New to the GSU Delegation
Since the close of the 2015 legislative session, there have been several special elections to fill vacant seats.
Marie Metze (D-Atlanta), will represent House District 55 in Fulton County. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Education Leadership degree from GSU in 1980. Marie is a community activist and former Commissioner of the Christian Debutante Master Commission. She replaces Rep. Tyrone Brooks who resigned his seat earlier this year.
Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia), will represent House District 92, replacing Rep. Tonya Anderson who resigned to run for the Senate District 43 race. Doreen received her BBA in Accounting from the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business. District 92 represents portions of Dekalb and Rockdale counties.
GSU Experts address Study Committees
Dr. Susan Kelley, Founder and Director of Project Healthy Grandparents at Georgia State University, a research/community service program that aids grandparents raising grandchildren in parent-absent homes addressed the House Study Committee on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren this fall. This committee was formed to study the issues facing grandparents and other family members as primary caregivers and guardians. GSU will host the committee to campus for a meeting on December 8 from 10:00 a.m. – noon in the Speaker’s Auditorium of the Student Center.
Dr. Daniel Crimmins, Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability and Professor of Public Health at Georgia State University addressed the House Study Committee on Postsecondary Education and Employment Options for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This committee was formed to study inclusive postsecondary programs that provide opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to further their education beyond high school.
Other Study Committees meeting over the interim include the House Study Committee on the Preservation of the HOPE Scholarship. This study committee, while not formed by a joint resolution, is meeting jointly with the Senate. This committee has recently heard testimony from proponents and opponents of the legalization of casino gambling and pari-mutuel wagering on horse races in Georgia in an effort to preserve the HOPE Scholarship.
The House Study Committee on HOPE Scholarship Program Award Amount for Critical Career Fields is scheduled to meet later this month.
Cityhood Votes Split
DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly elected to create the city of Tucker with 74% of the vote. LaVista Hills, another proposed new city, saw no such luck being rejected by 136 votes.
Other Special Election Results
Sheri Gilligan (R-Cumming), will represent House District 24, replacing Rep. Mark Hamilton who resigned to take a job out of state. Sheri is a former CIA analyst and U.S. Navy Reserves veteran who is currently an adjunct instructor at Lanier Technical College. District 24 represents part of Forsyth County.
Betty Price (R-Roswell), will represent House District 48, vacated by the passing of Rep. Harry Geisinger. Betty is the wife of U.S. Congressman Tom Price and a former member of the Roswell City Council. District 48 represents a portion of Fulton County.
Taylor Bennett (D-Brookhaven), will represent House District 80, replacing Rep. Mike Jacobs who resigned after being appointed by Governor Nathan Deal as State Court judge of DeKalb County. Taylor is an attorney and former Georgia Tech quarterback. District 80 represents parts of Dekalb and Fulton counties.
Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire), will represent House District 146, replacing House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal who resigned after being appointed by Governor Nathan Deal as Chief Judge of the Georgia Tax Tribunal. Shaw is a businessman in Warner Robins. District 146 represents a portion of Houston County.
Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), will represent House District 155, replacing Rep. Jay Roberts who resigned to take a job as Planning Director for the Georgia Department of Transportation. Clay is both a businessman and farmer. District 155 represents Ben Hill, Irwin, Turner and parts of Coffee and Tift counties.
In Columbia County’s House District 122 race, Mack Taylor (R-Evans) and Jodi Lott (R-Evans), are headed to a December 1 runoff. Taylor is a former county commissioner and attorney, while Lott is a registered nurse and co-owner of Evans Rehabilitation Services. This special election is to fill the seat vacated with the resignation of Rep. Ben Harbin.
Former Rep. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia) and Janice Frey Van Ness (R-Conyers), are also headed to a December 1 runoff in Senate District 43. Anderson is a certified life coach and ordained minister, Van Ness a former Rockdale County commissioner and businesswoman. This special election is to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Ronald Ramsey who resigned after being appointed Judge of Traffic Division of DeKalb State Court by Governor Nathan Deal. District 43 represents portions of DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties.
A special election will be held December 1 for Senate District 20 in Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties and a portion of Houston county to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Ross Tolleson. Tolleson resigned for health reasons.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meeting are available via the General Assembly website at ** www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
January 11, 2016: First Day of Legislative Session
February 3, 2016: GSU Day at the Capitol
Government Affairs Team
Tom Lewis, Senior Advisor to the President
Julie Kerlin, Director of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
Georgia State University
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