Gold Dome Update 
Highlights from the House 
August 2018
It is hard to believe that Summer break has come to a close and our Georgia students are back in school for another year. While many enjoyed a slower pace over the last couple of months, your state Government has been hard at work with the start of a new fiscal year and the implementation of laws passed during the 2018 session. See your full update of Georgia happenings below!
Education Update

Although we review hundreds of bills, education is always a top priority for the General Assembly. While it would be quite impossible to address every education issue in one 40-day session, we have taken steps to find policy-oriented solutions year after year. Over the last few years, we have seen bills go into effect which revised teacher evaluations, incentivized STEM courses for students, lessened state mandated testing requirements, and a bill which eased the process for the creation of college and career academies.
This year, efforts to improve our school systems remained at the forefront of session, as once again we allocated over half the state’s budget towards education initiatives, which included full QBE funding!
Quality Basic Education Funding
For the first time in over a decade, the Quality Basic Education (QBE) was fully funded. The QBE Act establishes a formula to determine the cost per student for each of 19 general programs, based on the type of instruction for each student. The cost of each program is calculated through a series of "building blocks" for the various components of the total cost, such as the salary and benefits for the classroom teacher; the cost of textbooks and instructional materials; the cost of utilities and maintenance; and allocations for specialists, instructional support, and administrative expenses at the school and system levels.

Low THC Commission Announces Meeting Schedule

Co-committee chairmen of the Joint Study Commission on Low THC Medical Oil Access, Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan) and Representative Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville), recently announced details of the first commission meeting, scheduled to take place in Atlanta, Wednesday, August 29. The hearing will focus on testimony from patients, parents and organizations who either support or oppose the expansion of patient access to medical cannabis oil. The commission will not entertain testimony in regards to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.

Established by House Bill 65, the Joint Study Commission on Low THC Medical Oil Access will examine in-state access to medical cannabis and low THC oil, including the security and control of the process from acquisition and planting of seeds to final destruction of unused portions of the plant; quality control of the manufacturing process; and dispensing the final product. The commission will also explore and identify ways to ensure proper security safeguards and systems for evaluating the qualifications of potential licensees, as well as implement a plan to ensure that low THC oil is affordable and readily available statewide to properly registered patients and caregivers. Upcoming meeting details will be announced as available. Live stream and video archives will also be available on the Georgia General Assembly website.

If you are interested in testifying before the commission to support or oppose the expansion of low THC medical cannabis oil for patients, please contact Denese Sampson , to sign-up.

Meeting Schedule

8/29 – Atlanta: Patient, Parent, and Organizational Testimony
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
State Capitol, Room 341, Atlanta
9/18 – Carrollton: Licensing, Dispensing, and Security
10/5 – Athens: Other State Initiatives and Data Analysis
10/23 – Savannah: Medical Analysis Pros and Cons
11/14 – Perry: GA Growers and Access

Election News

Tuesday, July 24th, officially brought to a close the primary election season! This November, all candidates winning their party nomination will vie for the state's top positions during the general election, set to take place Tuesday, November 6th. As this election will most likely determine our course over the next eight years, I encourage you to do your part in becoming an educated voter. Education, immigration, 2nd amendment rights, healthcare and the economy are just a few of the important issues that will be determined through this election.

Now that the heated primary season is over, it is imperative we come together and support our Republican slate. Congratulations the following candidates on their recent nominations:


Around the District...

Reminder! Please join us for a number of events in our district over the next week in support of the GOP. The first being a dinner in support of our next Governor Brian Kemp on Friday, August 24th.

Our annual 8th Congressional District Fish Fry set to take place this Saturday, August 25th! This event is well attended by GOP activists from across the state and offers an array of speakers updating us on the latest party news and initiatives.

We had a great time the evening of July 26th with family, friends, colleagues, and community leaders during our Pickin' and Politikin' event! Representative Clark and I are humbled and grateful for your friendship. Thank you to those taking the time to spend an evening with us. Huge thank you to our hosts, Steve Davison and Todd Kinnebrew; and thanks to Richard Martin for a great meal!
Robins Air Force Base announced plans Wednesday to hire 1,200 people at its Air Logistics Complex by the end of 2019.The new jobs were created because of new work that’s come to the base during the past year, Brig. Gen. John Kubinec, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex commander, said in a news conference held on the base’s flight line.

Thank you!

August 10th was an exciting day in the Blackmon household as we welcomed the newest member of our family, Zell Shaw Blackmon IV, "Cort." Cort made his entry into this world just after 8 p.m. and we are grateful that he and Whitney are doing well! We truly appreciate the kind words, prayers and well wishes received by friends and loved ones during this exciting time in our lives.
As always, if you ever have questions or concerns regarding legislative matters, we encourage you to contact us anytime. It is a true pleasure to serve our great district and we sincerely thank each of you for your words of encouragement and humbling support as we continue to work towards simple, smart and effective government.

Yours in Service,
Shaw Blackmon
Representative Shaw Blackmon
District 146
Phone: 404-656-0177
Address: 501-E Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Rep. Shaw Blackmon represents District 146. He currently serves as a Deputy Whip and as a member of Ways & Means, Appropriations, Economic Development and Tourism, Special Rules, Insurance and
Governmental Affairs Committees. Shaw is also a member of the Military Affairs Working Group and the Joint Defense Commission.