For our great nation, the symbol of our hard-fought freedom is our flag. I believe our flag should be flown with respect for our forefathers, the veterans and current servicemen and women who protect our freedom, and as a reminder of what we stand for as a nation.
This week, the House passed HR 1585, a resolution encouraging local governments to display the flag outside of government buildings. The resolution also encourages the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, teaching children the importance of our heritage and allegiance for the values for which our country was founded.
I love our nation and do not take for granted that, as a democracy, we have profound privileges as well as incredible responsibilities. I am proud to support this resolution and the wonderful symbol of our great nation.
Speaking of veterans and their dedication to our nation, the General Assembly recognizes that veterans have provided an invaluable service to our country and the state. Fellow Georgians must remember that in connection with a veteran’s service, some servicemen and women have incurred physical, emotional or mental impairments that may contribute to behaviors that may draw a veteran into the criminal-justice system.
Under Senate Bill 320, the General Assembly has determined that having dedicated veteran’s court divisions are important to address the specialized treatment needs of veterans so that there are resources and treatment options unique to veterans that may best facilitate a veteran’s reentry into society. Any court that has jurisdiction over criminal cases may establish a veteran’s court division to provide an alternative to the traditional judicial system for disposition of cases in which the defendant is a veteran.
Our veterans have risked their lives to uphold our protection and freedom. The adjustment to civilian life often is challenging for many of the men and women who have served valiantly.
I always will support our veterans and be grateful for their commitment to our nation. With this in mind, I believe this is sound legislation.
With regard to our state’s economic development, the House passed a resolution that I co-authored, creating a Georgia-based Film and Post-Production Study Committee. Our state has attracted much attention from the television and film industries, bringing business and investments to the Georgia economy.
Post-production industries are lucrative, clean industries that provide outlets for artistic creativity and can put Georgia in the spotlight in a positive way. This committee would study any issues, needs or problems related to the industry operating in our state and recommend action or legislation which the committee deems appropriate.
This is proactive legislation seeking to cooperate with an industry that is helping our local economy and is good for moving the state forward.
The protection of Georgians was taken into consideration as the General Assembly passed SB 382, making it unlawful for a person to give a false name or address with the purpose of obtaining a refund from a business for merchandise.
This legislation also makes it unlawful for a person to obtain a refund using another person’s driver’s license or identification card. In this technological age, when identity theft is a real problem, this legislation protects citizens as well as businesses.
I can be reached by calling 404-656-5115 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. My address at the Capitol is State Rep. Ron Stephens, 226 CAP, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334.