April 27 to be a day of prayer for Georgia as fight against COVID-19 continues

Press Release
severe day of prayer

Atlanta, GA – On Monday, April 27, Governor Brian P. Kemp will join Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, and faith leaders from across Georgia in holding a Day of Prayer service in the rotunda of the Georgia State Capitol at 10:00 a.m. As the state continues to battle COVID-19, Kemp, Duncan, and Ralston are calling on all Georgians and members of the faith community around the state to participate by posting videos of their prayers on social media throughout the day.

“Our unprecedented battle with COVID-19 has proven the resolve of the people of Georgia to fight hard, come together, and do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus,” said Governor Kemp. “While we cannot all be together right now, we can join with one another in prayer for our frontline healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement, business owners, local leaders, and fellow Georgians as we continue the important work of fighting COVID-19 and safely reopening our state. On Monday, I am calling on all Georgians to participate in our Day of Prayer by posting on social media and showing their support for their fellow citizens.”

“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on countless lives across our state and nation. In the midst of tremendous loss, uncertainty, and anxiety, I look forward to joining together in prayer,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Faith and prayer are a comfort to millions of Georgians, and whatever your background, I hope Monday will be a chance for us to focus on those who are hurting and seek wisdom for the hard road ahead.”

“I’m very proud of the response to this crisis by our state government and local and federal partners as well as healthcare workers and frontline personnel,” said Speaker David Ralston. “In such trying times, it is appropriate that we come together to pray for those battling this disease and its impact as well as those who have tragically lost loved ones. I join with Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan, and all Georgians in praying for the mercy and comfort of our Lord as we look forward to brighter days ahead.”

To ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines, the Day of Prayer service will not be open to the general public. Georgians are encouraged to participate via livestream at www.facebook.com/GovKemp at 10:00 a.m.

Live Call-In With House Speaker David Ralston

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#BKP has House Speaker David Ralston on the show to discuss the elections in Georgia, the worldwide pandemic, and much more.

 

UPDATE: Ralston sends another letter to Raffensperger regarding Georgia Primary

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UPDATE: April 8, 2020

ATLANTA, Ga – After announcing his support of extending the Public Health State of Emergency through May 13, House Speaker David Ralston has again asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to move the Georgia Primary to June 16.

Ralston has been very vocal about moving the election until Georgia can overcome the COVID-19 outbreak, which has a death rate in Georgia of 3.65 percent.

“We have seen many reports recently about how impactful a May 19 primary will be on the
ability of poll workers to report. Paramount is the health of voters, poll workers and others who
must be at polling precincts on Election Day,” stated Ralston in the letter.

Letter to Secretary of State 4.8.20

Copy of the April 8 letter.

Original Story from March 26, 2020 below: 

ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (Ga -7) sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) asking him to please move Georgia’s May 19th primary due to novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

In the letter, Ralston asserts that he would like the primary to be moved to a date of June 23 or later. He cites several other southern states that have already moved their May Primaries to June or July as a precautionary measure to keep the public safe.

An exert from the letter below:

“At the present time, our state, the entire nation and the world are confronted by a public health emergency of unprecedented magnitude.

Our prayer is that we will be on the other side of this difficult period sooner rather than later. However, the inescapable truth is that we do not know the duration of the immediate health peril. Reputable scientists and physicians cannot agree on its duration.

All of which means that the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and adopted in executive order by Governor Kemp will continue for an unknown period of time.”

The Georgia Speaker of the House also addresses the right to vote as one of America’s “cherished freedoms” and it “should be free of impact from circumstances which create obstacles to its exercise.”

The May 19th primary puts Georgia over a month ahead of anyone else in the south.

View the full letter here. Secretary Raffensperger 3 26 2020

On Tuesday, March 24, Raffensperger announced that the Secretary of State’s Office would be mailing out absentee ballots to 6.9 Georgia voters for the May 19th primary. This was his answer to ensuring the health of Georgia voters and poll workers during the pandemic.

In a press release issued by Raffensperger on the absentee ballots, he said,

“Times of turbulence and upheaval like the one we Georgians face require decisive action if the liberties we hold so dear are to be preserved,” said Raffensperger. “I am acting today because the people of Georgia, from the earliest settlers to heroes like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, have fought too long and too hard for their right to vote to have it curtailed. Georgia has faced challenges before and overcome them, and we can do so again through the grit and ingenuity that has made America a shining example for democracies around the world.”

