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COLUMNISTS

Feb. 11 - Rep. Craig Gordon's Weekly Report: Week of Feb. 4

Category: Columnists

By Rep. Craig Gordon

February 11, 2019 - As I reflect on the past week at the state capitol, I’m pleased that much of the legislation we considered, if passed, will have a positive effect on the lives of Georgians in our community. These bills have specifications for education, technology, and healthcare but ultimately each one can help Georgia’s citizens access healthcare, be more productive, and potentially obtain better jobs.

I co-sponsored House Bill 186 which provides guidelines for the sale or lease of state health care facilities and hospitals. This bill states that after all debt is paid from the sale, money from the interest may be used to provide healthcare within the indigent care system, which historically has been terribly underfunded. As the CEO of a statewide healthcare company that provides in-home health care services throughout our state, I know there are gaps in our system and that too many Georgians do not receive vital health services. I believe this legislation is the means to providing necessary healthcare for Georgians in need and I’m pleased that similar legislation has been introduced in the State Senate.

Regarding education, House Bill 126, would permanently establish a business employability skills program called GeorgiaBEST, a successful program that was implemented in the past several years by the Department of Labor. The DOL website states GeorgiaBEST began as a small initiative in 20 high schools designed to teach students soft skills required to be successful in the workforce, such as punctuality, teamwork, communication, and attitude. The program soon grew to include age-appropriate curriculum for middle school students and then to out-of-school youth and non-traditional students who were working on obtaining their GED. This bill would make an already established program with proven success one that is included in state law so that vital employability skills training will continue to be offered to better prepare our future workforce.

In our technological world, technology is vital to educational opportunities and economic development. The House of Representatives is deliberating HB 22 which would provide, improve, and expand broadband services to rural areas. It’s estimated that 16% of Georgia households don’t have access to high-speed internet, a tool that has become important to daily communication, both personally and professionally. Expanding this service is a priority for both parties in the legislature, because online availability is equally essential to families as well as to the betterment of hospitals, schools, and businesses.

The legislation I’ve outlined are all positive steps toward a better Georgia. If you have any questions or comments, I would like to hear from you! My local office number is 912.231.8958. It’s a privilege to work with my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly and to represent our great community in Atlanta.

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