LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW: Sen. John Albers says taxes, school reform top agenda



The 2013 Georgia legislative session will not only write the story for this year, but for the next several years to come. I am humbled by your support, and consider it an honor to represent the 56th Senate District.

During this year’s session, I plan to introduce legislation focused on making Georgia a better place to live, work and raise a family. These include several key policy areas.

Eliminating the state income tax

Many economists agree that one of the most effective ways to promote job creation is to systematically eliminate the state income tax in favor of a fair, consumption-based sales tax. Currently, many neighboring states such as Florida and Tennessee do not have a state income tax. This places Georgia at a competitive disadvantage when trying to attract economic development opportunities.

Adjusting the TSPLOST penalty provision

Taxing any one part of Georgia because they did not pass a tax increase is simply un-American. This is unfortunately the case for the majority of regions throughout the state that did not pass the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. This “penalty provision” requires local governments to provide a 30 percent match to receive any Local Maintenance Improvement Grants, instead of the previous matching rate of 10 percent.

Reducing the high school drop-out rate

Increasing the high school drop-out age from 16 to 17 is a measure that continues to gain bipartisan support from legislators and stakeholders throughout the state. At 16, students are unable to participate in even the most basic adult activities such as voting or being able to join the military. Raising the drop-out age will provide additional incentives for students to earn their high school diplomas and join today’s competitive workforce.

Protecting Georgia’s elderly

Georgia’s aging population is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade, especially as people continue to live well into their 80s and 90s. Our current senior citizens and many baby boomers to come will require additional care; many seniors are falling victim to elder abuse and theft by those directly responsible for their care. To ensure public safety and stop the cycle of abuse, providing proper registration and background checks should be non-negotiable requirements for elderly caregivers.

Protecting Georgia

The federal government has increasingly infringed upon states’ rights. I will work to protect Georgia from any overreach and maintain our fiscal responsibility. While Washington, D.C. has an untreated addiction of out-of-control spending, I am proud to report in Georgia, we have a balanced budget and no deficit!

Recreating Milton County

As most Milton residents can agree, recreating Milton County is critical to ensuring a more responsive and fiscally responsible government. Effective government should work “for” the people and encourage residents to actively participate in their communities.

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton and Cherokee County. He may be reached at his office at 404-463-8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov.

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