Week Five: Budget, Subsidies, Kemp & Hope
With about a third of session behind us, morning sessions are becoming longer and each day consists of hearing and voting on multiple bills.
Don’t forget to keep up with my voting record and explanations on my website www.mattgurtler.com .
At the end of last week, the House voted on the amended (small) budget, and like each year I made sure to become familiar with the information in the budget so that I could vote responsibly. My vote was a strong and confident No, as I continue to see subsidies and free market intervention. Of the $240 million, about $100 million or over 40% of the budget, was not within the confines of the proper role of government.
Some aspects of the budget were some of the worst I've seen in years, since I started studying the budget in 2013. Once again we are pouring millions of dollars into non-governmental entities and organizations such as Mercer University. Millions of taxpayer dollars would go straight to this private university to subsidize a medical program, and that just isn’t right. If we have a problem, such as a need for more doctors, we should be looking at over-regulation and outright monopolies, created by you guessed it; big government. And we certainly shouldn’t be picking winners and losers and dolling our millions of dollars of handouts.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the government should have no part in the actions or funding of private entities and organizations.
Many other programs such as the new Atlanta Transit Authority who was allocated another $500,000 and the slush fund known as GerogiaOne Authority ($14 million), stuck out to me as items that couldn’t be justified.
Before the vote, I voiced my concerns to my colleagues, in committee and finally on the House floor, including subsidies and things outside the proper scope of protecting and defending life, liberty and property. This is important because setting precedents and not questioning runaway government has consequences for the future of our state.
Many of my colleagues disagreed with my opinions and were quick to attack my concerns, and even that I would dare question the “leadership”.
It is well known that I will vote based on principle, even if that means going against what everyone else is doing. Even if my vote stands alone, it’s important that we continue to have high standards and make sure our vote is one that we are proud to cast for our district, and inline with limited government principles.
After all, every bill that we pass will directly affect all of you, your family and future generations.
I was not the only member to state concerns for the budget this session, my vote was not alone. I was joined by 7 of my colleagues with the final vote coming out to 166 Yes and 8 No.
I have hope of a bright future for the years to come. I believe power is held in the hands of those who are willing to stand up and make a change. I’m thankful for all my constituents who show me their support, without it none of this would be possible. And I'm also thankful for freshman Republican, Colton Moore (HD-1), from Northwest Georgia, for his encouragement and courage to stand against the status quo.
On Tuesday I had a meeting with Governor Brian Kemp. I was able to speak with him about House Bill 2 and House Bill 4 and ask for his continued support for Constitutional Carry. These bills are very important for Georgia and based on the campaign that Governor Kemp ran, I know there is a better chance than at any point to gain momentum.
At the meeting we left him with both of my bills to look over. It will carry a huge amount of weight to have the Governor's office working on behalf of you, and all Georgians for two bills that are common sense and in-line with our shared values and principles.
As always please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Hearing from my constituents is very important to me and I am happy to help you all in whatever way I can.
I love being able to update you all with the news of each week. There’s always something going on down here at the Capitol and I am dedicated to continuously working towards bettering Georgia.
As always, it is an honor to serve.