2017 Archives

March 12--  A report from the Georgia House of Representatives by Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia.

Facebook/Data Center. Gov. Deal and officials from Facebook announced it will build its next U.S. data center in Stanton Springs , about 40 miles east of Atlanta. Construction will begin immediately and the 1 million square foot facility will open in 2020. The center will connect the companys apps and services to over 2 million people all over the world. The site was chosen by Facebook for some of the same reasons the Financial Technology companies we have talked about in previous articles choose the Atlanta area. A stable power grid, fiber internet infrastructure, and a growing population base. Interestingly, Facebook also thought it important that Georgia is less prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. They say interruptions in service is unthinkable for Facebook. Come to think of it I would hate to see the reaction if we were deprived of Facebook for a day or two.

Licensing/Regulations. Speaking of jobs, being named the best state in which to do business for five years in a row is great. Being named number 14 when it comes to most burdensome licensing laws is not. Onerous regulation of lower income occupations is particularly bad. As my fellow Representative Buzz Brockway pointed out , Georgia requires 110 hours of training to be an emergency medical technician, but 1000 hours to be a make-up artist. That doesn’t make sense. Fifty years ago, only 5% of jobs required licenses. Now it is 30%. I have suspected that some of these boards have used their authority to limit competition in their own industries. We definitely don’t need to make it more difficult for people to get educated and obtain higher paying jobs. Stronger Legislative action is needed, if not in this Session, then no later than 2019.

Medical Marijuana. Bills that would legalize the allow the cultivation of medical marijuana appear to have failed for the 2018 Session , and have little chance of being attached to other bills. Besides, Gov. Deal ,who strongly opposes cultivating medical marijuana would have vetoed it anyway.

S.B.362/School Testing. The House Education Committee passed S.B. 362 last week , and I believe it will be voted on by the full House soon. This bill would allow school districts to petition to participate in a pilot program that substitutes the Georgia Milestone test, with tests of their own. The bill would take advantage of the 2015 federal education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act. State mandated tests became mandatory with the No Child Left Behind Act . I have not spoken with an educator or parent who believes the standardized testing helps a student learn. The test scores even come after the school year is over causing many to add local testing to better gauge student progress. One education official called the Milestone Test to an “autopsy” rather than a check-up on student achievement. I have not studied H.B. 362 thoroughly yet, but it is a concept I support.

Contact me to discuss these or other issues at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 404-656-5115


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