Deffenbaugh Reports: Ga. House Acts on School Safety, Vet Support, Broadband

Editor’s Note: This is a report by John Deffenbaugh, Dade County’s voice in the Georgia House of Representatives, on the current legislative session in Atlanta.

The Georgia House of Representatives began its 11th week on Monday, March 19, by unanimously adopting a resolution that would allow us to examine how to best protect our state’s schools.

House Resolution 1414 would create the House Study Committee on School Security to study ways to curb incidences of violence, facilitate life-saving responses and provide safer learning environments for Georgia’s students, teachers and other school personnel. The study committee would explore the conditions, needs and issues associated with school security and would recommend any action or legislation it deems necessary based on its findings.

This resolution was adopted by the House in the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. It is more critical than ever that we study how to best protect Georgia’s students, teachers and school staff.

Also on Monday, I presented a resolution that was adopted by the House that seeks to help our brave veterans smoothly transition from military service to civilian life. House Resolution 1137 urges the President and Congress to enact federal legislation that would provide members of the armed forces with mental and physical health assistance prior to being discharged from the armed forces. Servicemen and -women often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and emotional health conditions upon completion of service, and many of these individuals are not properly prepared to return to civilian life. Providing necessary repair and support resources to our service members before they return to nonmilitary life could help them avoid some of the challenges many veterans face, such as depression, suicide, broken marriages, alcoholism, drug abuse, prison and homelessness. This proactive assistance would allow soldiers to be restored physically and mentally before returning to society.

On Wednesday, March 21, the House passed Senate Bill 139, another piece of legislation that is designed to benefit our state’s students. SB 139 would require the State Workforce Development Board, with input from the Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia, to develop and promote an annual list of industry credentials and state licenses, such as welding or computer certifications, that students can earn in middle or high school. This list would include credentials and licenses related to high-demand occupations with wages of at least 70 percent of Georgia’s average annual wage. This measure would equip our state’s middle and high school students with the resources needed to attain jobs in high-demand fields after graduation and expand educational opportunities for all of Georgia’s students.

Finally, on Friday, March 23, the House passed Senate Bill 402, the “Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act,” which would lay the groundwork for expanding broadband services throughout the state. SB 402 would ensure that all Georgians, and particularly our state’s rural citizens, have access to a reliable, high-speed internet connection.

This week is the 12th and final week of the 2018 legislative session. The Georgia General Assembly will adjourn on Thursday, March 29. This final legislative week will be the busiest week of the entire session, and I urge you to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or input on any measures being considered in either the House or the Senate. I can be reached at my Capitol office at 404-656-0202, or by email at

As always, thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative.

John Deffenbaugh

Georgia State Representative

District 1

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