The session is now concluded and I thought I would begin with legislation that was of particular interest to DeKalb citizens.
• House Bill 115 was a cleanup bill for school governance. I added language from Rep. Mike Jacobs that prohibits local boards of education from expending public funds on attorney’s fees and litigation expenses relating to legal proceedings initiated after the executive removal of board members (Eugene Walker amendment).
Even though I feel accreditation is not an immediate concern, I amended the definition of “eligible high school” as it relates to the HOPE scholarship to allow residents graduating from a previously accredited high school to still be eligible for the scholarship through 2015. This amendment to House Bill 115 gives Councilman Terry Nall additional time to work on his alternative accreditation option.
• House Bill 87 was an elections bill in which I added the provision that the election of DeKalb’s chief executive officer would be non-partisan. What this means is that the 30 percent non-Democrat vote would become relevant in the selection of our chief administrative position. Unfortunately, the Speaker of the House didn’t want a DeKalb floor debate and the amendment was pulled in the House.
How ironic after we debated and passed 11 Fulton County bills. Maybe next year Republicans will remember the definition of teamwork.
Next week I will do a recap of the major general bills passed by the General Assembly.
I would like to offer a special thanks to “James” magazine for naming me one of the most influential senators and Mike Jacobs and Wendall Willard two of the most influential representatives.
Please feel free to contact me with any particular questions or comments.