It is hard to believe that 2013 is about to come to a close. It has been a productive and busy year for my family. I was blessed to be able to serve in my first session as your representative. It is a true honor to represent you at the Georgia State Capitol. With the year coming to an end, we are gearing up for the 2014 legislative session that will start on Jan. 13.
One of my main objectives after being elected to office was to ensure that I remained extremely accessible to the citizens of the 9th State House District. One of the ways I have attempted to do this is by starting "Front Porch Politics."
I have held these meetings across the district on front and back porches in many of your homes. We have discussed a wide-range of issues, and I have been honored to have been invited into your homes and your neighborhoods. These meetings have proven to be very informative. They also continue to reinforce to me the fact that we live in a wonderful community surrounded by hardworking Christians that only want the best for their families.
With the start of the legislative session around the corner I have been working on several pieces of legislation that I plan to introduce. One bill is a result of an issue that was brought to my attention during a "Front Porch Politics" session.
The same issue was addressed with me by another constituent at a meeting with a group of farmers in Lumpkin County. In both cases the families had a son who was serving our country on active duty in the U.S. Military.
The young men had grown up here in Georgia, but they were stationed in other parts of our country and had purchased homes near their bases. They shared a love of hunting with their fathers and liked to return home on leave during hunting season to deer hunt with family. As a result of their home being outside Georgia, they currently have to purchase an out of state hunting license.
This type of license is significantly more expensive than a hunting license that is purchased by a Georgia resident. This expense results in some of our native Georgia service men not being able to hunt with their families.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, also known as DNR, is the state agency responsible for administering hunting licenses in our state. After hearing about this concern during meetings with constituents, I met with the staff of DNR in Atlanta to discuss this problem and to determine what could be done to help these families. With the help of DNR I have drafted a bill that I plan to introduce next month.
If this bill becomes law, it will allow all of our active duty military personnel to obtain a hunting license in Georgia at the lower resident rate.
These individuals are serving our country and are stationed at bases around the world. This bill will allow more of these men and women to be able to participate in a sport that they enjoy with family and friends here in our state. It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to take your concerns and to work to find solutions.
I look forward to working on your behalf this next session. I will continue to strive to make myself accessible to each of you and to be responsive to your needs. During the session I will continue the tradition of holding weekly breakfast meetings on Saturday mornings to update you on what is occurring at the Capitol and to listen to your concerns.
We will rotate again this year between Ryan's in Dawson County and the Wagon Wheel in Lumpkin County.
I am honored to serve as your representative at the state Capitol, and I look forward to working with each of you to make our state a better place to live, to work and to raise our children.
Kevin Tanner can be reached on his cell phone at (678) 776-5059, at the capital at (404) 656-0152 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.