By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Rep. Ron Stephens' update from State Capitol (week of Feb. 25)
Rep Ron Stephens
Rep. Ron Stephens

This week was significant in many ways, particularly with Crossover Day being two legislative days away as much legislation was considered in committee and on the House floor. On Crossover Day, bills that have passed the House and Senate will “cross over” to the other chamber for their deliberation.

I was humbled to learn early in the week that I was selected to receive the 2019 Marie Backus McGaughey Childhood Philanthropy Award for working toward the welfare of children in the Coastal Empire, especially those with autism and other developmental delays. These children and these issues have always been dear to my heart and although I don’t believe recognition is necessary, it’s with gratitude that I accept this award and pledge to continue being an advocate for our youth in need.

I was pleased with the overwhelming passage of HR 239, which I sponsored, designating the Savannah Logistics Technology Innovation Corridor as an official economic development tool to grow investment in high-tech industries. The designation creates a defined area, in Savannah that area is along Interstates 16 and 95, where businesses can locate, collaborate and encourage economic opportunities. HR 239 also creates a zone where tax incentives and other benefits can be used to attract businesses. I believe this is another incentive for high-tech industries to locate their business in our great state and will propel Georgia forward as a leader in technological innovation.

I also sponsored HR. 327, an amendment to the Constitution which would give citizens the right to vote in the 2020 general election for a limited number of licensed casinos within the state. Legislation regarding casinos has been bottlenecked in the legislature for years and this amendment puts the decision in the hands of voters, where I believe it belongs. Much like the lottery, taxes collected from casinos would fund the HOPE scholarship, which is currently only funded at about 60%, and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. It’s my hope this resolution passes so voters can decide the outcome of casinos in our state. I will keep you informed as the issue is addressed next week during the legislative session.

Another bill that passed and is of great significance is HB 31, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, set by a revenue estimate of $27.5 billion, an increase of $1 billion over the FY 2019 original budget. Education received the largest allocation, followed by health and human services agencies, public safety activities and the remaining for economic development and general government agencies. This bill represents fiscally responsible spending that provides for the needs of our state. It’s an extensive, carefully written document that can be read at

As the session continues, your input is valuable to me as I represent you at the capitol and consider legislation that could affect your family, job and future. Please know that I’m available to you at 404-656-5115 or at Thank you for allowing me to represent you!

Sign up for our E-Newsletters