As I rode home from the Capitol last night after the Georgia General Assembly adjourned for the year, it was impossible not to think of how far we have come. Two thoughts consistently come to me:
- Our organization has, no doubt, become the preeminent force for our values in Georgia. We’re engaging on more issues, leading and innovating, finding ways to win, and providing a force for good under the Gold Dome, but…
- We still have much work to do to rise to the challenges facing our state.
In many ways, this was a highly productive legislative session. After leading the charge for 4 years, Georgia has finally passed a “Tebow Bill” – named this year “The Dexter Mosely Act” – allowing homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school. More on this is a later email, but I believe this has a profound effect on educational freedom in Georgia.
Additionally, we led the way for Gracie’s Law – which bans organ transplant discrimination against those with physical and mental disabilities – and Simon’s Law (another four-year fight) – which requires a doctor to get parental consent before placing a DNR on a minor child.
We were proud to advocate for the passage of the Special Needs Scholarship (SB 47), Election Reform (SB 202), increasing the punishment for “revenge porn” (SB 78), supporting several bills aimed at ending human trafficking and protecting children from predators, and more – all of these great bills likely to become law this year.
Moreover, our Anti-Obscenity bill, Right to Visit legislation, Save Girls Sports, protections for religious freedom, and more all made progress and will resume where they left off next year.
My friends, your support for this organization has allowed us to make HUGE gains.
Yet, there is still much work to be done and there was much disappointment as the General Assembly gaveled out. That said, I’m choosing not to view these as losses – but instead “future opportunities” to strengthen our state. Legislatively, here is where I see the Lord leading us:
- Pushing back against the education and hospital lobby to ensure more educational and medical freedom for individuals and more rights for parents
- Greater protections for religious freedom
- Defending children from obscene materials in schools and from reckless medical procedures and chemicals that seek to do the impossible, “change their gender”
- Standing our ground against cancel culture bullies – like Delta, Big Tech, and the media – that aim to silence Georgia conservatives while profiting from lucrative tax breaks
- Limiting the power of the government
- Saving Girls Sports and unashamedly proclaiming truth
- Advocating for innocent human life and, ultimately, ending abortion everywhere
This journey continues next legislative session, but, now isn’t the “offseason.” Here’s just some what needs to be done in the meantime:
- Launching a Church Leader Network to equip the church to be as zealous for our faith in the public square as the Left is for theirs
- Developing engaged biblical citizens through our Biblical Citizenship Academy (click here to sign up for the Cartersville BCA on May 8)
- Purchasing software and engaging the grassroots so that we have an “army” of networked believers capable of counter-balancing the powerful education, hospital, and Chamber of Commerce lobbies
- Revamping our brand, strengthening and growing our team, and bolstering our programs (BIG news coming soon…)
- Launching research efforts, talking points, and bill writing efforts for next session
- Recruiting candidates and identifying election targets so that our state can shift in a more God-honoring direction
- Raising the funds need to combat the radical Left. Our goal is to INCREASE our annual revenue by 25% in the coming year alone! (If you’d like to help us with our growing budget, please consider donating HERE.)
We’re showing what can happen when a mission-minded, professional, strategic, and resourced organization leads the charge for our values. The results we’ve produced are transforming our state, and I’m proud to see how we’re leading the way!
But, the forces against us are strong. We are in spiritual warfare. The well-financed lobbies for hospitals, education, and international corporations are against us. The media and Big Tech are against us. Cancel culture is real. And, many who claim to be conservatives can waiver or become corrupted – making victories that should be easy either difficult or impossible.
I’m committed to having this organization be the change agent for Georgia.
Over the coming months, as alluded to, we’ll be making some big announcements and changes. Every decision we’re making is aimed specifically to strengthen our footing so that we can build on these wins yet rise to meet “future opportunities.”
Thank you for all your support in helping us reach this place! So grateful for your partnership in this battle!
For His Glory,
President and Executive Director
The home stretch of the legislative session kicked off with a bang Monday as Gracie’s Law (HB 128) – which bans discrimination against those with physical and mental disabilities on the organ transplant list – passed the Senate with an amendment to add…
Simon’s Law (HB 212) – which requires parental consent for a doctor to place a DNR order on a minor child. This two-for-one victory is a BIG win for the cause of life and for families!
