It's time to get to work


On Monday, with my family by my side, I had the honor of being sworn in to represent the new 81st House District. I used my grandfather's Bible from World War 2, which my son held as I took the oath. I want to thank my constituents, new and old, for allowing me to serve, and I would like to again thank the large team of volunteers who helped me get my message out. I want you to know that I will work hard for you, and I promise to represent you with honor and integrity.

Continuing to work with me this session is my outstanding team: my Chief of Staff, Ann Abramowitz; my Legislative Aide, Michael Smith; and my Administrative Assistant at the Capitol, Madge Owens. Ann attends many meetings with me and on my behalf in the district, and works with me to help constituents. You can contact her at

During the 2013 session, the General Assembly will face several important issues about our state's future. The budget will be the dominant issue this session as Georgia faces a shortfall of approximately $500 million, most of which is a deficit in our Medicaid program. I hope my colleagues from both parties in the House and Senate will approach this challenge in the thoughtful manner it requires. It's what we were elected to do, and it's time to get to work.

Committee assignments were announced yesterday. I will sit on the following committees: Defense and Veterans Affairs, Public Safety and Homeland Security, Higher Education, and Juvenile Justice.

DeKalb Schools

As mentioned in last week's update, the State Board of Education will conduct the hearing regarding the DeKalb County Board of Education. As you know, this hearing is the result of the SACS evaluation that put our school district on probation. The State Board will make a recommendation to the Governor regarding possibly replacing the DeKalb Board members with his appointees. You can find my thoughts on the matter here.

The quality of our schools is an issue of the utmost importance that affects our entire community, and especially our schoolchildren. The meeting will be held in Room 2070 on the 20th Floor of the East Tower Sloppy Floyd Building will beginning at 1 pm. The public is invited to attend.

Green 81

Beginning this year, I'd like to invite you to participate in a new initiative called Green 81. I believe in sustainable practices and I want to promote them. I'd like us to have an ongoing discussion about how we can make our community more sustainable. If you send your tips and suggestions to, I will then share them with those on this newsletter. For example, you could use Ecofont. It's a new typeface that reduces ink usage by up to 20 percent. You can find a free download here. There are many little things that we can do that will make a big difference.

Page Program Opportunity

If your son or daughter is interested in the Page Program, and is over the age of 12, please contact Madge Owens at 404-656-6372.

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