Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Committee in House

The Athens Banner-Herald and Beyond the Trestle reported last week that Rep. Bob Smith (R-Watkinsville) had lost his vice chairmanship of appropriations, where he oversaw the budget for higher education.

While I'm sure this was a tough blow for Rep. Smith, my friends at the ABH and BTT missed the fact that he landed a nice gig that is probably even closer to his heart -- as vice chairman of a new committee focused on small business development and job creation.

Anyone who has heard Rep. Smith talk in recent years knows that his passion for entrepreneurship, job creation, and small business is unsurpassed. And given the role of small businesses in Northeast Georgia, this committee could also benefit our region greatly.

A press release follows. I've sent an e-mail to Rep. Smith asking if he has any thoughts on the new committee -- will post it if I hear back.

Speaker David Ralston


House Speaker David Ralston Announces the Formation of the Special Committee

on Small Business Development and Job Creation

ATLANTA- On Friday January 15th, House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) announced the formation of the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation— a new standing committee in the Georgia House of Representatives.

“We are going to make small businesses in Georgia a priority,” said Speaker David Ralston. “Small business growth will lead the way back to a strong and vibrant economy in this state by creating jobs. I have asked this committee to take a leadership role by examining proposals which will promote small business and job creation.”

Speaker Ralston appointed Representative John Lunsford (R-McDonough) as chairman of the committee, Representative Bob Smith (R-Watkinsville) as vice-chairman, and Representative Billy Horne (R-Newnan) as secretary.

“Our members are encouraged that Speaker Ralston and the House of Representatives are planning to focus on small business this year,” said David Raynor, Georgia state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the state's leading small business association. “Small business is the engine that drives Georgia's economy. When you pass legislation that helps small businesses grow and create jobs, you help everyone.”

Other members of the committee include Representative Amy Carter (D-Valdosta), Representative Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Representative Tom Graves (R-Ranger), Representative Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), Representative Sean Jerguson (R-Woodstock), Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville), Representative Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), Representative Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta), Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon), Representative Alan Powell (D-Hartwell), and Representative Barbara Sims (R-Augusta).


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