In the 2016 and 2018 November elections, around 95 percent of Georgia voters opted to cast their ballot in person versus the 5 percent who did so by mail. With social distancing as the most important tool for limiting the spread of coronavirus, providing alternatives to voting in person is crucial. All Georgia voters can request and vote an absentee ballot for any reason.

While Secretary Raffensperger is encouraging as many voters as possible to vote by mail, some rely on in-person voting to exercise their right to vote privately and securely. People without internet or mail access, such as those experiencing homelessness; Georgians who need language assistance; and people with disabilities who rely on voting machines to cast their ballot will still be able to do so in person on the state’s new voting system. Additionally, research from the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law shows that eliminating “in-person voting could disproportionately disenfranchise Black, Latino, and young voters”. Their right to vote too needs protection.

To that end, Raffensperger is taking extra steps to limit the threat of COVID-19 at the polling place. Poll workers will receive additional resources to clean the equipment regularly. In-person voters who show up to vote in person will be instructed to maintain a safe distance when waiting to vote.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

These measures will protect poll workers as well. Understanding the extra risk Georgia’s generally elderly poll workers face, Raffensperger is working to help counties hire more and younger poll workers. Extra staff will allow those who feel sick to be absent from the polls without significantly impacting continuity while a younger pool of workers will increase resiliency in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

Speaker Ralston asks Raffensperger to move Georgia Primary

Featured, News
ralston

ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (Ga -7) sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) asking him to please move Georgia’s May 19th primary due to novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

In the letter, Ralston asserts that he would like the primary to be moved to a date of June 23 or later. He cites several other southern states that have already moved their May Primaries to June or July as a precautionary measure to keep the public safe.

An exert from the letter below:

“At the present time, our state, the entire nation and the world are confronted by a public health emergency of unprecedented magnitude.

Our prayer is that we will be on the other side of this difficult period sooner rather than later. However, the inescapable truth is that we do not know the duration of the immediate health peril. Reputable scientists and physicians cannot agree on its duration.

All of which means that the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and adopted in executive order by Governor Kemp will continue for an unknown period of time.”

The Georgia Speaker of the House also addresses the right to vote as one of America’s “cherished freedoms” and it “should be free of impact from circumstances which create obstacles to its exercise.”

The May 19th primary puts Georgia over a month ahead of anyone else in the south.

View the full letter here. Secretary Raffensperger 3 26 2020

On Tuesday, March 24, Raffensperger announced that the Secretary of State’s Office would be mailing out absentee ballots to 6.9 Georgia voters for the May 19th primary. This was his answer to ensuring the health of Georgia voters and poll workers during the pandemic.

In a press release issued by Raffensperger on the absentee ballots, he said,

“Times of turbulence and upheaval like the one we Georgians face require decisive action if the liberties we hold so dear are to be preserved,” said Raffensperger. “I am acting today because the people of Georgia, from the earliest settlers to heroes like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, have fought too long and too hard for their right to vote to have it curtailed. Georgia has faced challenges before and overcome them, and we can do so again through the grit and ingenuity that has made America a shining example for democracies around the world.”

In the 2016 and 2018 November elections, around 95 percent of Georgia voters opted to cast their ballot in person versus the 5 percent who did so by mail. With social distancing as the most important tool for limiting the spread of coronavirus, providing alternatives to voting in person is crucial. All Georgia voters can request and vote an absentee ballot for any reason.

While Secretary Raffensperger is encouraging as many voters as possible to vote by mail, some rely on in-person voting to exercise their right to vote privately and securely. People without internet or mail access, such as those experiencing homelessness; Georgians who need language assistance; and people with disabilities who rely on voting machines to cast their ballot will still be able to do so in person on the state’s new voting system. Additionally, research from the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law shows that eliminating “in-person voting could disproportionately disenfranchise Black, Latino, and young voters”. Their right to vote too needs protection.

To that end, Raffensperger is taking extra steps to limit the threat of COVID-19 at the polling place. Poll workers will receive additional resources to clean the equipment regularly. In-person voters who show up to vote in person will be instructed to maintain a safe distance when waiting to vote.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

These measures will protect poll workers as well. Understanding the extra risk Georgia’s generally elderly poll workers face, Raffensperger is working to help counties hire more and younger poll workers. Extra staff will allow those who feel sick to be absent from the polls without significantly impacting continuity while a younger pool of workers will increase resiliency in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

House Majority Caucus announces plans to introduce health care legislation

News

PRESS RELEASE

ATLANTA – Members of the House Majority Caucus today announced their plan to introduce legislation during the 2020 legislative session that seeks to return health care dollars and day-to-day health care decisions to patients and health care professionals in Georgia. The caucus announced its legislative plan after the House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care meeting on Tuesday.

