Newsletter 9.20.19

Scott Holcomb

Hello everyone:

I want to share information about upcoming town halls in our area. Details are immediately below, and then there is an update on proposed budget cuts at the bottom.

Town Halls

Vista Grove Town Hall

September 25, 2019, 7-8:30 PM at Henderson Middle School (in the Cafeteria), 2830 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30341.

● A town hall meeting to discuss the proposed city of Vista Grove. Presenters include

○ Vista Grove Initiative

○ DeKalb County Public Safety

○ Commissioners Rader and Jester

○ DeKalb Strong

There will be a panel discussion and audience Q&A to follow presentations.

Rep. Matthew Wilson will serve as the moderator. The meeting was organized by the legislators who represent the largest portions of the proposed Vista Grove footprint: Representatives Henson, Holcomb, and Oliver, and Senators Harrell and Parent.

DeKalb Delegation Town Halls

The town halls noted below are to discuss the upcoming ethics referendum and other issues. It is hosted by the DeKalb House and Senate delegations.

October 1, 2019, 6:30-8 PM, Tucker-Reid Cofer Library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker

October 15, 2019, 6:30-8 PM, Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur

October 21, 2019, 6:30-8 PM, Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Rd NE, Brookhaven

I will be out of the country and will miss the October 1st meeting. I plan to attend the meetings on the 15th and 21st.

With respect to the referendum that will take place in DeKalb on November 5, 2019, I oppose the changes to DeKalb's ethics laws as found in Senate Bill 7. I believe they weaken existing laws and I voted against them during the legislative session. Here is a link to the bill and it shows who voted for and against the measure:

Here is a news article:—politics/dekalb-county-legislators-defend-ethics-bill-criticism-mounts/886OUuDTbjwCG3dFHLRkfI/?fbclid=IwAR1Z1Hi_OPy_nw9brvid-wGxMz25FKYfW7IFeMMnfWs7ON3CPkrdOiPtlcM

And here is a website with a summary of the concerns shared by those who oppose the measure:

Proposed Budget Cuts

Governor Kemp directed state agencies to cut 4% from their budgets for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 and 6% for the fiscal year 2021 budget. At the same time, the Governor's Office has issued announcement about Georgia being the number one place to do business and record job growth in August.

The proposed cuts include the elimination of GBI scientists and lab technicians who test DNA. The state has worked very hard to end the backlog of sexual assault kits. I am concerned about how these cuts will impact victims and I have asked for more information. This news story shares some of those concerns:—regional-govt—politics/high-priorities-targeted-for-cuts-meet-georgia-governor-order/388mbI1u3Sqxn4U3ShODPM/

State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, who worked with the chamber's Republican leadership to resolve the rape-kit backlog, said he was concerned the state is retreating from its work to solve the problem.

"Criminals who commit sexual assaults often do it repeatedly, so that is why there is urgency that kits be tested and that they be tested quickly," Holcomb said.

He said building the DNA database helps police investigating other crimes.

Additional articles:

From GPB:

From AJC:—regional-govt—politics/kemp-wants-georgia-agency-heads-skip-budget-hearings/LwhX7MJpp6GzF8CMhgdc0N/—regional-govt—politics/some-programs-dear-rural-georgia-lawmakers-planned-budget-cuts/OBzqdJk0LaKMSHuF08L5NM/

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