Mary Margaret Oliver
Email Newsletter
November 26, 2019



                    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Dear Friends,


I wish a happy holiday for you, your family, and friends this 2019 Thanksgiving--enjoy and be grateful for all our many blessings!  I am particularly grateful this year for the many opportunities to participate with you in policy discussions for the upcoming 2020 General Assembly Session.  We convene January 13,  preparation is ongoing, and I want to update you on our work.   

Study Committees
Study committees on constitutional amendments to allow casino gambling and sports betting are ongoing.  Also, a committee discussion has asked whether felons, upon release from prison, should have their voting rights restored.
What do you think?
Would you vote for a referendum to allow Georgians to bet on sporting events? Click here to respond. How would you vote if given the chance? Click here to respond. 
Would you vote to allow felons upon release from prison to vote? Click here to respond. 
 I serve on the House Study Committee on Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Health, and we concluded our four days of hearings this week. Brain science has advanced in many ways, and the high percentage of four year olds who are "expelled permanently" from Pre-K classes has generated new thinking and policies for behavior management of very young children. Alabama has developed, ahead of Georgia, additional funding for Medicaid reimbursements for mental health for young children and programs for struggling parents.  These issues along with development of degree and training programs on informed trauma will hopefully be part of our Study Committee recommendations.  Despite the Governor's very limited Medicaid Waiver proposal, I believe we can make progress on early intervention mental health services to help children be ready for school. 

I also have been appointed to the Governor's Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission, and our first hearing will be at Georgia Regional Hospital in DeKalb County on December 16th.  Sub-Committees will address accountability mental health courts, involuntary commitments, and workforce and funding issues. Click here to read Governor Kemp's Press Release.

The Juvenile Justice Committee has conducted a hearing and has several others scheduled for consideration of "Raise the Age" to eliminate the criminal prosecution of all 17 year olds as adults. I have been a sponsor of this bill for several years, and these hearings represent a serious discussion of the issue for the first time.  Georgia is one of only three states that prosecutes minors as adults for all crimes. 

Coal Ash Removal Discussions--As a Board member of the Altamaha Riverkeeper, I have been active with review and discussions of Georgia Power's rate increase proposal to fund coal ash pond clean-up tasks.  Are these proposals adequate, and will the rate-payers get what they need to protect Georgia's water?  Look for more discussion on this issue in the near future.   

DeKalb Ethics Referendum


Thank you for your 61% NO vote to reject the changes in DeKalb's Ethics Commission on the November 5 election.  We can now start over, and discussions have begun that will offer the delegation a rewrite that changes only the process of appointing Ethics Board members.  As you remember, the appointment process was the only issue that required a change according to the Supreme Court ruling.  We can make that change, and get back to work.  Thank you for your close attention to this issue!



What's Happening?

Exciting evening at the Democratic Presidential Debate with Rep. Becky Evans, Rep. Josh McLaurin and Senate Candidate Teresa Tomlinson

Stacy Abrams at the Carter Center
Nancy Pelosi at the New Yorker Festival

American Jewish Committee program. Thanks to Rep. Mike Wilensky for the invite.

Visit at my law office from two Emory Law students. Always welcome.
Talking civics with Cub Scout Pack 175 in Decatur
And, of course, Henry remains King of the dog park!
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 next year in the 2020 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  2020 Georgia General Assembly.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST!
Mary Margaret
Law Office (404) 377-0485
Legislative Office (404) 656-0265
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