“Today, we heard from patients and providers about opaque practices of PBMs and managed care organizations that increased costs to patients and taxpayers and, more importantly, compromise the health of Georgians,” said Majority Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin). “We are committed to bringing a stop to these practices.”

“Wall Street is bleeding us of money and choices, and we are going to take both of those back,” said State Representative David Knight (R-Griffin). “This money and decision-making power has been shipped by massive health care companies to Wall Street, where it has enriched investors, while hurting those who need care across Georgia.”

The proposed legislation, which will be spearheaded by Rep. Knight, aims to bring transparency to the prescription drug market, while at the same time, closing loopholes in existing laws that managed care organizations (MCOs), pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and state contracted PBMs use to continue to engage in practices that may harm patients. Additionally, the new legislation would carve out of prescription drug benefits from Medicaid managed care. The legislation was in part inspired by actuarial study by the state of West Virginia that showed the carve out saved over $50 million, while paying community pharmacies fairly at the same time. Finally, the legislation would bring true oversight to PBMs and MCOs that contract and subcontract with the state.

This legislative plan builds upon House Bill 233, or the “Pharmacy Anti-Steering and Transparency Act,” which was passed during the 2019 legislative session and enacted January 1, 2020. HB 233 prohibits pharmacies owned by PBM and insurance affiliates from poaching patient information for profit or non-patient care purposes. It also prohibits pharmacies from receiving self-dealing referrals from their affiliates and billing to the Board of Pharmacy, tasks the Board of Pharmacy with enforcement authority for violations of the law and requires pharmacies to disclose affiliates.

“Lowering costs, empowering patients and improving outcomes are the holy grails of health care legislation,” said House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge). “We are going to significantly advance all three of those goals with this legislation in 2020.”

Representative Matt Hatchett represents the citizens of District 150, which includes Treutlen County and portions of Johnson and Laurens counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves as House Majority Caucus Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and the Economic Development & Tourism, Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications, Ethics and Health & Human Services committees.

Representative David Knight represents the citizens of District 130, which includes portions of Henry, Lamar and Spalding counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 and currently serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. He also serves on the Banks & Banking, Higher Education, Rules, Small Business Development and Ways & Means committees.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

Speaker Ralston opens Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation

Business, News

PRESS RELEASE

 

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation has opened a North Georgia Office in Ellijay. The office is located in the Collaboration on River’s Edge (CORE) Building, a workplace innovation space and initiative of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation.

“I am proud to welcome the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation to Ellijay and look forward to the good work that will be done to further economic opportunity throughout rural Georgia,” said Speaker David Ralston. “This center is a direct result of the work of the House Rural Development Council and our continuing efforts to ensure prosperity is accessible to all Georgians – regardless of zip code.”

The center, also known as Georgia’s Rural Center, has named Janet Cochran to lead the North Georgia Office. Cochran comes to the center with more than a decade of experience as a project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

“Finding ways to not only maintain but to multiply the economic and cultural vitality present in so many of north Georgia’s small towns and rural communities relies heavily on relationships,” said Dr. David Bridges, Georgia’s Rural Center interim director, “and we know that our presence and personnel there will only improve our ability to facilitate positive outcomes. Janet brings a wealth of experience in managing economic development projects in this region of the state, and we’re excited to have her join our team in this role at the North Georgia Office.”

Headquartered at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, including community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with community partners. The center was proposed by the House Rural Development Council in 2017 and was created by House Bill 951, which was enacted in 2018.

“Promoting a strong business environment that enhances the quality of our community is not just the chamber’s mission in words, it is behind everything we do. The opening of CORE and the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation is a cornerstone moment in that mission and one that we have worked tirelessly to support and create for many years. I join with our 650 members in celebrating,” remarked John Marshall, Gilmer Chamber Chairman of the Board.

“As chairman of the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation it has been our goal as a private, citizen funded organization to help spur economic growth for our community and region. CORE being the home to the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office brings our vision to reality. We look forward to continuing to serve our communities for years to come,” said Kent Sanford, Chairman of the Board.

