By: Sen. Tonya Anderson (D – Lithonia)
This week represents a turning point in the 2017 legislative session as the Senate finally has begun to wind things down with the passage of 17 bills this week. Because the Senate and House disagreed on the allocation of the budget, a conference committee has been called to fix the discrepancies in the Fiscal Year 2018 general budget. And with the last day for bills to be passed out of committee coming at the beginning of next week, they are trying our best to review and vet as many House bills as possible.
The budget addresses several points that will directly affect life in District 43, including raises to teacher salaries. These men and women are arguably some of the most overworked and underpaid individuals in our state. The budget funds a two percent increase to the base salary pay scale for teachers, bus drivers, and school nurses. It is vital to support all our teacher’s efforts to help educate our youth and provide them with the best chance to succeed
Another point of positivity in the budget is the $150,000 that will be added to the Young Farmers Program in Newton County. Educating our youth through programs like these is a wonderful way to get our youth involved in learning about something they might not have the opportunity to learn about otherwise.
The Senate has spent days reviewing the budget over the last few weeks to ensure that every entity is being allotted a fair amount of money and they are appropriately funding our state agencies and programs. Making sure that your interests are represented and that everyone in Georgia is being given the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life, regardless of socio-economic status, race or gender factors, is important to me.
Senator Anderson was lucky enough to have her cousin serve as a page this week in the Senate on Monday. The Senate page program is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our state government hands on, while also providing a valuable service to Senators by delivering messages from outside chamber. If you know of anyone who might be interested in being a page, please let her office know.
Thank you again for your support. With just five days remaining in the 2017 legislative session, things are very busy around here, but never too busy to take a minute to answer your questions. If you are ever at the capitol, please let Senator Anderson know. She would love to have the opportunity to hear your concerns and questions in person.
Senator Tonya Anderson represents the 43rd Senate District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale counties. She may be reached by email at [email protected]