Senator Bill Heath

As mentioned in my update last week, the Senate Majority Caucus unveiled its priorities for the 154th General Assembly earlier this year.

Our Republican leadership emphasized that Georgia’s priorities are our priorities — and rightly so.

I want to reassure the people of my constituency in Senate District 31 and the people of this great state that I will analyze and consider every item with care.

I am going to ensure that Georgia continues to govern conservatively and in your interests, even if that means going against the flow.

There are six priorities for the Senate Majority Caucus and I wanted to provide a brief overview of each one for you.

The first priority is cutting red tape.

To make owning a business in Georgia, big or small, easier, the caucus would like to eliminate needless duplication of work, improve communication with regulated parties.

The caucus would also like too limit regulations on private business.

It will also work to eliminate nuisance taxes and fees that cost more for us to collect on than the amount of money these taxes and fees generate.

Second, the caucus wants to make sure that Georgians feel safe in their own state.

To that end, we will continue to lead the nation in protecting our residents against terrorism.

We want to ensure that local law enforcement, our “boots on the ground,” so to speak, have all the tools they need to act capably as our intelligence gathering forces.

This effort will be two-fold: first, we will put forth legislation that lets them easily report suspected terrorist activities. Then, in turn, we will provide them the resources they need to dismantle would-be terrorist cells from ever gaining ground in Georgia.

Third, the caucus would like to encourage high schools to offer classes that will give students the opportunity to earn skilled-labor credentials before they graduate.

In doing so, Georgia’s employers would gain a steady stream of skilled laborers.

Fourth, the caucus wants to continue working toward improving our regional area transportation infrastructure.

A robust, regional plan is needed to improve transportation conditions in the Atlanta and other metro areas, and the caucus will work with local stakeholders and industry experts to create a path forward.

Fifth, there is a strong push to improve hospital access for rural Georgians, improve access to addiction treatment services and improve mental health access.

So, as our counterparts in Washington work to dismantle Obamacare, we here in Atlanta will work to ensure that all Georgians have access to the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.

Finally, we want to reflect Gov. Deal’s emphasis on education by maximizing funding for pre-kindergarten and the HOPE Scholarship.

The caucus will put forth legislative initiatives that will evaluate and ensure returns from the Georgia Lottery are at the highest possible funding levels for the latter programs.

With these efforts, the Senate Majority Caucus will work towards ensuring that your state government continues to govern conservatively and in the best interests of Georgians.

For my part, I will carefully examine each piece of legislation, regardless of party origin, to make sure that the Gold Dome doesn’t act against the interests of my constituents in Senate District 31. The Senate was not in session on Monday in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the rest of the week was dedicated to budget hearings.

We returned for legislative day five on Monday, Jan. 23.

It is my honor to represent Georgia’s 31st Senate District.

If you have questions about the budget, our legislative calendar or the process in general, feel free to contact me at the following email at billheath@billheath.net.

Sen. Bill Heath serves as Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee. He represents the 31st Senate District which consists of Haralson and Polk counties and portions of Paulding County.  He may be reached at 404-656-3943 or by email at billheath@billheath.net.

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