Moving forward we need to:
Expand Medicaid and make Healthcare more accessible.
Access to health care is a basic human right.
Refusal to expand Medicaid puts politics before people. Families should not have to choose between paying medical bills and putting food on the table. Today, there are more than 1.5 million hardworking Georgians without health insurance. In Gwinnett County alone, 160,000 of my neighbors do not have access to health insurance. They deserve the assurance they will be able to obtain life-saving treatment as my mother currently receives. Investing in healthcare is as important as investing in roads, transit and education. A healthy Gwinnett is a prosperous Gwinnett.
We must ensure that all Georgians have access to quality health care and the opportunity to receive medically necessary, life-saving treatment, regardless of their income. In the 2018 session I sponsored House Bill 669 which would expand Medicaid and potentially give healthcare to those that currently do not have access. Not only would Medicaid expansion give hundreds of thousands of our fellow Georgians health insurance (including nearly 60,000 people in Gwinnett County), it is estimated to bring in more than $30 billion in federal dollars to Georgia’s healthcare system over 10 years, which according to some studies, will create $65 billion in new economic activity and 70,000 jobs over a decade.
Focus on Long-Term Care for Aging Georgians
It was also my pleasure to author and introduce House Resolution 1318 to create a study committee on Comprehensive Long-Term Care of Georgia's aging population. Our country's population of Americans aged 65 years and older is set to double over the next 25 years due to increased life expectancy as the baby boomer generation retires. This poses an unprecedented challenge to our healthcare system and will place an enormous fiscal burden on already strained government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Along with focusing on preventative services, I believe it is essential we strengthen home and community based programs to allow elderly Georgians to live longer, healthier, and in their homes. This will be a long-term issue I hope to continue to work on with bipartisan support in a comprehensive manner.
Equality and Protection
Every step we take towards treating all Georgians with dignity and respect moves us in the right direction. In the 2018 session, I fought alongside my colleagues for comprehensive civil rights protections, hate crime legislation and ways to assist victims of family violence. I stood in opposition of bills like Senate Bill 375 which under the guise of Religious Liberty, would allow the state to sponsor discrimination through contracts with private adoption and foster care services.As our state grows more diverse, I will continue to fight to ensure all Georgians are treated with dignity and respect.
In our diverse county and state, I believe comprehensive state civil rights protections are necessary. In the 2018 session I introduced House Bill 987 which would protect individuals from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment. We must show that Georgians are not tolerant of hate and that all are welcome here in the state of Georgia.
We need an economy that works for all Georgians. I believe that Georgia’s economy should be one that no matter who you are, or where you are from, you can find work that supports your family and is fueled by your passions. Gwinnett is filled with diverse and talented people that deserve economic mobility and a strong quality of life. To do this, we must fight for policies that encourage a path towards livable wages, access to healthcare and that invest in the most valuable asset to Georgia’s economy: our people.
We need to invest in K-12 and higher education. As your state representative, I will continue my pledge to fight for quality public education for every child in Georgia. Every child, no matter their background, deserves world-class education. I fought against House Bill 787 which would increase the amount of state funding given to charter schools. I voted NO because public schools remain underfunded based on the existing formula by $167 million dollars. I believe that every child, no matter where they come from and what situation they may be dealing with, deserves a quality public education because a quality education is the key to economic mobility.
People in Gwinnett deserve to spend more time with families and less time sitting in traffic. Smart investments in new transit options will attract businesses, increase property values, and continue the growth in Gwinnett. Together we can make our community the best place to live, work and raise our families.
I was proud to support House Bill 930 which creates the Atlanta-region Transit Link or "ATL" Authority, which oversees all transit planning, funding, and operations within the 13 metro-Atlanta county region. This is a big first step towards creating comprehensive regional transit in metro-Atlanta.
As your state representative, I want to continue listen to your concerns, and work with community leaders not only to connect Gwinnett County to the City of Atlanta, but advocate for better connectivity between the many wonderful cities throughout Gwinnett including Lawrenceville, through light rail and an extension of our world-class nature trails and parks.
I co-sponsored House Resolution 1041 which stood with Georgia’s coastal tourism and fisheries and opposed any and all offshore drilling and seismic testing around Georgia’s coast. Research has proven that seismic testing disrupts local marine ecosystems and this would ruin Georgia’s coastal communities and economies. 140 cities and towns along Georgia’s coast had already passed official resolutions opposing the Trump administration's plan to allow drilling on 90% of US Coastlines and the Georgia Department of Economic Development puts the total GDP from tourism and fishing in these communities at $2.4 Billion. I stood with Georgia’s coastal cities because it was the right thing to do as well as the economic thing to do. We can protect Georgia’s environment while also protecting Georgia’s economy because the two are not mutually exclusive.