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At todays Forsyth County Republican Convention, several officials were given time to speak, from State Senator Greg Dolezal to recent School Board member Mike Valdez.
Greg Dolezal spoke of a Bill to prevent China from snapping up Georgia farmland or land nearby military bases. He also spoke of several bills that had been introduced such as SB 233 “School Choice”; he further mentioned some election-related bills like SB 189 which specifies only the text portion of a ballot is the legal ballot; and another SB 221 which included provisions to end the use of Drop boxes in Georgia. He failed to mention though, that these last Bills were stalled in the hours before crossover day and failed to be passed to the other Chamber.
Todd Jones also spoke to the need to have unity within the Republican party and solidarity across the party, seemingly hinting at the several conservative “sister” party/organizations formed in recent years.
Jones didn’t take a victory lap on his Bills even though he co-sponsored one of the biggest House Bills HB 520 and managed to get it passed by the House in near-record time. Perhaps this was because concerns surrounding the provisions of HB 520 have grown steadily as more and more people have become aware of its contents.
Some of the concerns about HB 520 were evident directly outside the South Forsyth High School where Jones was presenting:
To the earlier point regarding consistency with GOP platform ideals, HB 520 seems to be contrary to many of these platform standards. Rather than smaller government the Bill defines bigger government, more Federal input, potential infringement in personal freedoms, and what some say may evolve into Orwellian government overreach into parental rights and the ability to challenge one’s mental state because of nothing more than two affidavits which the become redacted to remove the accusers names. Add to that a very substantial increase in costs that could reach into hundreds of millions with no defined audit process. This also includes broad student loan repayments "for mental health amd substance use professionals serving in certain capacities."
One thing was clear, rather than delegates speaking from emotion, many were well-informaed, and demonstrated knowledgeable positions on key topics and were willing to directly question officials and those involved in the convention process.
We hope that our officials are willing to speak as candidly and directly to the people of Georgia.
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