The Governor, the Judge, the School Board, the Legislature, and You


The Governor's Decision and What Comes Next

I have two important updates regarding the status of the DeKalb County Board of Education:

— As you know, dismissal of six members of the DeKalb County Board of Education was recommended by the State Board of Education and subsequently ordered by Governor Deal. Last Friday, Federal Judge Storey heard the DeKalb County School Board's case challenging the constitutionality of the statute that allowed for the dismissal of the Board members. We are now awaiting Judge Storey's decision on the case.

—Applicants who are interested in serving as replacement members on the DeKalb School Board should send the following information to

1. Legal name, contact information and home address
2. District seat for which one is applying
3. Resume, CV and/or brief biography
4. Statement of interest

The panel will accept applications until this coming Wednesday, March 6, at 5 p.m.

General Assembly Update

In other General Assembly news, Crossover Day will be this Thursday, March 7. Any bill that has not passed either the House or Senate by the end of that day cannot be passed during this session; however, occasionally the content of a bill that has not "crossed over" is added to another bill that has, enabling passage.

Of note, the following have passed the House:

Ethics Bills (HB 142 and HB 143): A ban on lobbyists' gifts to individual legislators. This bill also would expand the definition of lobbyists. Exceptions would include events to which all legislators or caucus members are invited, as well as "Legislative Days" on football Saturdays on college campuses. I voted yes to both.

Juvenile Justice Reform (HB 242): The House unanimously approved a comprehensive revision of Georgia's juvenile justice system. The bill calls for greater use of community-based programs for nonviolent youth offenders, as opposed to high-security youth detention centers. This plan would save taxpayers an estimated $88 million over the next five years and reduce criminal recidivism among youth. This is the first significant revision of the juvenile justice code in 42 years. I voted yes.

My town hall meeting on Feb. 25th was attended by many of you, and I always enjoy catching up with my constituents. In particular, the issues relating to the school system received a great deal of discussion.

City of Lakeside

For those of my constituents who live east of I-85, you may be aware of the series of meetings that the organizers of the proposed city have been holding. Ann and I have been attending these meetings in order to get a sense of what my constituents feel on this issue, both with respect to the formation of a city and also what the proposed city's boundaries might be.

As always, please let me know your thoughts on all the issues that affect you and your neighborhood.

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