“Working with Speaker of the House David Ralston and the House leadership to bring the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation North Georgia office to our community will have economic impact to the entire region. We look forward to continuing to work to insure the success of the center and all of our partners within CORE,” remarked Lex Rainey, Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority Chairman of the Board.

Located in Gilmer County, Ellijay is a thriving rural community in the North Georgia mountains, offering a unique blend of southern hospitality and natural beauty. The area leads Georgia in apple production and is a center for agribusiness and agritourism.

For more information about the Center for Rural Prosperity & Innovation, visit http://www.ruralga.org/.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

Ralston Endorsed by Georgia Carry – Vote Ralston

Politics

Our 2nd Amendment rights are not up for debate. That’s why I refuse to entertain gun control activists who seek to undermine our safety and compromise the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. From passing “the most pro-gun bill in state history” to ensuring that students, faculty, and visitors can protect themselves on a college campus, I am proud of my record of defending and expanding our 2nd Amendment Rights.

This election, I am once again endorsed by the NRA – National Rifle Association of America and countless #2A supporters throughout the District. Together, we will stand up for our God-given rights and remain “freedom’s safest place.”

Rick Day says cannabis could be the future of North Georgia

Election 2018, Politics

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Many words were used to describe Rick Day as he exited the Fannin County Democratic meeting on July 2: enthusiastic, informed, entertaining, and passionate.

Day, a 62 year old veteran, is the first from the Democratic party to ever challenge the Speaker of the House, David Ralston, for the seat of Georgia House of Representatives District 7.

One key issue of Day’s platform and arguably one that he shows the most passion for is his pro-cannabis stance and the benefits it could bring to North Georgia.

“Somewhere in the 70’s I discovered cannabis, marijuana, and it has been a lifelong love affair with Mary Jane,” Day said about his position.

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Democratic candidate Rick Day hopes to unseat incumbent David Ralston in November.

According to Day, almost 700,000 people have been arrested for minor marijuana possession in Georgia since Ralston’s election to the seat of District 7 in 2002.

“This man is so powerful he could have changed this law,” Day said explaining his take on Ralston’s record. “He only cares about the for-profit prisons that lobby him.”

Day would like to see Georgia move beyond the limited laws passed recently in the state that increased medical marijuana use and see cannabis legalized for recreational use as well.

Stating statistics, Day said that approximately 85 percent of Georgians are in favor of medical marijuana, 70 percent of Republicans are in favor, and 65 percent of Georgians favor cannabis oil.

“If we wait another 10 years, the crops are not going to be worth anything near what it was because it’s going to be so common,” Day spoke of the economic impact of ending the war on marijuana.

Wanting to see both marijuana and hemp become major cash crops for the state of Georgia, Day spoke of the increased tax revenue that this legislation, if passed, would create; up to 1 billion in increased revenue. Day would like to see all citizens of North Georgia benefit from this wealth by using the new revenue to eliminate or dramatically decrease property taxes.

“Thousands of jobs, good, well paying jobs,” Day expanded on the benefits of this move. “Develop the area and work with it, so that it becomes part of our identity without overtaking us.”

“My vision is to turn this (North Georgia) into the Napa Valley of cannabis,” Day enthusiastically spoke of his hope.

Acknowledging other issues facing our area Day said, “There is a growing issue with lack of affordable housing in the district.”

With no shortage of half million dollar homes, Day says that it is very hard to find homes in the $150,000 range where there is an increasingly growing demand.

Offering grants and incentives for builders to construct these more affordable homes is a possible solution that Day sees on this issue.

When it comes to his Republican opponent, Day does not mince words: “Ralston is a con. A bought and paid for conservative. Conservatives are no longer the fiscal stewards they once were or ever represented themselves to be.”

Accusing Ralston of catering to the highest bidder, Day pointed out Ralston’s $400,000 yearly pension and using his position to get his son a lobbying job: “He’s their man. He’s not our man anymore.”

As for Ralston’s impact on his district, Day shared his thoughts on that as well. According to Day, Ralston is a man who holds a position of power in the state of Georgia: “Arguably the most powerful because he’s not tenured with term limits like the governor is, and he can’t even get us one manufacturing center up here. He’s done nothing for this district.”

“I can’t out spend David Ralston. He’s already got $1,000,000 in corporate money in the bank,” Day elaborated on his campaign plans. “I can’t make a lot of promises. I won’t have a lot of political power, but I ain’t David Ralston and I will never be that man.”

