ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It’s day one of the 155th Georgia General Assembly. Legislators are now in session. Campaigns are over and our local representatives say they’re ready to go to work.
“Get ready. This is our time to shine. Get all of your planning and zoning in order because it’s going to be a big focus on rural Georgia,” Representative Patty Bentley of District 139 said.
Representative of District 147 Heath Clark says the House Rural Commission has met, and there will be a lot of initiatives proposing growth in rural areas.
“You can start bringing businesses into those areas, that can bring some growth, but economic vitality with the people who are living there has to be addressed,” Clark said.
The spot light is on rural healthcare.
“Make sure the health access is there whether it be Medicaid expansion or Medicaid expansion by another name. You still have to expand that pool of money that brings it into rural Georgia,” Representative for District 143 James Beverly said.
Representatives will work on bringing internet access to rural communities.
“For students to do their homework today and to thrive and bring economic development to areas, so broadband is going to be a key crucial thing,” Clark said.
Legislators across the state say they hope they can agree to terms on school security.
“We’ll probably see a few measures come forward to make sure that our schools are safe and secure for our students, teachers, staff, and faculty members,” Clark said.
The state Senate will reintroduce legislation to expand and preserve the Ocmulgee National Monument and possibly change its name to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.
The hot button issue, medical marijuana, is going to be brought up during this session.