What do you see as the top challenges facing District 43?
I view the lack of viable transportation solutions as being the most pressing issue facing Rockdale County and the State. I remain dissatisfied with the transportation bill that recently passed the general assembly. That is why I lobbied the Lt. Governor for an appointment to the Transit Governance Committee. The recession has had a detrimental impact on state revenues. Therefore, I will continue to be a strong voice for Rockdale County as a member of the State and Local Government Operations Committee to ensure that Rockdale County gets its fair share of state resources.
What are some opportunities that lie ahead for District 43?
I will continue to work for transportation solutions for Rockdale commuters, along the I-20 corridor. Rockdale's growing diversity of people, cultures, and new leaders in business and government are positive opportunities The Faith Based Community also gives Rockdale a unique opportunity to come together with a shared vision to support the positive results of working together.
Why should voters re-elect you to the Senate?
I reported to the Senate Chamber 100 percent of the time that the full Senate was in session to represent the citizens' interests.
Earlier this year, in his State of the City address, Mayor Mills announced that HB302, that I sponsored in the Senate in 2008, has generated over $750,000 for the city and the Horse Park. I was also instrumental in reclaiming the $2 million dollars necessary for the renovation of the Nancy Guinn Memorial library.
I was blessed to have Senate Bill 419, which I authored at the request of a Rockdale veteran, passed into law this spring. SB 419 allows veterans who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to voluntarily designate that information on their drivers licenses to alert law enforcement and emergency personnel.
Republican Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has appointed me to positions on the Transit Governance Committee, Georgia World Congress Center Oversight Authority and the Juvenile Code Re-write committees.
What areas would you support cutting from to address the budget shortfall? What should be the last places to cut from?
This Republican administration has granted millions in unnecessary special interests tax breaks to corporations, while at the same time, continuing to cut necessary funding to public education. I propose ending those special interest tax breaks and reclaim those much needed funds into the state budget, which would eliminate or reduce the need to consider raising taxes, or fees, which should be the last resort.
Your opponent has raised the question of your employment with the DeKalb County School System and that it would require you to recuse yourself from votes on education issues. Your response?
Every member of the General Assembly has some professional or business experience which would cause him or her to engage in self-examination as to whether a conflict of interest exists when considering a piece of legislation before them. I have the integrity to engage in that self-examination and I am on record having recused myself from voting on legislation which I have felt would be a conflict of interests.
Senate Republicans have proposed and passed legislation granting tax breaks to corporations for jet fuel and aircraft parts. My opponent would have to engage in that same level of self-examination when faced with legislation impacting her industry as well.
There have been a number of local forums where you were not in attendance.
I have been active this summer and fall participating in legislative hearings on the significant issues of care for vulnerable adults, transportation and revising the juvenile code. I have also been busy and dedicated this election cycle supporting Democratic candidates throughout the State of Georgia. I have been doing the work the citizens have required over the last four years. While I would have liked to have yet another opportunity to interface with the fine citizens of Rockdale County, I am not compelled to adjust my schedule from that important work to give my opponent a voice.
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