Day says that his political platform is simple. Having been shown a kindness when he was a young man, his philosophy is to pay it forward. His litmus test on every issue is “Is this going to be good for our kids? Is this going to be good for our grand-kids?”.

“I oppose the things that are not, and I embrace the things that are good,” Day said of this philosophy.

“I believe in myself and I want you to too,” Day spoke to those gathered to hear his message. “I’m done watching (politics). Now is the time for action. Now is the time to bring David Ralston home.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Speaker David Ralston Attends White House Speakers Conference

Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) is attending the White House State House Speakers Conference. This conference brings together state house speakers from across the country to receive an update on President Trump’s policy initiatives. Several administration officials will meet with the group including Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson and Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.

“I thank President Trump for his invitation, and I appreciate his administration’s continuing outreach to state and local officials,” said Speaker Ralston. “The President understands that our government can be most effective when the federal, state and local levels work together as partners on behalf of the citizens we serve.”

Following the conference, Speaker Ralston will attend the President’s recognition of NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex, Jr., and his team at the White House.

Speaker Ralston previously visited the White House in February to represent Georgia at President Trump’s infrastructure plan announcement. That proposal would combine public-sector funding with private-sector investments to rebuild and improve the nation’s infrastructure – particularly in rural communities.

“It is refreshing to have a President who leads on issues like tax reform and infrastructure improvements,” said Speaker Ralston. “I am hopeful that Congress will support the President’s infrastructure plan, which would spur economic growth and create jobs across the country.”

 

Stakes are incredibly high in Tuesday’s election

News, Politics
qualifying

Brian Kemp

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On election eve, the stakes in the 2018 midterm election could not be higher. That was reflected in the record-setting turnout during the three-week, in-person, advanced voting session that saw 2.1 million Georgians cast their votes.

Here in Dawson County, interest was through the roof. Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson reported last week that 7,036 residents voted early.

Stacey Abrams

At the top of the ballot is the race for Governor where conservative Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp faces liberal Democrat former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

The candidates could not be more different. Kemp opposes the expansion of Medicaid. Abrams supports expansion. Kemp wants to deport illegal immigrants and ban sanctuary cities. Abrams opposes clamping down on illegal immigration and wants to provide a pathway to citizenship. Kemp wants Georgia to have the toughest abortion restrictions in the U.S. Abrams opposes additional restrictions. Kemp wants to preserve the HOPE scholarship but opposes letting undocumented students access the scholarship. Abrams believes it should be available to all.

Geoff Duncan

The third candidate in the race, Libertarian Ted Metz, could play the spoiler role. Pollsters say the race between Kemp and Abrams is razor thin and neither has crossed the 50 percent barrier that would prevent an unprecedented four-week runoff.

While the governor’s race has gained nationwide attention, there are other important races on the ballot.

Republican Geoff Duncan of Forsyth County and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico are running for lieutenant governor. The candidates for Secretary of State are Brad Raffensperger (R), John Barrow (R), and Smyth Duval (L).

The race for Attorney General is between Gary Black (R) and Fred Swann (D).

Sarah Amico

Incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Doug Collins faces a challenge from Democrat Josh McCall in the 9th District.

Also on the Dawson County ballot is the race between 7th District State Representative David Ralston (R) and Rick Day (D).

There are also five constitutional amendments for voters to decide and two statewide referenda.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

Speaker Ralston Attends Trump’s Infrastructure Announcement

News, Politics

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) attended President Trump’s infrastructure announcement at The White House this morning.  Speaker Ralston was one of several local and state elected officials invited to participate in a series of discussions with the President as well as members of his cabinet and senior staff about the plan and the infrastructure needs facing our nation.

I appreciate President Trump’s emphasis on public-private partnerships, as well as rural areas of America, as we look to address the nation’s infrastructure needs,” said Speaker Ralston.  “Much like his Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, this measure will make a real difference in projects of profound economic importance like the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project or long-overdue efforts like expanding broadband infrastructure into rural areas.  This is another example of President Trump focusing on creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity across our country.  I am honored to represent the State of Georgia at this important announcement.”

President Trump’s infrastructure plan looks to leverage the power of public-private partnerships to improve the nation’s infrastructure including transportation, water/sewer and other critical needs like broadband internet access.  More details on the President’s plan are available on The White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov.

