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Fulton County State Reps File Suit Against Fulton County Commission for Property Tax Rate Increase ATLANTA— Six Fulton County state representatives and one former state representative  announced today that they have filed legal suit to seek a preliminary and permanent injunction against the Fulton County Commission to stop a 17 percent property tax rate increase.  The legislators said that the increase violates measures outlined in House Bill 604, which they sponsored during the 2013 legislative session. “We regret having to take this action, but the Fulton County Commission voted to increase property taxes contrary to state law and property taxpayers’ best interests.  We’re committed to upholding state law and the Georgia Constitution and protecting Fulton County taxpayers,” said Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, primary author of House Bill 604. Plaintiffs of the suit are State Representatives Jan Jones (R-Milton), Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell), Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek), Joe Wilkinson (R-Atlanta), Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) and Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) and former State...READ MORE
Georgians can be proud of their generosity towards the vulnerable and needy of our state.  Individuals, churches, non-profits and governments dig deep to give relief to the less fortunate. In fact, state taxpayers provide $3 billion annually in healthcare services through Medicaid to one-in-six Georgians.  From covering 60% of the births in Georgia, to serving as de facto long-term care insurance for many, to providing end-of-life care in hospice, the state offers 117 categories of mandated and optional Medicaid services that range from cradle to grave. Fighting for people, though, does not mean Georgia should increase the income threshold to expand Medicaid.  The aftereffects would hurt far more people than it would help. Last year, Governor Deal wisely declined to expand Medicaid to those earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Under expansion 650,000 individuals would be eligible for the Medicaid rolls.  Under expansion, 650,000 individuals earning up to $16,000 could enroll as well as any family of...READ MORE
Below are remarks Rep. Jones prepared to present HB 990 on the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives and to respond to questions. Governor Deal signed HB 990 on April 29, 2014. HB 990 Talking Points HB 990 is a straight-forward one paragraph proposal that would require a vote of the legislature prior to any increase of the income threshold to expand Medicaid eligibility, which was mandated under the Affordable Care Act or ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that provision. The intent is to protect Georgia from the long term and significant consequences of such a decision on the budget, on its citizens and the state economy. Debate and careful decision-making should be exercised by the House and Senate before Medicaid is expanded. In addition to straining our state budget and the delivery of healthcare to our most vulnerable citizens, expansion would establish disincentives for businesses to create higher paying jobs and...READ MORE
I prepared a one-page snapshot of the Georgia budget to give you perspective on how your tax dollars are spent. Click here: State Budget Categories (2014)
Fulton County – 2013 Legislation By Representative Jan Jones Speaker Pro Tem The message to Fulton County residents is clear: Our county needs reform. In response, the Georgia General Assembly recently passed a package of thirteen reform bills that pertain only to Fulton County.  Several others that affect north Fulton cities were also approved. Republican House members crafted, introduced and passed the legislation as part of a reform package designed to improve Fulton County’s efficiency and effectiveness.  Republican Senators carried the last of the bills to final passage on Day 39 of the 40-day legislative session. One important measure that would increase the county homestead exemption passed the House by the required two-thirds majority but was not put to a vote on the Senate floor.  Hopefully, it will pass the Senate next year in time for a referendum to be put before the voters in 2014. Since Fulton County is Georgia’s capitol county and home to 10 percent of the...READ MORE
Fulton County – 2013 Legislation By Representative Jan Jones Speaker Pro Tem The message to Fulton County residents is clear: Our county needs reform. In response, the Georgia General Assembly recently passed a package of thirteen reform bills that pertain only to Fulton County.  Several others that affect north Fulton cities were also approved. Republican House members crafted, introduced and passed the legislation as part of a reform package designed to improve Fulton County’s efficiency and effectiveness.  Republican Senators carried the last of the bills to final passage on Day 39 of the 40-day legislative session. One important measure that would increase the county homestead exemption passed the House by the required two-thirds majority but was not put to a vote on the Senate floor.  Hopefully, it will pass the Senate next year in time for a referendum to be put before the voters in 2014. Since Fulton County is Georgia’s capitol county and home to 10 percent of the...READ MORE
Dear Fulton: Cut Your Waste By Jan Jones Speaker Pro Tem Georgia House of Representatives Note: An abbreviated version of the following editorial appeared in the Friday, 3/22 edition of the AJC. As a 30-year Fulton resident both in Atlanta and north Fulton, I’ve shared my neighbors’ frustration with an unwieldy county government lacking competence on critical services only it can perform – and that nearby counties perform well. No wonder residents voted for A Government of Their Own by margins of 85 percent not long ago to create Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hills. The result: better service levels at lesser cost. These stunning, swift changes bear a message for all Georgians: thoughtful but bold change and a strong stomach can fix vexing problems in our communities. Alas, when it comes to Fulton courts, elections, jails and other county services, citizens continue to have marginalized voices – and marginal services at staggeringly disproportionate costs. Since Fulton takes...READ MORE
Great Budget and Legislative Year for Public Schools by Rep. Brooks Coleman Chair of the House Education Committee I am providing you with the following budget and legislative information, as passed by the House, that may be used by you to communicate with your constituents, school boards, and superintendents. The total amount of new money appropriated for education in the Amended Fiscal Year 2013 Budget and the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget combined is more than $394 million, plus an additional $244 million in bonds. The Governor has also protected the core funding formulas, QBE and Equalization, from cuts over the last two years while other agencies were required to take significant reductions. Fiscal Year 14 Budget Highlights HB 106, the FY 2014 budget, provides $146.5 million to fully fund Quality Basic Education (QBE) enrollment growth of 1.4% for 23,922 students, as well as training and experience for teachers. While state agencies had to submit budget reductions of 3%, there were...READ MORE
HB 264: MARTA Legislative Reform Section 1: Make-up of the Board 11 Voting members o   3 residents of the City of Atlanta nominated by the Mayor and elected by the City Council o   4 residents of DeKalb County – 3 appointed by the board of commissioners 1 appointed by a majority vote of a caucus of mayors of the municipalities located wholly in DeKalb County. o   3 from Fulton County – 1 must live in the portion of Fulton County south of the corporate limits of the City of Atlanta to be appointed by a majority vote of a caucus of mayors of the municipalities lying south of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta, the chairman of the board of commissioners, and the members of the board whose districts include any portion of Fulton County lying south of the corporate limits of the city of Atlanta. 2 must be residents of that portion of Fulton County lying north...READ MORE
2013 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE, CAROL HUNSTEIN SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA February 7, 2013, 11 a.m. House Chambers, State Capitol Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, my fellow judges, ladies and gentlemen: Thank you once again for the opportunity to deliver to this distinguished body the State of the Judiciary Address. Your annual invitation to the Chief Justice to give a candid review of our goals, accomplishments and challenges ahead is a reflection of the honor and support you have extended to the judicial branch of government. On behalf of the judiciary, I thank you for your support. I am privileged to stand among some of the finest judges this country has. And today, some of them are here. They include my friends and colleagues on the Supreme Court of Georgia — Presiding Justice Hugh Thompson, Justices Robert Benham, Harold Melton, David Nahmias...READ MORE