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Budget takes up much of General Assembly's week
Legislative report
Ben Watson
Dr. Ben Watson represents Bryan County in the Georgia Senate. - photo by File photo

This week at the Georgia General Assembly the budget was given close consideration.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was pleased that our committee gathered testimony about the needs of our state.

The governor has said that his proposed $25 billion in state appropriations reflect the steady economic growth that we are experiencing in Georgia.

In last week’s article I mentioned that his proposal would include resources for education, public safety, health care and economic development. It is absolutely vital to be fiscally responsible with taxes that come from your hard earned money and this process allows for careful deliberation before budgetary legislation is drafted.

I spent time with the other members of the Senate Majority Caucus making recommendations for this session. Rest assured that as legislation comes forward this session I will always weigh the impact it will have on your family, your job and your future. Several priorities were outlined.

The caucus expressed commitment to helping business owners thrive by limiting regulations and getting rid of extraneous taxes and fees that cost the state more to collect than the revenue it actually brings in.

I fully support the elimination of any type of governmental red tape so that businesses can grow and prosper. Locally owned businesses are the lifeblood of our district and give our community its personality.

An unyielding dedication to keep Georgians safe from terrorism was also high on the priority list.

Legislation will be drafted to ensure that our law enforcement has the necessary tools to gather intelligence and destroy potential terrorist cells from gaining traction in our state.

We simply must support our law enforcement and allow for every means possible to protect our state from terrorism. I will be eager to consider the details of this legislation.

The caucus would like to enable high school students to receive skilled labor credits through their high school curriculum. This would allow students more options for their future and allow our state to have a highly skilled workforce. Legislation regarding this option may be forthcoming this session.

The next several weeks will be a whirlwind of activity as we begin the work of drafting and considering legislation first in our committees and then on the Senate floor. I am hopeful that much will get accomplished for the betterment of our state as we move forward.

As the session continues, I’ll keep you apprised of legislation that could affect our district. As always, your input is important to me. Please feel free to contact me at or at 404-656-7880 with your questions and concerns. Thank you for placing your trust in me and allowing me to serve you.

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