Senator Tolleson: From the Capitol | Politics
By Senator Ross Tolleson
The 2013 Legislative Session is underway with 14 of the 40 days already completed. Committee meetings and budget talks are in full swing as we move toward passing the annual balanced budget. Georgia, just like you, must fiscally make the most with what we have. We take these budget talks seriously and will continue to update you as we move forward. Outside of budget meetings, it was a busy week as numerous groups and organizations filled the Capitol with innovating ideas and interest.
It is always nice to dedicate a day to a great organization and on Monday, members of Georgia’s 4-H program visited to celebrate 4-H Day at the Capitol. They were presented with a resolution for years of developing our youth and setting the course for them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members to society.
This week I had the privilege to host Dr. of the Day, a daily tradition in the Senate. District 20 is home to unlimited talent and a fine example of this is Dr. K. Scott Malone of Houston Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine clinic in Warner Robins. My colleagues were impressed not only by his medical skills, but for his additional service to the community. Dr. Malone not only practices medicine, but he has also developed the Sports Medicine Outreach Program for Houston County and is the team physician for Fort Valley State University. It was truly a privilege to have Dr. Malone in the Senate representing middle Georgia.
Agriculture is our number one industry and is crucial to the success of our state. The hardworking members of Georgia Agribusiness Council (GAC) continue to do a great job of raising awareness and educating Georgians about their business. It was my honor to introduce the prestigious speakers at their annual membership meeting.
Members of the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) visited and were commended for their continued efforts to educate businesses, environmental and political leaders about responsible forest management practices, reforestation and the benefits derived from forestry and landowner rights. It is crucial for Georgia to continue working with GFA in maintaining our natural resources for years to come.
Meeting with promising students and leadership groups this week, was a reminder of how bright Georgia’s future is. The Perry Youth Leadership Group, which includes juniors from both Perry High School and the Westfield Upper School, are working hard to ensure our community continues to grow and develop. While meeting with students from the Student Government Association along with Director Maria Lumpkin, we discussed responsibilities of legislators and community leaders. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members from across the state also gathered for meetings in Atlanta. Among those attending were Alex Russell, Ashley Long and Madison Voss of Perry. We wish them continued success in and out of the classroom.
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia hosted commissioners from throughout the state, and Houston County was well represented by Chairman Tommy Stalnaker and other members of the Houston County Board of Commissioners. This hard working board ensures that the citizens of Houston County are well represented. Leaders of the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce and I met to discuss potential issues they may be facing. The Chamber does a great job of utilizing their natural resources to generate business and draw residents to the Georgia coast.
United States Senator Johnny Isakson visited the Capitol to speak with legislators to give an update of events at our nation’s capitol. By discussing federal issues, we can learn and implement successful ideas and legislation at the state level while also letting our voices be heard at the national level. I enjoy speaking with Sen. Isakson and am grateful for his hard work representing our great state.
For the next several months, I will be spending a lot of time at the Capitol working on behalf of you this Session. If there are any issues you wish to have addressed, I would love to hear from you. I look forward to continuing my service on behalf of my constituents in the 20th Senate District. Georgia is on the right track. I am confident that the steps we take this year will mean lasting prosperity for future generations of Georgians.