Week One: 2019 Session Has Begun
On January 14th the 2019 Legislative Session began and I'm excited for all the things to come during this session and during my time serving over the next 2 years.
I cannot thank the people of Rabun, Towns, Union, and White counties enough for their continued support and for once again electing me to represent District 8!
This past Monday marked a new beginning for our government with the Inauguration of Governor Brian P. Kemp.
I am looking forward to the possibilities that his new administration has to offer and hopeful for the changes that will come this session.
I was able to welcome in two new interns to my team this week as well, Chaed Clements and Bethany Streible. Both students have the opportunity to get a first hand look at state government while gaining some great experience in a field they are interested.
These interns are essential to our day to day operations and we are lucky to have them around to help each year.
This week has been the start to some important work I hope to accomplish this session. As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I will continue to push for 2 major pieces of legislation during the 2019 session.
House Bill 2, otherwise known as Constitutional Carry, would make the Georgia Weapons License (GWL) optional for law-abiding Georgians.
If you would still like to get your GWL you can still do so and have reciprocity with other States. This bill in effect will keep Georgians from having to pay a tax on a right that is given to them by the 2nd amendment.
On Thursday morning, I along with Colton Moore from District 1, spoke about our continued need for support and signatures from fellow House members to help push this bill along.
Many states have already shown their support for Constitutional Carry by passing bills in favor of it. With the help of Governor Kemp, who has shown support for Constitutional Carry, I believe we can make Georgia a Constitutional Carry state as well!
The second is House Bill 4, The Spotlight Bill.
This bill would divide our budgeting process into 49 separate departments making both the House and the Senate responsible for voting on each individual department in order to make any changes.
Many Georgians are not aware that our states budget process operates much like Washington DC, with an all or nothing omnibus budget vote.
One important aspect of this bill provides that each department will be closely evaluated and discussed before being voted on or changed.
I have begun working on this bill and I plan to meet with representatives from Governor Kemp's office in the upcoming weeks to further discuss the details of this bill and hopefully gain his support.
The road ahead is long and may not be easy, but I look forward to all we will accomplish this session, not only for our district, but for our government!
Now that session has begun I will continue sending out weekly column's with information and updates about the work we're doing throughout the week.
I want to continue to be as accessible and transparent with you as I possibly can. This includes access to myself, information regarding each of my votes, and an explanation of why I voted Yes or No on any particular bill.
To access that information, you can visit my website, www.mattgurtler.com
You can always reach me on my personal cell phone (706) 490-2285 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
My goal is to continue to fight against the poor legislation that faces our government each session and this year will be no different.
It's important that as representatives, we continue to work towards making our government run as smoothly and as effectively as possible. A government is nothing if it is not for the people.
Many of the conservative ideals that Governor Kemp campaigned on align with the ones I am continuously trying to implement in our government. I believe the power should rest in the hands of the people and I am committed to making sure that remains the case in Georgia.
Governor Kemp and his team's presence in office gives me many reasons to believe we have some great changes coming our way.
It's going to be an exciting 3 months and I look forward to working tirelessly towards making our District and Government as successful as it can be. I want to again say THANK YOU to each one of you for your continued support!
None of this would be possible without the support of my community, friends, and family.
As always, it is an honor to serve.
"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplines nonconformists who are dedicated to Justice, Peace, and Brotherhood." -Martin Luther King Jr.