Week Six: Bills, Bills, Bills
Bills, bills, bills. Each day there are more bills than the last and with our 40 days of session already halfway over, voting has become the biggest discussion within the House. As it stands my voting record is about a 50/50 split between Yes votes, and No votes.
I've become known for being willing to vote No. I cannot in good conscience vote to support any bill that increases the size, scope or intrusiveness of government. While my colleagues may disagree with me sometimes, or be unwilling to vote No even if they agree with me other times, this reputation has earned me respect, and much more importantly, it has given the values and principles we hold dear, a louder voice!
If you'd like to view the voting record, head over to the website, www.mattgurtler.com .
We were out of session Monday for the President's Day holiday, but Tuesday it was back to business as usual.
With several bills coming across my desk each day, I begin to see more and more concerns from you all about how I plan on voting or my thoughts regarding each bill. Thank you for sharing your questions and comments with me.
I always want to be as honest and as transparent with you all as possible about my stances and beliefs on any given issue. I take the time to evaluate each bill closely so that my votes are made as confidently and responsibly as possible.
If you ever have a question, comment, or concern regarding a certain bill or how I plan on voting please don't hesitate to call my office or shoot me an email!
The excitement and buzz around the House last week was in regards to House Speaker Ralston. Most of the emails my office received were about the recent stories in the media.
We have to remember that legality and morality don't always align. What is wrong remains wrong even if it's legal, and Ralston's abuse of our judicial system and failure to live up to the standard we should expect of our elected officials in this case, and others, is detrimental to the proper role of government; protecting and defending life, liberty & property.
We should not allow anybody, regardless of the power structure to do so, and I look forward to practical steps we can take to prevent further abuses, and at the very least make things more transparent and accountable. In the end, it will most assuredly take eternal vigilance and a firm reliance on principles.
I have been asked to speak publicly about this issue a few different times and will be sharing my thoughts further with Pat Malone from WJRB 95.1, on March 6 at 7:40 am. I have already shared my thoughts with the likes of Erick Erickson and the AJC.
I am planning to propose a bill on the House floor to change the law that gives Representatives who are lawyers so much leeway and prevent further abuses. Changing the law and keeping further abuses like this from happening is my number one concern. I also support the effort to oust the Speaker through a resolution and appreciate all those who earnestly attempted to do so even though, as of the end of last weak it was still an ongoing process.
On a lighter note, I had the opportunity of attending a few different events this week and meeting with some great organizations from our district.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) Day at the Capitol was February 14 and I met with a number of amazing women from Northeast Georgia to learn what CASA is all about and the work that they do.
We also met some with some AG students from Union County visiting the Capitol on Tuesday and had the chance to speak with them while on the floor during session.
I enjoy taking every opportunity I can to meet with and talk to anyone from our great district.
I've been working on a House Resolution to honor the people of District 8 and plan to present it in March. We live in such a special region and having the opportunity to serve you all is one of my greatest accomplishments. I'm very thankful for all of you and hope to be able to honor our district with this great Resolution!
I'm still looking forward to both my bills HB 2 and HB 4 moving forward. I've received great feedback from my colleagues on both of these and I am hopeful. Those of us committed to doing the right thing must remember that we may not always see the fruits of our labor immediately but we can rest assured that we are nonetheless doing the right thing. The situation with leadership at the Capitol certainly reaffirms that it is never the wrong time, to do the right thing.
It is always an honor to keep you updated on the events that are taking place down here in Atlanta. It is my hope that I am providing you with good information and that you are sharing it with others.
Thank you for your continuous support and as always, it is an honor to serve!
Matt Gurtler (706) 490-2285