We began the fight for Simon’s Law back in 2018 and have led the charge to make gains every session. This session, we also led the fight for Gracie’s Law, and, last week, we held a press conference with key legislators and advocates to bring attention to the issue. Through our Action Alert Center, thousands of you also joined us to ensure that this issue received a fair hearing.
Now, these efforts have paid off with MAJOR victories!
We’d like to thank Sen. Chuck Payne and Rep. Kasey Carpenter who have stood with us for Simon’s Law for years. In the fight for Gracie’s Law, Rep. Rick Williams and Rep. Mack Jackson led the charge in the House, and Sen. Clint Dixon – one of the Governor’s Floor Leaders – was eager to join the cause with us in the Senate. And, Sen. Dixon was more-than-willing to offer the “Simon’s Law Amendment” to make sure both of these issues could become law this year.
(As an aside, we’re also incredibly proud that, in our election efforts, both Sen. Payne and Sen. Dixon were top priorities and early endorsements for our organization as we helped them fight off significant challenges.)
This has been an uplifting and incredible effort to fight for every Georgian!
Over the rest of today and until session concludes on Wednesday, we’ll continue fighting for our legislation that protects children, advances educational freedom, affirms human dignity, and defends our constitutional rights.
We’re getting right back to it, but we wanted to share with you our excitement as we continue to be on the frontline fighting for a Georgia where all life is cherished.
President and Executive Director
First it was the Heartbeat Bill, then it was opening the economy, and now it’s protecting the vote – Georgia is taking the lead for the nation again, and the media is going absolutely insane.
On Thursday, Georgia became the first state to learn lessons from the 2020 election and pass election reform – the top priority for the General Assembly this year.
We’d like to commend House and Senate leadership and Governor Kemp for their work on this, their refusal to allow this to become an 11th hour issue, and for signing the bill the same day it was passed. Georgia has taken a big step toward election integrity with SB 202, and our leaders wanted to leave no doubt that this was important to them.
But, the deranged media is in complete attack mode. They’re saying we’re racist, that we want to keep people from voting, and that we’re trying to disenfranchise minorities. Pretend-governor Stacey Abrams even compared this reform effort to Jim Crow laws.
Let me be abundantly clear: the outlandish and inflammatory rhetoric and comparisons surrounding this legislation and the insinuation that this bill targets minorities is wrong, disingenuous, a form of voter suppression, and, in fact, racist on its face.
Here’s what SB 202 does:
- Ensures accurate voter lists, removing those who have died or moved.
- Requires photo ID for an absentee ballot.
- Prevents mass mailing of absentee ballot requests forms.
- Requires ballots be printed on security paper.
- Creates a fraud hotline.
- Increases access for election observers.
- Bans private funding of election officials and government agencies.
- Provides increased oversight of local boards and officials who are not complying with the law.
- Prohibits private distribution of meals to incentivize voting.
- Requires a reporting of remaining ballots and ongoing counting once its begun.
- Secures dropboxes.
- And more…
Is anything on that list racist? Discriminatory? Keeping eligible voters from voting? Differentiating people by color or any other group? Any answer to these questions that is not an absolute and resounding NO is either deceitful or demeaning to those you’re asserting cannot comply with these security measures.
Governor Kemp was clear in his remarks: Georgia won’t put up with these lies. You can watch his remarks on this bill. He gets combative with the radical, anti-integrity left around the 4:35 mark.
Of note, Governor Kemp declared the DC-proposed HR 1 an “unconstitutional power grab” and one that he would draw a line in the sand over. “No, not in Georgia,” he said. Should that fight come, we expect our Georgia leaders to hold the line and deny the Biden-Harris-Schumer-Pelosi Axis of Radicalism access to determining our Georgia laws.
We promised you that we would support and pass election reform. That promise has been kept.
However, the work in defending it has only begun. As Governor Kemp was making his remarks, one legislator pulled a publicity stunt, and, after antagonizing Capitol police for not-the-first-time, she was arrested. The media is now absolutely unhinged in their coverage of this. Stacey Abrams is making comparisons of this bill to Jim Crow laws. And, the White House is condemning our reform efforts.
