HOPE legislation heads to the governor

The Senate and House agreed on a final version of Governor Nathan Deal’s Enduring HOPE bill, which now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The bill was amended to allow all valedictorians and salutatorians from all Georgia schools to be eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship, and establishes a low interest loan program that will help students presently covered under HOPE to bridge the gap between actual tuition cost and costs covered by HOPE once the bill is enacted.

Governor announces Pre-K Protection

Governor Deal announced Monday his reform plan to sustain Georgia’s extremely vital Pre-Kindergarten program.   Our goal is to preserve the program and its long-term financial feasibility but ultimately to protect our young children who directly benefit from this nationally-renowned program

The governor’s plan keeps Pre-K at six hours a day instead of the original proposal to make Pre-K a half-day program.  It seeks to add approximately 2,000 new slots for the Pre-K program, making total enrollment close to 86,000.

Unfortunately we are still facing a $54 million shortfall relating to Pre-K.  Much like the HOPE scholarship reform, we as lawmakers have to do all we can to protect the best interests of all parties including parents, teachers, and most importantly our young children.  The governor has decided to shorten the school year from 180 days to 160 days, and increase the class size from 20 to 22.  This will ensure our Pre-K program is sustained during these difficult economic times.

10th Amendment Day

Senate Republicans marked Monday as 10th Amendment Day in the Georgia Senate. The aim of legislation presented as a part of 10th Amendment Day focused on strengthening the rights of the State of Georgia under federal law. The 10th amendment of the United States Constitution states:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The bills that were passed include:

  • Georgia Energy Freedom Act Senate Bill 9 allows the governor to delay implementing any federal program regulating greenhouse gasses until he sees an analysis showing why it is in the best interest of Georgians.

  • Incandescent Light Bulbs Senate Bill 61 allows the manufacturing and sale of incandescent light bulbs within Georgia borders, despite a federal ban on the bulbs beginning in 2014.

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Sen. Jeff Mullis serves as Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate district which includes Chattooga, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Catoosa County.  He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov.