MILTON, Ga. – State House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones spoke to Milton residents at Milton’s City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Hosted by Milton’s Better Together volunteer organization, Rep. Jones discussed issues facing the state legislature, topics important to residents of Milton and upcoming projects of her own.
Jones, whose district covers Milton, Mountain Park and portions of Roswell and Alpharetta, said she wanted residents to know about recent changes that have been made that will likely affect them.
One of those changes is voting in the primary election, where judges said there was not enough time for military overseas personnel.
“The only way to make more time was to move things back. You will now be voting in the primary May 20,” Jones said.
There will then be a run-off in July and a general election in November as usual.
The development of a new 25-acre Gwinnett Technical College campus at the intersection of Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400 that should begin offering classes in January 2016 was also discussed.
“We’re the only major county in Georgia that doesn’t have a technical school branch,” Jones said. “We have an enormous concentration of students, young and adult, that want an alternative to a four-year degree. This will be the largest branch the technical college has ever built — this is a very good thing.”
And Jones said the population in Fulton County is too big, so instead of five districts, it will now be broken up into six districts with a new county commission seat. There has never been a county commissioner for Northwest Fulton as far as we can tell, Jones said.
She informed residents of a bill that was introduced and passed last year regarding the millage rate that only pertains to Fulton County.
“Your millage rate for Fulton County cannot go up,” she said. “I froze the millage rate until the new county commission is elected because they were talking about raising it instead of cutting spending. In January of 2015, it will take a super majority of 5-2 to raise our taxes.”
As for transportation projects, Jones said the state was not generating enough funding for transportation improvements.
She added that the tolls on Ga. 400 will finally begin to come down, but that it will be a frustrating process. It will take about a month before the toll goes away and then six months to dismantle the whole infrastructure, she said.
Jones also spoke of important projects of her own, including a library board bill and issues relating to foster care students.
Her ultimate goal is to have the state pay for students in the foster care system to take the GED test, because they probably don’t have the means to pay for it themselves.
And Jones said she would work on the state budget and make sure it’s balanced for next year.
“We have to prioritize and cut costs,” she said. “Even if we sometimes have to cut things we don’t want to.”