Election integrity will very much be on the ballot in 2022 – if we cannot keep a conservative majority. That’s what we’re committed to preserving.
We’re grateful for your thoughts, prayers, and support. We have much left to do, but we are grateful for this victory.
Proud of Georgia,
President and Executive Director
PS. There are now two legislative days left, and we have MUCH left to do. With election reform now passed, we are working to achieve big things for the cause of life, families, religious freedom, and educational opportunity. To help us achieve this legislative agenda, please help us reach our End of March goal of $2,325 with a contribution here at whatever level you feel God calling you to.
Moneyed interests at the Capitol want to deny you the Right to Visit, and last night they succeeded. I’m pretty disgusted.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and, primarily, the Georgia Hospital Association have worked overtime to deny you the basic human right to have physical contact with your loved one who is in the hospital or in long-term care. They’ve distorted the truth about HB 290 by Rep. Ed Setzler, and they’ve pulled out all the stops to protect what they’ve determined are their financial interests.
You need to think about this: they believe that they have the right to tell you that you should not be allowed to see a potentially dying child, spouse, or parent – all because it’s inconvenient for them. How evil!
In committee Wednesday night, they were able to gut HB 290 and make it meaningless. That means, the right of a representative to have 1 hour of physical contact with the patient was removed. The right of a caregiver to spend 2 hours with a patient was removed. No Right to Visit exists in the bill now, at all!
Now, this fight is not over. The House passed the bill with overwhelming support, and they appear poised to fight for it. And, I firmly believe the Senate has members willing to put people over special interests and do the same. I’m confident the support is there to get this done.
This is a good bill, an essential bill, a timely bill, and a bill that is right.
I’d like to say a special thank you to Senator Greg Dolezal who made a personal sacrifice to stay and be a champion for the Right to Visit. Other senators like Bill Cowsert and John Kennedy were there until the end and expressed support for the intent of this bill.
We’re not done. I believe we’ll make this happen THIS session, but please remain prayerful and vigilant!
We’re your voice to make certain that people, not profit, are put first under our Gold Dome.
For the Right to Visit,
President and Executive Director
P.S. We have GOOD NEWS too. HB 128 (Gracie’s Law) which prevents discrimination for organ transplants based on physical or mental disability, passed unanimously! HUGE win! We look forward to sharing more victories in the closing days of session.
There’s such a difficult balance in the Christian walk, isn’t there? It’s one I’ve noticed all-the-more significantly since I left the private sector to run this ministry four years ago.
As Christians, we are commanded to be hard workers – to do what we are called to do with all our might and to be diligent in our labors (Proverbs 13:4). Such diligence is paramount, yet, if we yield to human nature, it can lead to numerous sinful attitudes: anxiety (“I have poured so much effort into this, therefore I am concerned for the outcome”), pride (“It’s been my labors, therefore, I should be due the credit”), and self-reliance (“I must count on my strategies, my talent, my labors to make this happen”).
It’s counter-intuitive to both fully embrace the level of excellence God has called us to in our labors – working hard, building the right teams, thinking things through diligently, and using the right strategies – and reject the natural attitudes that come with it.
After a milestone, like Crossover Day, I want to make sure that our attitudes reflect how He wants us to view things – grateful for the blessings He gave, confident and hopeful in His promises, committed to steadfast walking with Him, giving Him all the glory, not anxious, yet also diligent, strategic, and realistic in our preparations to meet the enormity of the challenges ahead.
With that in mind, here are some reflections on where we stand:
- First of all, I’m so thankful to have an awesome team down at the Capitol. Our staff, interns, and volunteers have made a positive impact, provided a strong sense of professionalism, and are a true reflection of Christ. Your generosity in allowing us to grow this team has yielded powerful results.
- We have endorsed numerous election integrity related bills. Most of those that we have supported, including the two large “omnibus” bills (HB 531 and SB 241) have passed their Chamber of origin. Here’s the challenge: those two bills – and the numerous others that passed – are different. Election reform will become law this year. How extensive those measures are, however, remains to be seen. We’ll be providing more information on these issues in a separate email soon.
