Welcome to Government and Community Affairs
Please join us in welcoming Trey Kilpatrick to Georgia State University where he serves as Vice-President for the Office of Government and Community Affairs. Trey brings a wealth of knowledge in the political landscape having served as U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson’s Deputy Chief of Staff, political director, state director and campaign manager. Before joining Sen. Isakson’s staff in 2009, Trey served four years as Vice-President for Morgan Keegan & Co., an Atlanta investment firm.
Trey earned a bachelor of arts degree in 2004 from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Sally reside in Atlanta with their three children, Phen (4), Clark (2) and Evy (1 month).
Teachers Retirement System
HB 336, sponsored by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire), allows the public school system to hire a retired member of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia to provide classroom instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts, math, or an area of highest need, only if one year has expired from the effective date of retirement. “Area of highest need” is defined as three content areas where there are the greatest percentages of unfilled positions for classroom teachers in the state. Retired members will continue to receive their retirement allowance, but will not earn additional creditable service. The bill passed the House Retirement Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Electric Scooters Legislation
SB 159, sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), would define electric scooters as any device that weighs less than 100 pounds and is: equipped with handlebars and a electric motor, powered by an electric motor, human power or both and capable of a maximum speed of no more than 20 mph. The term does not include electric bikes, motorcycles, mopeds or electric personal assistive mobility devices. The bill would leave it to local governments to regulate and impose liability requirements. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 47-0 and has been assigned to the House
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
SB 268, sponsored by Sen. Lester Jackson (R-Savannah), would allow notaries to use a valid Veterans Health Identification Card as evidence of identity. The bill passed the Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 47, sponsored by Sen. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), allows up to 60 months of credible service under the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia for certain military service. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 51-0 and now crosses over to the House.
HB 61, sponsored by Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro), would allow insurance companies to offer a reduction in the premium for motor vehicle liability, first-party medical, and collision coverage for active-duty military service members. The bill passed the House Insurance Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Reduce High-Stakes K-12 Testing
This week Governor Brian P. Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp were joined by State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Senator P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville), members of the General Assembly, and other special guests to announce legislation to reduce high-stakes K-12 testing in Georgia.
“Too often, our educators – who are literally on the front lines of serving the next generation – feel like they’re not heard,” said Governor Kemp. “With the introduction of this legislation, our message is clear: we hear you, and we have your back. By reducing high-stakes testing, we will remove heavy burdens in the classroom for our teachers and students. This bill will work to restore parents’ peace of mind about their children’s education, and let educators focus on what they do best: teaching our children.”
The proposed legislation will remove five of the seven assessments that are currently above federal requirements. It will also allow for flexibility on the timing of the high school writing assessment and make changes to shorten the length of the Georgia Milestones. Furthermore, this bill will assist with the reduction of local assessments and maximize instruction time by creating a testing window within the last 25 school days or last five weeks of the school year.
HB 823, sponsored by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), provides that a person who knowingly uses a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of sexual or labor trafficking crimes will be disqualified as a commercial motor vehicle driver for life. The bill passed the House Motor Vehicles Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Georgia’s Gang Database
Governor Brian P. Kemp announced this week that the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Database (GCSGD) is now operational, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Department of Community Supervision, (DCS), and Department of Corrections (GDC). The database will serve as a statewide information bank on criminal street gangs, members, associates, and activities.
Calendar Set Thru Day 28
The House and Senate adopted a resolution this week taking them thru Day 28 (Crossover Day) of the legislative session. The legislature met three days this week and set a calendar to meet February 18-21, February 24-28, March 2-5, March 9, 10 and 12.
Intern Spotlight: Lateria Willis
Lateria Willis is a senior political science major who is hoping to gain insight on state politics that will guide her for a lifetime and bring her closer to her dream of becoming an attorney. “The program allows for students who have the goal of working in politics or law, such as myself to be able to gain a first-hand experience in the world of politics,” says Lateria.
Ms. Willis is assigned to the Government Oversight Committee. As an intern, her many responsibilities include briefing and analyzing committee bills, constructing committee agendas, transcribing daily chaplain devotions and transporting legal documents.
Lateria is involved in many community organizations including Open Hands Atlanta. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Sharon M. Draper. She is most inspired by the quote “The more popular you become, the more haters you acquire,” by Michelle Obama.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as a webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meetings are available via the General Assembly website at ** www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
Day 13: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Tuesday, February 18.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
Trey Kilpatrick, Vice President of Government & Community Affairs
Julie Kerlin, Senior Advisor to the President
Michael Parkerson, Director of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director for State Relations
Clelia Keen, Assistant Director for Community Affairs
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3999
Atlanta, Georgia 30302
404-413-2030 (office) • 404-413-1410 (fax)
Visit Georgia State University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs:
** ga.gsu.edu (http://ga.gsu.edu)
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Our mailing address is:
Georgia State University Office of Government & Community Affairs
100 Auburn Avenue, Suite 300
Atlanta, Georgia 30303