Trammell named house minority leader

Published 7:46 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

Last week, a name that locals may recognize from the November 2016 ballot, State Representative Robert Trammell (D-Luthersville), was voted in as House minority leader for the Georgia Democratic party.

Trammell represents district 132, which includes Coweta, Meriwether and Troup counties. He will be replacing Stacey Abrams of Atlanta who plans to run for governor in November.

“On Monday of last week, the house democratic caucus had some special elections to fill some vacant positions, and among those positions was the position of party leader,” Trammell said. “I was honored to be elected as party leader or minority leader for the house Democrats.”

Party leaders typically steer both debates and cooperation between the parties regarding policies. There will be several important pieces of legislation under review at the state level during upcoming meetings of the Georgia General Assembly, including improvements to the voting process itself.

“A great bipartisan idea that we will certainly be supportive of and push for is the need for updating and modernizing our voting machines,” Trammell said. “Everyone walks around with phones that they got within the last couple of years, but we are using a technology for voting that is about 20 years old and doesn’t have a paper trail and is running on Microsoft 2000. We certainly wouldn’t do that with our own personal technology, and we shouldn’t do that with the integrity of the voting process in Georgia.”

He will also be advocating in favor of the slightly more controversial Medicaid expansion for Georgia while under the gold dome.

“Among those (items up for consideration) for the 18th session will be to advocate further for expanding coverage for Georgia’s uninsured through Medicaid expansion, which has been a priority,” Trammell said. “The uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act in Washington (D.C.), it doesn’t change the fact that people still need to go to the doctor, and in Georgia, we still have one of the highest uninsured rates.”

Other parts of the state and country have faced issues related to hospital closures in rural areas, which experts like the Chartis Center for Rural Health believe may be due in part to low rates of health insurance coverage in rural areas.