Mary Margaret Oliver
Email Newsletter
January 30, 2019

Dear Friends,


Survey Results and New Question

1) In our last newsletter, we asked whether 17 year olds should be tried as juveniles in Juvenile Court, rather than as adults in Superior Court. Unfortunately, we worded the question poorly and it was difficult to answer "Yes" or "No".

Of those respondents who commented, they overwhelmingly agreed that 17 year olds should be tried in Juvenile Court and not as adults.   
2) Should electric scooters be subjected to more regulation?
YES    87%
NO    13%
"They pose a real danger to pedestrians on sidewalks."
"There is already too much  regulation in society. Let the market determine what is needed..."
"Scooters are a bad idea."
"They should use designated racks in approved locations."
"Designated parking spaces with costs for maintaining those spaces to the (scooter) companies..."
"Take a cue from Athens and ban them."
"They should have speed limits."   
New Question
Under current law, early voting can take place for three weeks prior to election day. Each year, some members of the General Assembly propose bills to shorten the time for early voting. Do you support reducing the time for early voting?
Take survey HERE. 


The 2019 Session began January 14th with much ceremony presenting a change of Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and many new House and Senate members.  The Capitol is a different place, and feels different--more diverse on the House floor, younger generations on both the second and third floors, and many new faces working with newly elected public servants.  It is exciting, new, but there are many unknowns, particularly relating to the new Governor's policy changes and possible new appointments of agency heads.  At present, we are guessing that Governor Kemp may delay changes in the agency heads until after the Session, and may limit his agenda in his first year to campaign budget promises and work on gang violence legislation.  Many unknowns!


Committee assignments, new chairs and committee officers, and House floor seat assignments have now all been made, we have completed seven days of the forty day session, and real work has begun.  For instance, a change in the very important Judiciary Committee, where I serve, is represented by five Democratic  members from DeKalb, and other Republican new members coming from suburban counties.  


Election reform and Juvenile Justice issues have been my initial focus in the 2019 Session, and I am intentionally working with a bipartisan strategy.   I am preparing, with both Republican and Democratic sponsors, legislation to raise the age of jurisdiction for Juvenile Court delinquent offenses  to include 17 year olds, and to prevent uniform shackling of children in  court.  Stay tuned!

For election reform, I will be introducing legislation to repeal the requirement of "exact match signature" provision for absentee ballot voters, and greater scrutiny of procedures for provisional ballots and absentee ballots.  I am very concerned at how much the voters distrust, and the federal courts have invalidated Georgia's election procedures in ongoing litigation.  The choice of purchase of new election machines at present is dominating the discussion, but there are other also important issues to acknowledge and resolve!


Both the House Democratic Caucus and the DeKalb County Delegation have new leadership.   The House Democratic Caucus has elected a new Caucus Whip, William Boddie, and he, with Minority Leader Bob Trammel and Chair James Beverly, are organizing issue mini-caucuses, and engaging in good new efforts. I am serving on the Election Reform and Public Safety Committees and we will be proposing legislation.

The DeKalb Delegation this week elected Karla Drenner as Chair, Michelle Henson as Vice Chair, Doreen Carter as Treasurer and new Representative Becky Evans, as Secretary.  Congratulations to all---CHANGES!


Legislative Aides for 2019

We are pleased to have working with us for the 2019 Session two new Legislative Aides.

Sami Ahmad

  Sami is a native of Roswell and a graduate of Georgia Tech. She has completed her third year of medical school at Emory and is enrolled in the Emory Bio-Ethics Masters program before beginning her fourth year of medical school this fall.


Annie Blount 

  Annie lives in Druid Hills and is a senior at Druid Hills High School. She is working in our legislative office, along with helping in my law office and with the Georgia WIN List.




Since the Session has begun, I have spoken with the Emory Lavista Parents Association, Voices for Georgia's Children, Georgia Municipal Association, and Leadership DeKalb.


Work on the budget has begun.


And the highlight of the session so far, was introducing and hearing from Rev. Kim Jackson as Preacher of the Day on Jan. 16. Kim is the Associate Rector at my church, All Saints Episcopal, and we were pleased that her wife, Trina Jackson, could be with us that day. Kim is a rock star! 

Please contact me any time with your questions or comments. Visit my website at the link below and  follow me on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below. Also, please consider how you might want to volunteer and join me in the 2019 Session--would your child like to page, would you like to follow a particular committee or bill for me?   Would you like to visit with me as my guest on the House floor? 

I look forward to working with you again during the  2019 Georgia General Assembly.  My next newsletters will focus more on issues we will face in the 2019 Session!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!
Mary Margaret
Law Office (404) 377-0485
Legislative Office (404) 656-0265
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