Kemp bus tour starts in Dawsonville Monday

News, Politics

DAWSONVILE, Ga. – Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp will kick off his 27-day, across-the-state, “Putting Georgians First” bus tour in Dawson County Monday morning.

Kemp will greet supporters at 8:30 am. at John Megel Chevrolet, 1392 Ga. Hwy. 400 South to start a busy week of connecting Georgia voters.

In announcing the tour, Kemp said, “I look forward to sharing my story, vision, and plan to grow jobs, lower taxes and healthcare costs, strengthen rural Georgia, invest in public education, protect HOPE, and keep Georgia families safe on the Putting Georgians First Bus Tour. As governor, I will work around the clock to ensure that our best days are always ahead.”

That Dawsonville stop will be followed by Monday appearances in Pickens County (10 a.m.), Fannin County (noon), Gilmer County (2 p.m.), Murray County (3:30 p.m.) and Whitfield County (5:30 p.m.).

In the race, which promises to be one of the most visible in the nation, there is a stark difference in the two candidates. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said, Georgians are going to have the clearest choice that they’ve probably ever had in the general election for election for the office of governor.”

Kemp’s opponent is Democrat Stacey Abrams, a far left-wing Yale law school graduate who supports a strict ban on assault rifles, expanding medicaid and demands the carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson be sandblasted from Stone Mountain.

Kemp defines his opponent as a liberal who is “backed by billionaires and socialists who want to make Georgia into California.”

Kemp, a populist and strong supporter of President Donald Trump, says the governor’s race is a battle for “literally the soul of our state.” He supports  lowering taxes and strengthening rural counties and opposes stricter gun control and wants to “round up criminal illegals” and have them deported.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Williamson qualifies to run against Ralston in May Primary

Election 2018

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – As Qualifying Week begins in the state of Georgia, candidates have lined up to officially get their names on the ballot for the May General Primary to be held May 22, 2018, with a voter registration deadline of April 23.

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Williamson qualifies for May General Primary.

One race in particular is being closely watched and it comes from Georgia’s 7th District. The seat currently held by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston is being challenged by Ellijay resident Margaret Williamson.

Williamson made her intentions clear when she announced earlier this year that she would be seeking the Republican nomination for the General Election to be held Nov. 6, 2018.

Williamson acknowledged in a statement previously released to FetchYourNews that she had mailed the “Declaration to Accept Campaign Contributions” form to the Georgia State Transparency & Campaign Finance Committee.

A 37 year resident of Gilmer County, Williamson says, “I consider it my home. My husband John and I raised our 4 children here and now enjoy our reward, the 11 of our 15 grandchildren who live in the county.”

Having studied Engineering, Marketing and Business, worked as a Healthcare professional, and owned a small business, Williamson says that her involvement in politics spans over 2 decades when she worked on her first campaign in 1994.

“As a regular visitor to the Georgia Capitol I keep informed on current legislation, especially those that affect the taxpayers of the Georgia State District 7,” Williamson said explaining that since 1994 she has remained active and aware in politics.

Williamson added, “It is distressing to see bills passed that fail to meet our needs but only help our big business and special interests groups, bills that increase our taxes, and bills that burden us with unfunded mandates, regulations, and growing number of fees that hurt our economy.”

Williamson discussed the economy of our area, citing that while leadership in Georgia likes to dote Georgia as the number 1 place to do business, that statistics of this claim does not add up.

Georgia, Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Fannin, Gilmer, Dawson, Margaret Williamson, David Ralston, Georgia House of Representatives, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, District 7, Republican Primary, General Election 2018, Qualifying Week

Williamson makes her candidacy official by qualifying on March 5.

In Georgia State District 7 the average annual income per household is below that of the national and state averages according to Williamson. She attributes this assessment to high property taxes, increasing school taxes, fees, penalties, regulations, and fuel taxes which all decrease a family’s spendable income.

Williamson says there is no one fix and added, “Without growing our tax digest, bringing in more revenue from sales tax, improving our economy, we would be left with raising our millage rate and who wants that?”

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.S.,” Williamson spoke of the growing tourism to our area. “This industry now is the biggest contributor to our economy.”

“We need to work together to make our counties even more attractive,” Williamson added, “without compromising our Conservative North Georgia values.”

“I have said from the very beginning of my campaign that I am not running against,” Williamson spoke of her intentions in the upcoming year,”I am running for the people in District 7. I will work diligently to meet their needs and not those of a minority of special interests groups.”

