Thursday, January 23, 2014

Senator speaks at business alliance meeting.

Albers explains bills to change future

by Caitlyn Walterswrite the authorJanuary 21, 2014

MILTON, Ga. – State Sen. John Albers gave Milton business owners an overview of a few laws that will change the future of the state and county.

On Jan. 16, Milton Business Alliance members gathered at Atlanta National Golf Club and enjoyed Albers as the keynote speaker for the first meeting of 2014.

"Ever since he has gotten elected, he has done a really good job," said MBA member Jack Shephard. "He's a community-minded person and just a really good guy."

Albers said the state has done extensive work to reduce taxes and regulations in the past few years, but more changes are on the way to uphold Georgia's title as "Capital of the South."

One initiative they have been working on for some time is the systematic elimination of the income tax in Georgia and replacing it with fair sales taxes, just like in Tennessee, Florida and Texas.

"No matter what part of the political spectrum you fall under, every economist will tell you that's the single greatest thing you can do to spur the economy and create more jobs," Albers said.

On the local level, Albers said the state passed 14 major reforms last year to begin the process to radically change Fulton County with a goal of recreating Milton County.

"I promise you that 2014 will be chock full of more Fulton reforms as we make that a better place, because, one day, we will become Milton County," Albers said. "When that happens, we want Fulton County to be in excellent shape."

Albers said there is still a lot of work to do, but Milton County is about three to four years away.

He highlighted initiatives Gov. Nathan Deal discussed in his recent State of the State Address such as education, criminal justice reform and transportation.

The economy and education are dynamically tied, Albers said, and with his education bill, using virtual textbooks is the best option.

"I'm introducing a bill that says before the year 2020, there will be no more textbooks," Albers said. "It's time for us to embrace technology, and it will be a great equalizer for students throughout the state."

Albers said the criminal justice system can be reformed to stop incarcerating non-violent drug offenders and provide a smoother transition into becoming a productive member of society, including help with schooling.

"It's much cheaper to educate than to incarcerate," Albers said.

After the Ga. 400 tolls came down in November, Albers said he was happy to see a promise kept to the public.

Albers also discussed Ava's Law, a bill he is sponsoring that helps children with autism.

"My law will put in both a state and employee health benefit plan where insurance companies have to cover [the autistic] just like they do for mammograms or prostate exams," Albers said.

Albers is also working on bills to protect the elderly and personal information.

The next MBA meeting will be held in February at American Family Care with U.S. Rep. Tom Price as the guest speaker.

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