The 2016 legislative session was filled with relevant changes that will impact lives in the District and across the State of Georgia. Senator JaNice Van Ness looks forward to discussing the issues over the next several months so you can be better informed. She is working to find more interactive ways to better reflect your interests when key legislation is voted on. She served on the Education, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and State Institutions and Properties Committees and looks forward to serving you and making a difference in District 43.
The Governor’s Veto
Governor Deal vetoed the Religious Freedom Act amidst great pressure from citizens and businesses across the State. Senator Johnny Isakson and other key legislators are hoping that a Federal legislative piece will help gain unity across the nation. Right now, the news is filled with significant threats and pressure about penalties that will be put in place if discrimination is legislated. Senator Van Ness is working to find solutions for addressing this legislation, which will certainly come up again in January. Several key points should be noted:
- There will not be a called special session to override the Governor’s Veto. New proposals will start in January.
- Senator Van Ness voted for Pastor Protection and the First Amendment Act that later went to the House for a vote.
- Section 6 of the legislation that was vetoed discusses “persons” which was not defined and therefore left up to interpretation, which means 501 c3 organizations that received state monies, individuals, and even businesses.
- District 43 citizens have a wide scope of viewpoints and you need to take time to communicate your views so that votes are reflective of our community needs and desires.
- Senator Van Ness does not support discrimination and wants to work on crafting legislation for 2017 that will help move Georgia forward and protect individual liberties as well as allow businesses, non-profits services, and charities to operate without the threat of being sued.
This issue is something that people are certainly passionate about and the Senator hopes you will attend an upcoming town hall meeting this Tuesday, April 12th at 6 p.m. at Lithonia City Hall to further discuss the issue and many others including Opportunity School Districts, legislation that passed both the House and Senate and how to advocate for issues of concern.