- Our aggressive legislative agenda saw numerous victories on Crossover Day. Most notably, HB 290, the Right to Visit Bill – which protects the right of hospital patients to have physical contact with a legal representative and the right of long-term care patients to have a minimum of two essential caregivers with at least 2 hours/day of physical access – passed the House despite immense pressure from moneyed interests like the Chamber of Commerce working in opposition. This is a BIG victory for human dignity, and we’ve been honored to partner with Rep. Setzler on this.
- Another big win includes SB 226, the Anti-Obscenity Bill, which passed the Senate despite intense opposition from the political left and the education institutions. This is the first major step in addressing the crisis of obscene materials in schools. Sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte, this bill provides parents a right to be heard if they have concerns over material and requires the schools to respond in a timely manner – by either pulling the material or explaining why it doesn’t meet their definition of obscene. The process would then allow for parental appeal. We see this as a big win that we’ll continue to shape as it goes through the process.
- Other wins leading up to and on Crossover include (but are not limited to): SB 116 by Sen. Randy Robertson (Maternal Home Bill), HB 212 by Rep. Kasey Carpenter (Simon’s Law), HB 128 by Rep. Rick Williams (Gracie’s Law), SB 78 by Sen. Harold Jones (increasing penalties for “revenge porn”), HB 194 by Rep. Steven Sainz (protecting children from predators), SB 200 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (protecting religious freedom and small businesses during a pandemic), HB 114 and HB 154 by Rep. Bert Reeves (adoption reform), SB 51 by Sen. Bruce Thompson (Tebow/Mosely Bill), and SB 47 by Sen. Steve Gooch (Special Needs Scholarship).
- None of the bills mentioned above are “done” as they still have to pass the other chamber and be signed into law. However, these are strong wins to be grateful for!
- That said, there’s a lot that still needs to happen. Georgia still must do more to protect religious freedom (as the Supreme Court recently affirmed), Save Girls Sports did not get a vote in either Chamber, school choice measures were set to the side, free speech on college campuses did not get a vote, and so on. While we are thankful to the Lord for the things that did happen, we must be realistic in fighting for some major legislation that needs to rise to the forefront. I must confess to being frustrated, but I will commit that we will not stop fighting!
Please remain prayerful. There’s a long way to go. Just as the bills that passed one Chamber still need to pass the other, even the bills that did not pass are not “completely dead.” The Lord can still do miraculous things, and we are working behind the scenes – using the right strategies – to keep our priorities alive.
So, keep praying. If you feel led, join us at the Capitol. And, if you’re both excited about this work AND wanting to see more, please consider a $50, $100, $250, or greater donation today.
Pressing onward with a biblical perspective – working diligently and trusting Him.
President and Executive Director
A week from today is “Crossover Day.” It’s the political equivalent of the Georgia-Florida football game – while it won’t determine with finality whether the season will be a success or not, it’s going to have a BIG effect on the outcome.
For those who don’t follow the Georgia Capitol closely, “Crossover Day” is the day whereby a bill needs to have crossed over its chamber of origin in order to remain “alive” to become law this year. To make your voice heard on the big issues facing our state, use the Action Alert options you’re passionate about below:
CLICK HERE to take a stand for HB 60 – a school choice measure that passed the House Education Committee last week. This bill would immediately give opportunity to 4300 students (with the ability to grow the program) to attend the school of their choice.
CLICK HERE to take a stand for election integrity. Family Policy Alliance of Georgia has endorsed multiple election bills. Given the evolving and ongoing debate around these bills, TAKE ACTION to support principles like photo ID for absentee voting, ending abuses like mobile voting, and other measures to support integrity and accountability. (Please note: there are more than 80 elections bills. We’re tracking all of them. The next week will feature many amendments and shifts, and we’ll be there every step of the way. All this, though, is why this action alert is focused on the principle of election integrity rather than a specific bill.)
CLICK HERE to Save Girls Sports. We are actively supporting HB 276 by Rep. Philip Singleton and SB 266 by Sen. Marty Harbin, and we need you to make your voice heard to ensure these bills make it to the floor and pass.
