Education- The Georgia Lottery was formed by Zell Miller in 1993 in order to provide, on both a merit AND need basis, students with a better opportunity for an education. Through both the Hope and Pre-K programs, the intention was that students, for whom education may be out of reach, would have the chance at a decent education. Starting with the Pre-K program, students would have a solid foundation on which to start their school career. A start that would now help Governor Deal reach his goal of having all third-graders reading at a third grade level. Continuing with the Hope Scholarship Georgia students, that may not otherwise have had the opportunity, would be able to continue their education to college. Thereby, being able to enter the Georgia workforce with a quality education.
I will work to return the HOPE and Pre-K programs to what they were originally intended to be. One of the first things that can be done is to reinstate the income cap that was there to begin with. Merit and need was Miller’s intent and we should honor that. I will also work toward bringing our Pre-k classes back to a practical size and returning the salaries of the teachers back to what they were just a short time ago.
Immigration- Both current laws and those waiting to be passed, in the State of Georgia pertaining to immigrants are unfair and detrimental to the economic growth of our state. The agricultural industry in South Georgia depends on migrant farm workers to survive. Those that will be hardest hit are the ones that our state government should be doing the most to help. In addition, there is a bill, SB 458, facing our legislature that would make a foreign passport not a legal identification document. Is this how we want to treat visitors to our state? This could greatly hurt our tourist industry.
I will work to have all foreigners, both residing and visiting our state, treated as fairly as possible. A solution for both immigrant workers and farm owners needs to be reached. With input from local farmers, I am confident that a solution can be achieved which we can bring to Atlanta that will benefit the agricultural industry in South Georgia.
Women’s Health- As it stands the Georgia the legislature feels that it, not a doctor, has the right to determine when it would be in the best interest of a woman to terminate a pregnancy if need be. A doctor and their patient should be the only ones deciding what is in the best interest of the patient. Being pro-choice does not make you anti-life; it just means that you believe that a woman should have the ultimate decision in what is done to her body.
I will work to return a woman’s decisions about her body back to her and her doctor. There are state laws that dictate; when a woman can have a procedure done, what procedures will be done and that employers can be exempt from providing insurance coverage that includes contraception. I resolve to work to have these laws changed and to give the power of decision about their bodies back to women.