Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome! 
March 2, 2019

Welcome back Tea Sippers! 

This is our sixth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀
In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:
🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    
🔹The MARTA Referendum– The vote to expand MARTA into Gwinnett County is happening now until March 19.   
🔹Call to Action –Annual Young People’s Day of Change: Come lobby with us this coming Thursday! 

Piping Hot Issues
The excitement continues under the Gold Dome as Crossover Day is next week on Thursday! The committees meetings are longer and most of them are booked at the same time, so we have our eyes and ears open to keep you up to date. We are now at 531 bills in the House and 221 bills in the Senate. Here are some of the bills making the most buzz 🐝:

  • Update on HB 42/SB 92: Professional licenses and Defaulting on your student loans 
    This is the set of bills that would prevent the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans. HB 42 passed the House Higher Education committee last week and has a moderate high probability of passing. SB 92 passed the Senate Higher Education committee unanimously this Thursday and has a moderate high probability of passing. This exciting because we did not expect it to move in the Senate! Call your representatives and tell them to vote YES on HB 42/ SB 92!
    🔗Read more here:
  • HB 36: HOPE Career Grant for Technical College Students
    This bill gives funding to technical college students who aim to work in high demand fields, like cyber security. The reality is that unfortunately most of us just can’t afford to go school to access those jobs. 48% of technical college students qualify for the Pell Grant, but as most of us know all too well, it covers only a fraction of most students’ college costs. Every year an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 students in the university system and technical colleges register for classes but drop out because they can’t pay tuition and fees. HB 36 will help thousands of young people to afford technical college around the state, ensuring they get access to the good paying cyber jobs in our state. The bill was in the Higher Ed committee this past Wednesday but was tabled for further discussion and vote. You can help get this bill through! Call your representatives and tell them to vote YES on HB 36!
    🔗Read more here:
  • Update on HB 316: Elections & Voting Machines 🗳To refresh your memory this bill is a comprehensive voting rights bill and one of its focuses is to replace Georgia’s existing voting machines with new ones that unfortunately print out machine-marked paper ballots instead of human-marked paper ballots. Research shows that human-marked paper ballots are safer and more cost efficient. The bill was voted on the House floor this past Tuesday and passed (101-97). It moved on to the Senate and it was heard on Thursday in a Senate Subcommittee. Most experts on cyber security testified that this proposed change would have a higher risk of potential hacking and not be safer. Other groups and advocates explained that this would disproportionally affect communities of color as the number of voting booths will go down from 1 per 200 people to 1 per 250, a 20% reduction! Call your senators and tell them to vote NO on HB 316!🔗Read more here:
  • HB 218: Extend eligibility for HOPE 
    This bill extends the eligibility of students receiving HOPE from 7 to 10 years after graduating from high school. This is a great bill because many of us have factors that stop us from going to college right after high school. It was heard in the House Higher Ed committee this past Wednesday and many organizations testified in favor of passing this bill. It was tabled for further discussion and vote.The bill is bipartisan so it has a moderate probability of passing. Call your representatives and tell them to vote YES on HB 218!
    🔗Read more here:

The MARTA Referendum 

Early voting started this week! One of the more important referendumsin the history of metro Atlanta is happening now! Early voting on whether to extend MARTA into Gwinnett County began on Feb. 25 and continues until Election Day is March 19.

  • The ballot question: Voters will see the ballot question phrased this way when they go vote: “Gwinnett County has executed a contract for the provision of transit services, dated as of August 2, 2018. Shall this contract be approved? YES __ NO __”
  • What it means: A yes vote would allow MARTA to take over Gwinnett’s current transit services and greatly expand them. 
  • Key dates: Election Day is March 19. Advance in-person voting starts Monday at the Gwinnett elections office (455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville) and will be held there every day through March 15, including on weekends. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A successful referendum in Gwinnett may ignite action for more mass transit in other metro Atlanta counties that have long been resistant to the idea, so this vote will be historic for years to come. 

So go vote Gwinnett! 

🔗Read more here:

Call to Action 📣
Join us on Wednesday, March 7th as we host the Inaugural Young People’s Day of Change!
We will host you all day, or in four hour blocks, with food, tshirts, trainings, help you talk to elected officials, and much more! You MUST RSVP though at the following link:
Once you RSVP we will send you parking details and confirm your spot. We look forward to seeing you there! 
✅ RSVP and get more information on the event here:
This coming week will be jam packed, especially with Crossover Day on Thursday, so hold on for the ride because the next week will be nothing short of twists and turns!

If you enjoyed this tea time we shared together, then subscribe here to get more piping hot tea poured fresh every Saturday during the legislative session! 🐸☕️
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