CLICK HERE to oppose gambling. Another year, another series of gambling expansion bills. We’re opposing HB 86, HR 30, SB 30, SR 53, SR 131, SR 135, SB 142, and SB 212, and we want you to encourage your legislators to do the same.
CLICK HERE to support our Anti-Obscenity legislation. We are engaged to end an exemption that allows school libraries to distribute obscene materials to minor children. Join us to protect kids and support HB 516 by Rep. Karen Mathiak and SB 226 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte.
CLICK HERE to support Religious Freedom. We’re supporting HB 536 by Rep. Dominic LaRiccia – and supported by Governor Kemp – aimed at limiting the ability of the governor to curtail religious freedom during an emergency. We’re also supporting SB 200 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte and HB 468 by Rep. Kasey Carpenter in the same vein.
CLICK HERE to support Right to Visit. We stand with Rep. Ed Setzler and his HB 290 aimed at ensuring the Right to Visit by providing a minimum standard that a short and long-term care facility would be required to allow visitation.
Some of our supported legislation has already made it past one chamber.
SB 116 by Sen. Randy Robertson is a Maternal Home Bill that eases the ability for non-profits to set up housing for expectant mothers. It passed with a strong majority in the Senate – though some pro-abortion senators were so adamant against life that they voted against this common sense, pro-woman bill. Rep. Ed Setzler has a similar bill in the House (HB 257).
SB 51 by Sen. Bruce Thompson is called the “Mosely Bill” (formerly Tebow Bill) that allows homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public school. This bill passed the Senate 39-15. Rep. John Carson has another variation that is moving in the House (HB 545)
HB 212 by Rep. Kasey Carpenter is “Simon’s Law” and prevents a doctor from placing a DNR on a minor child without parental consent. This bill passed the House unanimously. Sen. Chuck Payne is set to carry this bill in the House.
HB 128 by Rep. Rick Williams is “Gracie’s Law” and ensures that those with mental or physical disabilities won’t be discriminated against on the transplant list.
There are other bills we’re supporting.
This email could be much longer. In addition to the 80+ elections bills, we have a watch list of more than 50 bills that we’re engaging in. We’re supporting legislation to protect Vulnerable Children from genital mutilation and chemical hormone blockers, protect minors from sex predators, protect women from “revenge porn,” provide school choice options for those with special needs, prevent the defunding of the police, and more.
Please take advantage of this Action Alert Central, forward it to your friends, and make your voice heard for as many of these alerts as you care about.
And, please be praying.
For His Glory,
President and Exectuvive Director
When you turn on the national news, it’s easy to grow frustrated or face despair. Our president is a wicked man, surrounded by wicked ideologues, and possesses a House and Senate with pervasive wickedness. Yes, it’s sad.
But, here in Georgia, we are – for now – seeing a different story.
It’s easy to make jokes about the Capitol and the politicians that work there. And, yes, there are frustrating things about the way that building operates.
Yet, under the Gold Dome, we’re seeing a lot of good things. Here are just a few:
- Our bill (HB 212) “Simon’s Law” by Rep. Kasey Carpenter passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously after hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday. This bill is a pro-life, pro-parental rights bill that requires a doctor to get parental consent before placing a Do Not Resuscitate Order on a minor child – a glaring hole in Georgia code right now.
- Another FPA of GA endorsed bill, (HB 128) “Gracie’s Law” by Rep. Rick Williams passed the Health and Human Services Committee after a favorable vote on Tuesday. This life affirming bill prevents discrimination against those with physical or mental disabilities from being on the transplant list.
- After a great press conference last week for (HB 276) “Save Girls Sports” by Rep. Philip Singleton, we had a strong hearing in the Academic Support Education Subcommittee. We fully expect this bill to continue to move and, eventually, become law.
- FPA of GA endorsed bills (SBs 33 and 34) by Sen. Clint Dixon dealing with Human Trafficking passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Another big priority bill (HB 290) “Right to Visit” by Rep. Ed Setzler” had a phenomenal and inspiring hearing. We had more than a dozen great testimonies, and we were proud to play a role. We expect this bill to move.
- Maternal Home Bills (HB 257 and SB 116) by Rep. Setzler and Sen. Randy Robertson are now both moving.
