On Jan. 14, the Senate convened for the first session of the 155th Georgia General Assembly with leadership changes on nearly every level of government.
Governor Brian P. Kemp was sworn in and the Senate will have a new president for the first time in 12 years, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan.
We also welcomed five new members, elected Sen. Butch Miller to serve as our President Pro Tempore and the Senate Committee on Assignments announced chairmen and committee assignments.
In addition to my duties as Senate Majority Whip, I have the honor of serving as the Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Secretary of the Appropriations Committee, as a member of the Ethics, Finance, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Regulated Industries and Utilities Committees and as ex-officio on the Rules Committees.
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve on each of these committees which all deal with important legislation. Among the legislation these committees vet is a wide range of priorities that are consistent among leaders in Georgia. One of our newest leaders, Governor Kemp, addressed his priorities at his first annual State of the State address where he highlighted points of interest including broadband and health care expansion, as well as a new public safety initiative. He discussed the establishment of a gang taskforce that would work with the GBI to help keep our state safe by addressing gangs in Georgia as well as drug trafficking.
Governor Kemp also highlighted other initiatives including a proposed appropriation of $480 million so that every certified teacher in Georgia will receive a $3,000 permanent pay increase.
Additionally, he included $69 million in one-time funds for school safety improvements. As a father of three young boys, I fully support measures that aim to retain the brightest talent for our schools while ensuring everyone within those buildings is in the safest environment possible.
I was encouraged by Governor Kemp’s message and believe that the future for our state is bright. By working with Kemp’s administration, our new president in the Senate, our friends in the House and my colleagues in the Senate, I believe we can retain our status as the number one state in which to do business and as the best place in the nation to raise a family.
I would like to say thank you to all of my constituents for your encouragement and care for the 51st Senate District of Georgia. Please call or email me with any questions, comments or concerns you have as we move forward during the 2019 session. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sen. Steve Gooch serves as the Senate Majority Whip. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties and portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties. He may be reached at (404) 656-9221 or via email at email@example.com.