Mary Margaret Oliver
Email Newsletter
December 23, 2016



Enjoy your holidays with family and friends!  It is a wonderful time to share time and stories, and appreciate each other.  I wish for you a lovely and peaceful time away from work and the normal duties and challenges.



January 3, at 1:00 pm, I am back at the Capitol for our first Budget Hearings for the Amended 2017 Budget and the Agencies proposals for FY 2018.  The complete Budget Schedule for all the Budget Sub-Committees is on-line from January 3 through the 5th, and you are welcome to attend in the Capitol or watch on-line.  I serve  on the Human Services Subcommittee and will be reporting in later newsletters on the  proposals for our two billion dollar surplus and increased spending requested by state agencies. 


Most years, the Annual Budget is the most important work of the General Assembly, and because of the size of this year's surplus and the Governor's predicted legislation to change the formula to fund local school systems, the FY 2018 budget will again be our most  important work.  The more time we spend on budget and education issues, and the less time we spend on "more guns everywhere" and alleged religious freedom bills, the better off we will be. 


Thank you for your interest!

HB 10---Ban on Assault type weapons, large capacity magazines and certain ammunition


I was privileged with many organized faith based and advocacy groups, and volunteers, to host a public discussion on legislation I pre-filed, HB 10, to ban Assault type weapons,  large capacity magazines and certain types of ammunition. Thank you for all your help and participation on November 29th, in Room 341 of the Capitol, the original Georgia Supreme Court Courtroom.


 Our program included Pamela Perkins Carn from the Children's Interfaith Movement,  Dr. Omar Danner, a Grady trauma surgeon, and Rev. Caroline Branch Magee, St. Bede's Episcopal Church and over 100 supporters of HB 100 packed the room.  The work on this important bill will continue despite Speaker Ralston's less than positive support.  Thank you!


Fall Study Committee Activities


As I previously reported, I was appointed to serve on three Study Committees for the summer and fall, and each work effort has or will report on its findings and recommendations.  The following is a brief summary of these study committees, and the full reports can also be found on-line, now or before January 9th, the day we convene for the beginning of the 2017 Session.


Study Committee on Mental Illness Initiative, Reform, Public Health and Safety


This Committee, chaired by Katie Dempsey with Vice- Chair Karen Bennett, held three hearings and the final report is being edited this week.  The recommendations are detailed and impressive to me, and reflect significant deficits in Georgia's supportive housing for the mentally ill and for children's services.  The need for a new form of state ID for both homeless and mentally ill was detailed and is  part of the recommendations.  We are also aware of the transitions for mental health services in Fulton County and new work and improvements provided through Grady.  I am hopeful our budget work will respond to  the Committee recommendations. 


Study Committee on Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform


A Constitutional Amendment to reconstitute and reform the Judicial Qualifications Commission was passed by the Voters, and the report of the Study Committee for JQC reform can be reviewed here.  The report makes findings for the need for a change in the Commission composition, and specific recommendations for a statute that will be introduced early in the 2017 Session to follow the American Bar Association recommendations of structure and authority.  A committee of judges and JQC members are preparing proposed Rule Changes for review by the Supreme Court.


Camden County Spaceport Activities


As I previously reported, I visited Camden County and Little Cumberland Island this summer with a  special sub-committee of the House Science and Technology Committee to understand the state's possible role in Camden County's interest in attracting a private investor to build a space launch site on a former county industrial site.  We expect more legislative action to make Camden County more welcoming to this investment, and also expect the opponents of this legislation to state their case.


House District 82 Activities--Pre-legislative Session Events


The DeKalb Delegation is holding public hearings to learn from citizens about their wishes for the 2017 Session.  I attended the hearing at the Maloof Buildling on December 15th,


and your final opportunity to tell the Delegation about your priorities will be January 5, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the Doraville Civic Center.   Please join us!


I will be hosting five pages from Druid Hills Middle School at the request of parents who are again organizing a special page day.  If your child is at least twelve years old, and would like to be a page, please contact me.  Or, tell me anytime you and your friends or family would like to join me at the Capitol while we are in Session.  I love visitors from House District 82!


All House committee schedules are posted on-line on the Georgia General Assembly website, and are open to the public.  You can follow much of our work from your home through live streaming.  I am always interested in your participation and thoughts--thank you for your interest!








Please contact me anytime with your questions or comments and visit our website at the link below and  follow me on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below. I look forward to working with you during the  2017 Georgia General Assembly, and I need your help and your support!!  In the meantime, I will continue to report on issues that may interest you, and welcome your suggestions on how this newsletter may better serve you.

Mary Margaret
Law Office (404) 377-0485
Legislative Office (404) 656-0265
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