINE SENT TO PRESIDENT’S DESK
WASHINGTON—The Senate last night voted unanimously to pass H.R. 3821, legislation to rename Georgia’s Clermont Post Office in honor of Zack T. Addington. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the bill this September, and it passed the House in November.
“Lance Corporal Zack Addington represents the selfless courage that’s cultivated in northeast Georgia, and I’m excited to see this bill leave Congress and head to the president’s desk for his signature,” said Collins.
Collins also honored Addington when he spoke about the bill on the House floor.
Known to his neighbors as Zack, Addington joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967. A native of Clermont, he became a rifleman in the 3rd Marine Division of the Fleet Marine Force and deployed to Vietnam that year. Addington was promoted to Lance Corporal and served his country honorably until he was killed in action in May 1968.
That June, Addington received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon in recognition of his service there.
Today on Ask the Doc! we are welcoming Dr. Raymond Tidman, who will be filling in for Doctor William Whaley while he is on vacation. This Morning #BKP and Dr. Tidman discuss health concern and answer: 1. After my last regular exam, my doctor said the results showed cervical dysplasia. What does that mean? Is it cancer? 2. My allergies have caused my throat to feel inflamed and caused sinus drainage. I have seen a doctor but I am still dealing with a cough a week or so later. Is there anything I can do to help get rid of this cough? 3. Can too little sleep be a cause of weight gain? This segment is brought to you by Georgia Cancer Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital.
Georgia employees seeing bonuses, pay raises, other benefits thanks to tax changes
ATLANTA, GA – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today highlighted additional businesses in Georgia that have announced employee bonuses, wage hikes, or 401(k) match increases as a result of the historic tax cuts signed into law in December.
American Proteins, Inc. (Cumming, GA) – $1,000 bonuses for 700 employees. Read more here.
“President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have reduced taxes for businesses and individuals and I’m excited about what this means for our company and its employees.” –Tommy Bagwell, American Proteins Chairman and CEO
Carter’s (Atlanta, GA) – Bonuses of approximately 5% of base salary for full-time employees and $100 per year of service for part-time employees; increased 401(k) matches. Read more here.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is expected to have a significant and positive impact on our Company’s future earnings, cash flow, and ability to invest in its growth strategies. In 2018, we plan to reinvest approximately half of the $40 million benefit from the lower corporate tax rate in brand marketing and improved eCommerce capabilities. Given the significant and unexpected benefit in 2017 of the historic tax reform legislation, we are also announcing today that our Board of Directors has approved $20 million in special compensation awards to all of our Company’s eligible full-time and part-time employees provided through enhanced retirement plan contributions and bonuses.” –Michael Casey, Carter’s Chairman and CEO
CMC of Georgia, Inc. (Toccoa, GA) – Bonuses of up to $1,000. Read more here.
“We think that changes in taxes and tax law all have positives, and we wanted to get in the front by sharing it with our employees.” –Mathew Marty, CMC President
Cox Enterprises (Atlanta, GA) – Bonuses of up to $2,000 for non-executive employees. Read more here.
Georgia Power (Atlanta, GA) – $330 million in direct credits to consumers in 2018 and 2019. Read more here.
“We are committed to offering the highest customer value with rates below the national average, and we’re pleased to be able to continue to pass the benefits of the new tax laws on to our customers.” –Paul Bowers, Georgia Power Chairman, President, and CEO
Southwire (Carrollton, GA) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $250 bonuses for part-time employees; expanding parental leave policy; establishing a scholarship program for hourly employees seeking to further their education. Read more here.
BB&T Corporation (94 locations in GA) – $1,200 bonuses for 27,000 associates; raising minimum wage from $12 to $15 per hour; donating $100 million to charitable organizations. Read more here.
“Overall, BB&T’s Executive Management team believes the successful passage of tax reform is very encouraging news that should move BB&T, the financial services industry and the U.S. economy in the direction of stronger growth.” –BB&T Press Release
Best Buy (37 stores in GA) – $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees; donating $20 million to support teen tech centers and Geek Squad academies across the country. Read more here.
Fifth Third Bancorp (33 locations in GA) – $1,000 bonuses for 13,500 employees; raising minimum wage to $15 per hour. Read more here.
Lowe’s (63 stores and 4 distribution centers in GA) – $1,000 bonuses for 260,000 hourly employees; expanding parental leave and adoption assistance. Read more here.
Regions Bank (124 locations in GA) – Raising minimum wage to $15 per hour; making $40 million in charitable donations; investing $100 million in capital expenditures. Read more here.
Ryder (31 locations in GA) – $23 million in bonuses for 31,000 employees. Read more here.
TJX Companies, Inc. (50 stores in GA) – Bonuses for eligible, non-bonus plan associates; instituting paid parental leave; making contributions to charitable organizations; planning to repatriate more than $1 billion in cash in FY2019. Read more here.
“We are pleased to be utilizing the cash benefit from the 2017 Tax Act to make incremental investments in our Associates, our communities and shareholder distributions. Apart from the tax-related cash benefit, we plan to continue to re-invest in the business, including store growth, supply chain and infrastructure, technology, training our Associates, and upgrades to the shopping experience for customers. We are pleased to be in a position to do all of this while continuing to deliver great value to our customers and shareholders!” –Ernie Herrman, TJX Companies President and CEO
U-Haul (18 locations in GA) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees and $500 bonuses for part-time employees. Read more here.
“To comply with the intent of the President’s tax reduction, we are investing an additional $200 million in personnel, tools and facilities. I have the opportunity to travel to locations across the U-Haul system, and I see the swell of confidence in the U.S. economy and in the American consumer. Tax reductions lead to job growth, and jobs offer people increased mobility and the option to seek better opportunities for their families. These are positive indicators for U-Haul, the self-move and self-storage industry, and the economy as a whole.” –Joe Shoen, U-Haul Chairman
Walmart (189 locations in GA) – Bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service; raising base wage from $9 to $11 per hour; expanding parental leave benefits. Read more here.
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.” –Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO
Wells Fargo (259 locations in GA) – Raising minimum wage to $15 per hour; donating $400 million to charitable organizations. Read more here.
View other Georgia-based businesses benefiting from tax cuts here.