Upon completing the qualifying process yesterday, Williamson will continue campaigning in hopes of overcoming incumbent Ralston in the May General Primary.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

SPEAKER DAVID RALSTON QUALIFIES FOR RE-ELECTION IN HOUSE DISTRICT 7

Election 2018
Monday, March 5, 2018(Blue Ridge, GA) – Today, House Speaker David Ralston qualified to run for re-election in House District 7. The Republican Primary is May 22, 2018.

“Serving as House District 7’s voice in the Georgia General Assembly is an honor and responsibility I hold dear,” said Ralston. “Representing the best interests of North Georgia remains my number one priority.

“In the State House, we passed comprehensive tax reform that will empower job creators, spur economic growth, and keep more money in the pockets of Georgia taxpayers. Thanks to President Trump and the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, we delivered the largest tax cut in modern, Georgia history.

“To keep District 7 – and our entire state growing – I created the House Rural Development Council to identify the problems facing communities outside of Metro Atlanta and prescribe legislative solutions for growth and prosperity. We have already passed several of the Committee’s recommendations and have a long-term commitment to the success and vitality of rural Georgia.

“While I am proud of what we have accomplished at the State Capitol and throughout District 7, I am seeking re-election to continue fighting for Gilmer, Fannin, and Dawson County families. With the continued support of local voters, we can keep our community strong and our future bright.”

David Ralston is the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he has held since 2010.  He was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002, and represents House District 7, which includes Fannin and Gilmer counties and a portion of Dawson County.

BKP Interviews Georgia House Speaker David Ralston

State & National

On FYN TV, BKP interviews Georgia’s Speaker of the House for District-7 Representative David Ralston, as they discuss Georgia’s aggressive plan for a large infrastructure investment that was presented and highlighted at a meeting for Republican leaders including Ralston, over the weekend at The White House. Speaker David Ralston comments on what that means for Georgia.

Pictured below: Speaker of the House for Georgia District 7 David Ralston at this past weekends Infrastructure Meeting at the White House with Republican leaders and President Donald Trump.

Rep. Kevin Tanner talks issues at Saturday breakfast meeting

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) returned to Dawson County Saturday morning to treat constituents to breakfast at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and to share news from the General Assembly.

Key topics included the current fiscal year amended budget, the proposed new budget, education, health care and transportation.

Tanner’s subcommittee is working on the amended budget that will “true up” revenue and expenses for the current fiscal year.

“One of the things we look at is what did we estimate revenue to be last year and what it is actually coming in at,” Tanner said. Until the two can balance, the proposed budget for the next fiscal year is set aside.

Legislators are trying to deal with Gov. Brian Kemp’s campaign promise to give Georgia’s teachers a $3,000 annual pay raise. “We’re working through that now,” Tanner said. “That is an impact on the local budget also. Locally in Dawson County, that will be somewhere over $300,000 local officials will have to pay.”

During his state of the state address two weeks ago, Kemp discussed how rural hospitals are hurting and the need for an effective healthcare plan.

“I would anticipate seeing the details of Gov. Kemp’s healthcare plan early next week,” Tanner said.

He also touched on the importance of mental healthcare.

“There is a need for us to address mental healthcare issues, not just in Georgia, but all across the country,” he said.

“We closed all the mental health hospitals when there were a lot of lawsuits around mental health facilities due to inhumane treatment of people. There were legitimate cases of abuse. But instead of fixing the problem, we closed all the hospitals down. What happened was that population ended up on the streets where they didn’t necessarily need to be.”

Tanner has drafted legislation, along with the governor and House Speaker David Ralston to create a 17-member mental health commission which would include four legislators while the balance would include mainly mental health care professionals.

“It’s very much a bi-partisan effort,” Tanner said. “No matter what part of the state you live in, no matter who you are… rich, poor, most all of us know somebody or some family who is affected by mental illness.”

Tanner talked about the creation of a Department of Mobility and Innovation.

“When you get outside the metro area, (transit) is very disjointed and dysfunctional,” he said. “If Dawson County wants to provide service, they have to deal with three state agencies and three separate boards.”

By placing transit under the Department of Mobility and Innovation, Tanner says citizens can expect better service.

Tanner holds weekly breakfast sessions every Saturday to update constituents on what is happening at the state capitol. Next week he will host the meeting at Wagon Wheel in Dahlonega.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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