Volume 6, Legislative Week Five | February 2020
The Capitol Express
Legislative Week Five - February 10 - 14, 2020

On Monday, February 10, we returned to the State Capitol for the fifth week of the 2020 legislative session. Last week, we voted on a legislative calendar to postpone meeting on the House floor and allow time to focus on the state budgeting process for the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 (AFY 2020) and Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) budgets. Crafting the state budget is not an easy task, every dollar has constituency and impacts to someone so reductions must be done with efficiencies in mind.

Governor Brian Kemp previously instructed our state agencies to reduce spending by four percent in AFY 2020 and six percent in FY 2021, saving taxpayers millions of dollars on inefficient operational costs. Gov. Kemp’s recommended budget would reduce operational spending by $216 million in the AFY 2020 budget and an additional $341 million in the FY 2021 budget. Even with these reductions, the FY 2021 budget is still set at several hundred million dollars above the current fiscal year’s budget. After hearing from state agencies throughout our subcommittee meetings, we gained a better understanding of the proposed budget and how state dollars may be appropriated for statewide services. The House plans to complete amendments and vote on the AFY 2020 Amended Budget in the upcoming week.
We also discussed proposed funding for the state’s crime labs that handle and process sexual assault evidence. In 2016, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 304, or the “ Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault Act ,” to address rape kit backlog at the time and overhaul the way our state handles and processes these evidence kits. In 2018, the House announced that a backlog of 3,005 sexual assault kits had been tested, and 321 of these kits resulted in DNA matches that identified criminals. This week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and informed us that the agency is experiencing another backlog. The House will work with Gov. Kemp to identify opportunities in the budget to fund the Crime Lab and continue to address and reduce the backlog in order to provide justice to Georgians .

Additionally this week, I met with seniors and advocates from North Fulton, UGA President Jere Morehead, and representatives from the Fulton County Board of Education. All brought very important perspectives on issues important to our community, senior safety, providing an workforce ready for the "future of work at the K-12 level and in higher education.

Please contact me with your input and thoughts on proposed legislation that may impact our community. When you visit your Capitol please consider stopping by our office at Capitol 417. You can also reach me by phone at my Capitol office at 404-656-5064 or by email at chuck.martin@house.ga.gov .  

To join our mailing list and get The Capitol Express directly to your inbox, text MARTIN4GA to 22828 .
Yours in Service ,
Working with the Georgia Council on Aging
A Great Organization for our Seniors
Great to meet last week with Ms. Mayra Guzman representing the Georgia Council on Aging. @GeorgiaCOA i s working for seniors in areas of housing, behavioral health and transportation - all while working to identify innovative options for senior living. Look forward to continuing to work for our Georgia seniors.
Exciting Update from The University of Georgia
Great opportunity UGA President Jere Morehead for an update on the University of Georgia. Joining in the photo, from left, Grant Thomas, President Jere Morehead and our very own House Intern for the session, Matthew Couper from Johns Creek.
More Exciting News as Wellstar Health Systems Announce Gift to KSU to Increase Nursing
Awesome news on Friday, February 14th, as Wellstar Health System announced it is giving Kennesaw State University $8.7 million that will be used over the next five years to double the number of students in its nursing program and hire 52 employees in that department. Great to be a part of the announcement along with members of the Board of Regents, Gov. Brian Kemp, Wellstart CEO Candice Saunders, KSU President Dr. Pamela Whitten and USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. Much can be done when we work together.
Protecting Children in our Foster Care System
“I want to thank State Representatives Setzler, Lott, Martin, Caldwell, and Dollar for their partnership in supporting this legislation to keep our children safe and bring an end to human trafficking in Georgia," said First Lady of Georgia Marty Kemp .

I am honored to work with my colleagues in the House and First Lady Marty Kemp on House Bill 911 to strengthen penalties on sexual predators who would abuse foster children in their care. We're prioritizing keeping Georgia's foster kids safe and preventing evil from robbing them of the bright future they deserve!
Progress on the State Budget for June 2020,
AFY 2020
By the end of the fifth week, the House Appropriations Committee began voting on portions of the AFY 2020 budget from the subcommittees on transportation, education and economic development. This week, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the remaining portions of the amended budget from the other appropriations subcommittees and consider the entire AFY 2020 budget bill as a whole.
Committee Assignments
I remain honored to serve my neighbors in House District 49 and Georgians on the following committees:

You can find the schedules of these committees and the online streaming links of each by clicking on the links above or by clicking here .
Team Higher Education
For the next few months during this Legislative Session, you'll most likely find me at the Capitol in my office. It is my absolute honor to serve you all and my hometown community; look forward to hearing from and seeing you.

417 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334 

Executive Assistant: Sarah Galyean Sarah.Galyean@house.ga.gov

Intern: Matthew Couper Matthew.Couper@house.ga.gov