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Rep. Ron Stephens: House creates workforce housing fund
Ron Stephens
Rep. Ron Stephens

Rep. Ron Stephens

Guest columnist

Last week at the Capitol, the House of Representatives passed one of our most important works of the session, passing the supplemental appropriations bill to amend the 2023 budget. 

We consider two must-pass bills every legislative year and as I have mentioned before, it’s the only legislation we must pass every year. Important provisions in this funding legislation included school security grants designed to make our schools safer; funds for technology, safety, and security projects to make our prisons more secure; and funds to improve security at 48 domestic violence shelters around our state, including one-time funds to replace a decrease in federal funds.

While these statewide projects will benefit our region as well, we also addressed needs specific to the 164th District and South Georgia. Much of the growth in our part of Georgia is regional in scale. For instance, the Hyundai plant coming to Bryan County is the result of a partnership between Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, and Effingham.

Projects like this bring thousands of direct and indirect jobs - but they can of course put strain on our infrastructure. That’s one of the reasons I was glad to see the House create a Rural Workforce Housing Fund. This effort is intended to assist counties like those in Bryan and Effingham that will be seeing massive population growth. Grants and other programs will assist in some of the infrastructure needs we face like expansion of the I-16 corridor that passes by the future home of the plant.

I introduced four pieces of legislation recently, all regarding taxes. First, I introduced House Bill 123, legislation to remove sales taxes from the sale or use of products with the primary purpose of absorbing or capturing menstrual flow, including but not limited to tampons, menstrual pads and sanitary napkins, panty liners, menstrual sponges, and menstrual cups. The second bill is H.B. 211, a bill to remove sales tax on the sale or use of any absorbent diaper, undergarment, or pads primarily designed to be worn by either a child who cannot control their bladder or bowel movements or an adult who experiences incontinence.

In an effort to discourage the use of tobacco products, I have introduced legislation setting higher prices in an effort to discourage children from buying cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and vaping products.

H.B. 191 and its companion, H.B.192 will provide that these taxes derived from any increase be appropriated annually to address healthcare issues affecting Georgia residents.

You can reach Rep. Stephens at (404) 656-5115 or

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