Name: Eddie Lumsden
Occupation: State trooper, retired; insurance agent/small business owner
What qualifications do you bring to this office?
Eight years as a state representative, three as a committee chairman.
Five years as a county commissioner, two as the commision chairman.
Thirty-one years as a small business owner.
Thirty years in public safety as a state trooper
Six years as a member of the Air Force/Air Guard
What are your state budget priorities?
The budget we worked on during the first half of this year’s session and the budget we will have to deal with when we continue our session in June will be vastly different. The impact of COVID-19 on the state budget is still playing out.
What we do know is that revenues will be down by $3 billion to $4 billion, necessitating a 14% cut in spending. It will impact all departments of state government -- but I want to be sure that education, public safety and public health have the necessary resources to carry out their respective missions.
Name some important issues you'd like to address?
One issue that I am working on this session is making sure those individuals who have taken out a long term care policy from an insurance company that later went insolvent are made whole. The bill is an industry solution to a growing problem which does not involve tax dollars. It passed the House and is in Senate.
School safety is another issue which I have great concerns about. While COVID-19 has disrupted the normal meetings of classes, the reality is students will come back to school campuses and there are those who will still seek to do harm.
At present, school boards can not discuss school safety in executive session. I have proposed legislation that will permit them to do so.
What changes should the state make in light of the coronavirus threat?
We still do not have a clear picture as to how this pandemic will play out long term. For the immediate future we must all do our part by wearing a mask in public settings and practicing social distancing. Until an effective vaccine is developed and in widespread use we will not see normal as we have known it.
The state has and will implement new safety practices and procedures in offices that serve the public and we (the Legislature) will find funding to deal with these necessary changes.
How important is bipartisanship to you and why?
It is always good when a piece of legislation is supported by members from both parties. That actually happens on most legislation that comes before the House in Georgia.
There are differing philosophical views between the two parties that must be realized. Not all legislation is philosophical in nature but for those issues that are, you must understand that the principles those philosophies are based on will guide the votes. That is why we have political parties. I like bipartisanship but not when it violates my guiding principles.