- Moreover, we made progress on legislation to empower homeschool families, enhance school choice, protect vulnerable children, and more.
- And, it’s also exciting to see, while egregious cuts are destroying state budgets, Georgia’s budget is in great health – and a $1,000 stipend was given to state employees who need it.
We’re actively lobbying, testifying, and strategizing to pass our legislative agenda, and none of this would have been possible if we had not won 80% of the elections we were involved in during 2020. If you want to keep this progress in Georgia, please consider a generous donation of $50, $100, $250, or greater today.
While these gains are encouraging, we don’t have to look far to see where this hope could fade:
- Georgia liberals continue to show how similar they are to liberals in California and New York. One of the most shocking and absurd statements occurred when one elected representative – speaking on gender – declared “we know according to science that the definition of ‘sex’ is a spectrum.” It was hard not to laugh at such an egregiously unscientific statement.
- Liberals unanimously voted against protections for businesses – the very businesses that have helped Georgia’s economy continue to thrive.
- After statewide wins have emboldened them, Georgia liberals tried to pass a resolution praising Stacey Abrams. She continues to loom in the background of everything.
We have hope. We’re seeing reasons for hope. And, we’re also seeing regular reminders of why we must continue to fight. I hope you’ll stand with us.
President and Executive Director
If you are like me, waking up last Wednesday morning was hard. I felt disappointed, angry, and even fearful for what a leftist controlled government would hold for our future. But I was quickly reminded that this reaction to the election news was not what God had for me.
The verse that kept coming to mind was Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Our fight isn’t against an individual like Raphael Warnock, but against the enemy who is using this so-called pastor to normalize evil. How I should’ve woken up on Wednesday morning was not sad, but joyful.
Joyful and determined.
Today is the first day of the legislative session. This is where our next battle begins. We have a lot of policy initiatives this session that are aimed to protect the value of our faith, families, and freedom.
One of the bills is called the Tebow Bill. This bill allows homeschool students to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools.
Another bill we are working on is called “Save Girls’ Sports.” This bill prohibits biological males from participating in girls’ sports to keep the playing field fair.
We will also be working to regulate and limit access to the abortion pill and require parental consent before a DNR is placed on a child.
Also, we will be working on what is called the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act.” This bill would prohibit the use of hormone injections or hormone-blocking drugs and sex-changing procedures in minors.
We will also be fighting to protect religious freedom and block casinos and gambling from infiltrating our state.
And much more.
As you can see, the stakes are high, and we have a lot of work to do. So, I ask you to fight with us. This is not the time to be sad or fearful, but the time to stand up for the values that God has placed on our heart. It’s the time to “stand firm and take action,” and we’ll be keeping you updated every step of the way.
We at Family Policy Alliance of Georgia® are not going to back down, and we need your help. Please consider standing with us and donating now as we go into battle. Our legislative agenda is bigger than ever before and $25, $50, $100, or greater can go a long way toward making sure we pass God-honoring legislation. And please reach out if you want to help with these initiatives or have any questions.
When I wake up disappointed in where our nation is going, I promise to be reminded of the verse above. I promise to remember people like you who have stood behind us in these times. And I promise to keep pressing on.
Philippians 3:13-15, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
Over the last couple of weeks, the General Assembly has been discussing a “hate crimes” bill with varying language being thrown around until passage of a final version on Tuesday.
Reasonable people can come to differing opinions on such a bill. As believers, we see the heinousness of the acts associated with hate crimes, and there is an undeniable urge to do something. Yet, when we yield to government the power to judge someone’s thoughts we are handing over a weapon that can be used to one day targets beliefs – not rooted in hate – that a powerful government would seek to attack, namely Christianity.
Because I believe hate crimes legislation sets us on this dangerous trajectory and codifies into law our differences over our sameness, I was the lone testimony in opposition to this proposal in Senate committee last week. While recognizing that this is a tough issue, I’m proud that our organization took this stand, even though it ran counter to the demands of the media elite.
Others, however, opted to support the measure, and they did so for reasons that I respect. My former State Representative, Chuck Efstration, and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan had a greater hand in shaping the language of this bill than anyone, and I consider them both to be friends and allies. While we disagree on the solution, I believe they both supported this bill because they share our vision for a Georgia where all life is cherished.
