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ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The House and Senate met Monday morning at the Capitol for the Georgia General Assembly’s opening session.

Several of Middle Georgia’s own were among those sworn in.

State Representative Miriam Paris told 41NBC she believes making Macon-Bibb a center of tourist attractions could help create jobs. She added that being on the tourism house committee will help find new ways to use empty buildings and attract more visitors.

“Tourism is one of the committees that I really want to be on and I think of tourism as an industry.” Paris said. “I can look at possibly marketing Bibb County. We have so many big boxes that are empty that business could occupy, it could bring good jobs for our people,” she continued.

The state of Georgia recently passed legislation about medical marijuana, led by State Representative Allen Peake.

“I’m going to be focusing on medical cannabis legislation. We’ve been working on it. This will actually be our forth year working on it. We’re trying to expand that opportunity to other folks who might need it–who have debilitating illnesses,” said Peake.

State Representative Paris believes the education system is in great need of attention. This is  an issue she and Representative Peake both wish to tackle.

“Without a good education system, we’re going to be behind the ball and so we’ve got to make sure that our teachers are paid well. We’ve got to make sure that our children have a good curriculum,” she added.

State Senator John F. Kennedy says reducing red tape and regulations on businesses as well as reform on taxes are two major points the senate will be addressing.

“We’ve got some taxes and some tax structures that really don’t produce any more revenue than what it costs to get them. That doesn’t make sense so that’s one of the thing that we’re going to be looking at,” he said.

State Representative Miriam Paris says the days are long and the work is hard but for these Middle Georgia Lawmakers, seeing change in the communities they serve are what make this upcoming session important.

One of the issues lawmakers say is still up in the air is what to do about healthcare. According to Kennedy, lawmakers are waiting to hear from the Trump administration before making a move.

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