Capitol Update 6 – Jobs, School Choice, Concealed Carry, and more

Jobs and School Choice

Governor Deal announced last week Caterpillar, Inc.’s relocation of a manufacturing plant from Japan to Athens, GA that will create 1,400 new jobs. Over the next several years, suppliers and retailers associated with the new plant are expected to create an additional 2,800 new jobs in Georgia.

To continue attracting new jobs to Georgia we must ensure our children are prepared to become the next generation of exceptional workers. That is why innovative schools, like publiccharter schools that specialize in science and math, are so important to our state’s education system.

Taking a step in that direction, the House passed HR 1162 a constitutional amendment that will allow the state to approve public charter schools when requested by parents. However, HR 1162 does not allow the state to use local school board funds for state created public charter schools.

Because HR 1162 is a constitutional amendment, it must now receive approval from two-thirds of the Senate and the signature of Governor Deal, before being placed on the ballot for approval from voters.  If that happens, you and all other Georgia voters will have the final say on whether HR 1162 should be added to our state constitution.

HB 850 Passes House Assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee

HB 850 provides that healthcare practitioners acting on a Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) be afforded the same liability protection currently in law for physicians. Both the Georgia Medical Association and Trial Lawyers agreed on the language to improve patient – physician care.

HB 850 also addressed a loop-hole with regard to obtaining background checks for potential guardians by permitting Probate Courts to obtain access to the nationwide FBI criminal history record prior to making an appointment of guardianship.

As  HB 850 now begins its journey in the Senate, I will be presenting the bill soon after “crossover day” before Senator Renee Unterman, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 981 ‘Concealed’ Carry

The Georgia Legislature is considering changes in the law to permit concealed carrying of firearms in more places, including churches and colleges. Is expanding the concealed carry laws a good idea?

Join me at the March 3rd Gwinnett GOP breakfast, where I will discuss the potential fate of legislation including House Bill 981, which would expand areas in which individuals with concealed carry permits could bring weapons.

We’ll also hear from Georgia Tech College Republicans Chairman Andrés Celedón, who is anadvocate for students being able to carry handguns on the Tech campus.

Breakfast is just $8 or coffee and juice for $2 doors open at 7:45 AM, allowing plenty of time for networking before the program at 8:30 AM. The breakfasts are held at 550 Trackside, 550 North Clayton Street in Lawrenceville. Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you there.

This month’s breakfast is sponsored by

As always, I welcome your input. Please call my capitol office at 404-656-0254 or email if there is anything I may assist you with at the state.



Brett Harrell
Representative, District 106