Yet, as Senator Bill Heath spoke in opposition to the bill during floor debate on Tuesday, I saw a different side of this bill. As he referenced pastors that may be targeted for their beliefs, lobbyists – primarily associated with the Chamber of Commerce – that gathered around the screen to watch the proceedings openly mocked him. As this lone, brave voice standing for freedom spoke up for people of faith, the crowd that spends more money to influence policy under the Gold Dome than anyone, laughed. They scoffed. And, they declared his reference to Scripture to be ridiculous.
As some talk about turning Georgia purple, the need to moderate, or the sole focus of keeping Georgia the best place to do business, this is the crowd they want to turn our state over to. A group that mocks and ridicules faith. A group for whom our values are something to be scoffed at. There is no compromise but bending to their will at the altar of financial gain.
I want Georgia to remain #1 for business, for our people to thrive, prosperity to abound, and opportunity to be there for all. Yet, it’s imperative that our state never sacrifice our values for wealth.
In 2018, we supported Brian Kemp because of his commitment to making Georgia #1 for our values while also maintaining the conditions to keep us #1 for business – never selling out who we are yet keeping our state attractive to job producers. We’ve never regretted that decision for a minute, and we’re proud to call our Governor a close ally.
Yet, there are some that – in the face of liberal opposition – believe the prescription for Georgia is to moderate. My caution to any who would consider that approach, however, is to understand that this approach isn’t a move to the center. It’s a selling of our state to those who would openly mock all we hold dear.
My friends, I’m so grateful for bold leaders like Senator Heath – willing to stand alone, if necessary, to speak truth. I’m also grateful for Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan and the bold leadership they’ve provided our state. But, with election season upon us, the pressure on our legislators increasing, and a counter-vision for our state that involves us selling out to those who are hostile to our values, it’s up to us to continue on this course.
As believers, we know what the world really thinks of us. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to shrink away from the fight. We all must stand firm and take action.
President and Executive Director
PS. While I saw some despicable behavior from these lobbyists, I continue to see commendable behavior from our Lt. Governor and many other legislators (I often remark that some of the finest people I know serve in the Georgia General Assembly). Even though Bill Heath – known for voting no most frequently in the Senate – opposed this bill and many others, Geoff Duncan turned the gavel over to him so that he could preside over the Senate briefly as his time in office comes to a close (pictured here with Heath standing next to Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller. This act of civility between two statesmen is just one of many I have the privilege to witness at the Capitol.
Throughout the legislative session, the casino industry funded a massive lobbying push in the hopes of making Georgia a gambling haven.
We fought back because, as I pointed out in the Sen. Bruce Thompson and Cole Muzio (me) versus Sen. Brandon Beach and Gov. Haley Barbour debate, casinos never, ever work.
One of the things we’ve consistently pointed out is that, no matter what concession legislators make to the gambling lobby – which is already spending big at the Capitol and in elections – they will always come back for more.
And, we’re seeing that with the Coronavirus crisis. As the government debates how best to provide a stimulus to American businesses and citizens, the Washington Post reports that casinos already have their hand out.
Casinos want a bailout because profiteering off the poor isn’t enough. Their twisted “business model” constantly demands help from the government, and, once entrenched in Georgia, we can expect even worse from these powerful interests if our politicians abdicate their responsibility and allow them to take root.
And, that’s not the only consequence. Human trafficking, crime, increased costs of government services, and massive growth in bankruptcy and addiction are among the items on the list. Don’t let Georgia go down this path!
With extra time at home while you’re practicing “social distancing,” I’d encourage you to reach out to your state legislators (which can be found HERE) to let them know that we expect them to OPPOSE ANY EFFORT to bring casinos to our state.
Casinos don’t work, and they will always seek to profit the few wealthy executives at the expense of the poor specifically and, in crisis, every taxpayer across our country.
President and Executive Director
P.S. I continue my prayers for you and your family. Please continue to abide by the guidelines established by Governor Kemp and stay safe!
PPS. The two State Senators mentioned above are among those legislators who have tested positive for COVID 19. Please keep them and all those battling this virus in your prayers, regardless of what you think of their politics.