Monday, November 26, 2007

lunsford receives award for Legislation

2007 ACCG legislative Service Award Presented to

State Representative John Lunsford Dist#110 Butts, Henry, Newton Counties


November 23, 2007



Last Wednesday during the Henry County Quality Growth luncheon the Lt. Governor was on the podium with Representative John Lunsford of ( McDonough) while Mr. Kem Kembrough of ACCG presented him one of the 2007 ACCG legislative Service awards, for his work over the past few years on HB 394. Representative Lunsford spent hundreds of hours working with state and local government as well as communication providers to prefect this legislation. HB394 was a complicated bill as all telecommunication issues are, but some of the highlights of interest are:


First of all this legislation does not raise your phone bill or create new charges that was not already Georgia or Federal law.


This legislation created a 911 emergency grant fund for all counties and cities in Georgia even the poorest to build, equip, and upgrade their emergency center this fund is completely financed by forcing the telephone suppliers to pay millions of dollars in uncollected fees.


HB394 closed the loopholes in Georgia law that allowed fees and charges on phone bills to go to the phone companies bottom lines; it now must go to local government to offset property taxes.


Hb394 forces the phone providers to furnish all emergency information to 911 call centers to locate your cell phone during an emergency call.


Hb394 makes it against the law for someone to call up an emergency center and threaten the operators or to make harassing phone calls to the emergency service operators.


But best of all over the life of this legislation it will collect for local government tax offsets in excess of 400 million dollars, that is services that local governments are providing but were not being paid for, local taxpayers were paying these charges.     


You see federal law requires local governments to provide services to these industries but state law had not been updated in over 20 years and while the technology has changed our laws remained stagnant:  see industry reports of phone companies’ growth.


 AT&T INC. ROLLED THROUGH the quarter with 2 million net customer additions, and most of them (1.2 million) were coveted retail postpaid customers—up more than 30% from retail postpaid gains during the same quarter of 2006


Verizon Wireless reported another strong quarter of results, although the company saw small increases in its consistently low churn rates.  The carrier added a total of 1.6 million net customers. However, Verizon Wireless lost about 115,000 customers from its wholesale business, which primarily involves resellers


T-Mobile USA Inc. added 857,000 net subscribers to its network during the third quarter, numbers primarily driven by the carrier’s prepaid offering. The carrier had added 802,000 net subscribers during the third quarter of last year, but a higher percentage of them were signed to contracts.
About 35% of T-Mobile USA’s net additions during this year’s third quarter were prepaid, compared with just 4% in the third quarter of 2006 and 20% in the second quarter of this year. The wireless operator said that its July launch of FlexPay, which expanded pay-as-you-go options for prepaid customers as well as those on contracts, helped drive the growth of its prepaid service during the third quarter, particularly among Flexpay customers without contracts.


Sprint Nextel Corp.’s quarterly profits plunged as the carrier bled postpaid iDEN and prepaid Boost Mobile L.L.C. subscribers, posting a net loss of 60,000 subscribers for the quarter.
The company’s net income fell from $279 million in the third quarter of 2006 to $64 million this year.
Sprint Nextel had warned that it would report wireless subscriber losses for the quarter. The operator said that its customer results reflected “mixed performance between network platforms,” including growth from CDMA postpaid subs, its new Boost Unlimited offer and wholesale and affiliate channels—which was offset by losses from iDEN postpaid and Boost prepaid subscribers.

Representative Lunsford stood at the podium and thanked the Lt. governor, ACCG  and  all the members of the General Assembly for their help with this legislation. Lunsford stated “ ladies and gentlemen it takes 91 votes in the House of Representatives to pass any bill,  and this one passed almost unanimously that’s as about as bi partisan and pro Georgia as it gets.”  Lunsford specifically thanked the Speaker Glenn Richardson and the Lt. Governor for believing in him and Senator Chip Rogers for carrying it in the senate.


 If you would like to reach him, please call john at (404) 656-7573 or write him at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 401, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA  30334 or e-mail me at






Sunday, November 25, 2007

lunsford under the gold dome 11-25-07

Under the Gold Dome


State Representative John Lunsford


November 25, 2007


Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Mark Twain (1835-1910)


The past few months the Georgia General Assembly has recessed until the second Monday in January. I hope this has been a time of rest and reflection for families across the state. As we move from the Thanksgiving holidays into the Christmas season, we are all so blessed to live in a country that not only allows religious freedom, but supports setting aside time away from work and school to express and celebrate our faith and beliefs.


As I think about the meaning of this time, and look out my window and observed the first drops of rain in over a month, my thoughts couldn’t help but turn to the many things we are working on in the legislature, and how we are truly working for the good of the people we represent in an effort to better the lives of all Georgians. As you know, this is not an easy task and there are many issues that we face when we reconvene in 60 days.


The biggest issues that we face when we reconvene are the issue of the Fiscal Year 2008 Mid-Year Budget and the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget.  The FY 2008 Mid-Year Budget is a reconciliation budget to move more funds to where shortfalls occur.  This usually occurs in the areas of education spending and Medicaid spending and a major overhaul of our Tax system, but also this year we are suffering with drought relief as well as Grady hospital and State wide Trauma funding.


While some adjustments are required by federal law and due to an increasingly growing population base in our state, we usually have to allocate additional funds to the various required spending programs.  We also use the budget to help fund emergency issues like the shortfall in Peach Care funding and relief help for storm areas.  As your representative I will always strive to Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest Mark Twain (1835-1910)


If you would like to reach me, please call me at (404) 656-7573 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 401, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA  30334 or e-mail me at