Sunday, January 31, 2010

1-30-2010 weekly update

Under the Gold Dome

State Representative John Lunsford's Weekly Capitol Update

Just into the session


January 30, 2010


On Thursday, January 28th we adjourned after our eighth legislative day of the 2010 session.  This week consisted of short days of legislative action followed by committee hearings reviewing legislative initiatives.  Bills are currently being drafted and introduced by legislators and the committee process is beginning to take full swing as we debate introduced legislation before it is presented on the House floor for votes.  The budget is continuing its process and the House Appropriations Subcommittees are continuing to meet to discuss and debate the specifics of how the state revenues are to be used and where spending cuts can and should be made.

One piece of legislation was voted upon this week, House Resolution 1168, and it was unanimously passed by the House. This Resolution amended some changes to the rules governing how we operate in the Georgia House of Representatives.  One change is the elimination of the Hawk System.  The new leadership, and some  of the legislators, have questioned the role of the Hawk system that was implemented in previous years.  Although the Hawk System has been in place for almost 5 years, Lunsford resigned last year as the senior Hawk and the Speaker of the House decided not to replace that position.  Another change now allows the media outlets access to the House floor after our morning devotional.  Previously, the media were restricted in the House chambers.  Also, although more of a formality, is a change which allows substitutions to be made on Bills within the Rules Committee if an error is found.  As legislators, we are always improving the process by which the legislature and committees work, it is a continuous cycle. 

Jobs and business development continue to be a focus for the General Assembly.  The creation of the Small Business development and jobs creation committee, whereas John Lunsford was tapped to chair this important new committee. The House and the Senate are working together for the Jobs, Opportunity, and Business Success Act of 2010 (JOBS Act of 2010 by Rep. Tom Graves Ranger Ga. ). The jobs act of 2010 legislation has been placed into this new committee.   Ensuring that Georgians are employed, and that business owners have incentives to hire those unemployed, are one of our priorities.  With unemployment numbers reaching 10.3% for the state of Georgia, we are committed to helping people once again become gainfully employed.  According to the Georgia Department of Labor, over the last year Georgians lost approximately 175,000 jobs.  Much of this can be contributed to the economy; however, legislators must do our part to ensure that we are encouraging businesses and helping the citizens of the state.  Legislation will be introduced next week which is similar to the legislation the General Assembly passed last year which was vetoed by Governor Perdue.  This legislation, the JOBS Act of 2010, would help in numerous ways by:  waiving state fees for new businesses, giving quarterly tax credits for unemployment to those businesses that hire someone currently receiving unemployment benefits, a tax credit of $2,400 for businesses employing the unemployed for 24 consecutive months, a fifty percent reduction in the capital gains tax, a tax credit for investments made to small businesses, and a gradual phasing out of the sales tax deposit required for businesses.  These incentives will encourage businesses in Georgia, and in return, individuals and the economy benefit as the steps are taken toward recovering from this economic recession.  We have a lot of other great ideas that will be vented in the coming weeks. Your opinions and concerns are important to me and I consider it an honor to serve you at the state capitol and in our district. If you would like to reach me, please call me at (404) 656-7573 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 505 Clob, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA  30334 or e-mail me at






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