John Pezold, R-Columbus, began his first term in the Georgia General Assembly last week after defeating former Rep. Kip Smith in the July primary. District 133, which Pezold represents covers part of southern Troup County, most of Harris County and a portion of Muscogee County.
Ethics: What do you think of the proposed changes to the ethics laws? Will you be voting for or against? As you know, the Senate has already passed their version of ethics legislation. The House version has not been proposed yet, but I’m hearing that Speaker Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) wants to work on an outright ban on all lobbyist gifts. While I would probably prefer to stick to a hard $100 cap, I plan to vote in favor of the proposed legislation. As a general practice, I am paying for my own meals while I’m in Atlanta. Additionally, I will not accept free tickets to Falcons, Hawks, or Braves games. Granted, I would do this with or without a lobbyist gift cap in place. As I stated during the campaign, I don’t want for anyone to ever get the impression that I’m in Atlanta looking for handouts. From a lobbyist gift perspective, I plan to lead by example, cap or no cap.
Do you see the General Assembly doing anything with gun laws and/or school safety in light of recent events and federal proposals? What is your take on what should be done? As of yesterday, I saw more than a few pieces of legislation addressing gun laws and school safety. One bill in particular proposed authorizing school districts to designate, if they so choose, one person in each school to be able to carry a weapon. The bill also calls for firearms training for that individual. It is critical that we insure our children’s safety when we take them to school in the morning. While well-intentioned, I believe that laws which restrict our Second Amendment rights do not necessarily make us safer. Criminals intent on inflicting harm do not respect the rule of law. If we disarm law-abiding citizens, we make them more vulnerable and less safe.
What about Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed budget? What would you like to see? As has been the case in recent years, the budget is getting tighter and tighter. In a perfect world, we’d all like to see full-funding for constitutionally mandated agencies. Unfortunately that simply isn’t the case right now. I am honored to serve on the Higher Education Committee (as well as Small Business Development and Defense and Veterans Affairs). I believe that a strong technical college system is key to training the workforce of today and tomorrow, and am excited to get to work on that committee in particular.
Constituents may e-mail Pezold at:
or write to:
Rep. John Pezold
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334
Pezold’s state capitol telephone number is 404-656-0220