Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome! 
March 9, 2019

Welcome back Tea Sippers! 

This is our seventh 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.   
🔹Annual Young People’s Day of Change Recap– Pictures and quick rundown of our event on Crossover Day! 
🔹Call to Action –Raise The Age Bill:  Call the House Juvenile Justice Committee and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill!

Piping Hot Issues
The madness that Crossover Day brings to the Gold Dome was felt this whole week, taking the peak this past Thursday with an almost all day session. More citizens are coming to committees meetings, which makes them longer and most of them are booked at the same time, so we kept our eyes and ears open this week to keep you up to date. We are now at 581 bills in the House and 236 bills in the Senate. Here are some of the bills making the most buzz 🐝:

  • Update on SB 92: Professional licenses and Defaulting on your student loans 
    This bill would prevent the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans. The great news is that SB 92 passed the Senate yesterday with a vote of (51-0)! This is exciting because we did not expect it to move so fast  in the Senate, so it did crossover to the House! Now we need YOUR help! Call your representatives and tell them to vote YES on SB 92!

    🔗Read more here:
  • Update on 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. Good news is that HB 218 passed this week (164-0), so it did crossover to the Senate! We need GA to finally extend the years that people can qualify for HOPE, so we need YOUR help! Call your senators and tell them to vote YES on HB 218!
  • 🔗Read more here:
  • Update on HB 324: Georgia Hope Act (Medical Marijuana)
    This bill hopes to address that by making it legal for you to possess, manufacture and distribute low THC oil aka medical marijuana as long as it is in a pharmaceutical container. The bill passed with a vote of (123-40) and did crossover to the Senate, however it was not without controversy! Those that voted no said that the problem lies in the access to the licenses for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. The attempts made to solve this problem were rejected because it would “allow too many licenses going to women and minorities.” Many pointed out that it is sadly ironic that when an opportunity to participate in an industry that has systematically affected minority communities, those same individuals are specifically excluded from participating. Patients are now a step closer to having medical access to marijuana as the bill heads to the Senate, but many have concerns about the lack of diverse economic access to this new industry in our State. 
    🔗Read more here:
  • Update on HB 440: Raising the Age Bill Your Action is needed now! Because the bill did not pass out of the House before Crossover Day, we are calling Juvenile Justice Committee members to add it as an amendment to another bill so it passes this year. Check out our flyer below in our call to action for more info! 🔗Read more here:
Annual Young People’s Day of Change ✊
On Crossover Day we hosted our inaugural Young People’s Day of Change and it was a success! We hosted a great amount of people throughout the day and trained them on how to talk to their elected officials. For many of them it was their first time at the Capitol and shared that they felt empowered to continue coming back! Many will return for our Do or Die event on Sine Die and we want YOU to join us as well! Join us as we will provide once again food, tshirts, buttons, trainings, and much more! 

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 📣
📣 CALL TO ACTION – HB 440 Raise The Age Bill! 📣
Call the House Juvenile Justice Committee and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill this year!
🔹We should raise it because Georgia is one of only four states that charges people as adults at the of 17.
🔹We should raise it because we don’t grant a 17 year old the right to vote on laws that can send them to adult jail. 
🔹We should raise it because studies show it would reduce the likelihood of our youth going to jail.
This ride took its biggest dip this week with the Crossover Day madness now behind us, however now it’s when it gets interesting! You can never predict what bill could be attached to another bill at the last minute as an amendment, so hold on for the ride because the end of this session will be here before you know it!

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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