House District 136 candidates discuss issues in forum

Published 1:30 pm Saturday, May 14, 2022

Republican candidates for House District 136 — incumbent David Jenkins and challenger Kenneth Murphy — participated in a candidate forum Tuesday hosted by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.

The topics discussed at the meeting included questions on new Georgia laws on constitutional carry and the parents’ bill of rights, as well as rising prices for consumers.

Here’s a breakdown of the forum:

Constitutional Carry

Both candidates were in support of the state’s new constitutional carry bill, which allows most residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Jenkins noted that he voted in support of the legislation.

“Primarily, it removes an administration burden because, at the end of the day, legally owned weapons don’t cause crime in the first place,” Jenkins said. “Requiring someone to buy a permit is not going to prevent them from committing a violent crime.”

Murphy said he could see law enforcement having some concerns, considering the permit requirement is removed, but he’s in support of the bill.

“I could see that they could have a little bit of concern with everybody and their brother going to get a permit just thinking they can carry a gun,” Jenkins said.

“Maybe some people that should perhaps not be carrying a gun think they have that right to do it, but overall I’m supportive of the bill.”

PARENTS BILL OF RIGHTS

Both candidates are in favor of the Parents Bill of Rights bill, which gives parents access to classroom instructional materials. The bill prohibits the teaching of “divisive concepts” in schools.

“I’m a firm believer that parents should have a say so in their children’s schools. Not the neighbor’s children,” Murphy said. “Teachers do a good job at teaching, but they should also go on the advice of their student’s parents to do this.”

Murphy said, if elected, he would work to be more involved in the local school systems in his district.

Jenkins, who voted in support of the bill, said it will have almost no impact on Troup County Schools. He said he thinks the bill targeted school systems that were not very transparent in how they were operating.

“What I’ll say is it will really have no impact on Troup County,” Jenkins said. “Troup County conducts its board of education and its schools in a transparent manner already, so through my district this will have very little impact. It reaffirms parents’ control over the education of their children, and it’s measures that really should exist anyways.”

RISING PRICES

Murphy said the state needs to focus on incentivizing customers to do business in Georgia, so that the cost of transporting those goods to stores is not as costly.

“Fuel costs of transportation is one of the big costs of getting goods here, so we need to focus mainly on doing business in Georgia and even more local in the communities,” Jenkins said.

“We need to do it in a sense that it’s big enough and big enough volume that it’s cheap enough for the consumer. And we really need to work with businesses to give them the incentives to produce those products here.”

Jenkins said the current economic state in Georgia has been caused by the “insanity in Washington.”

“We have been printing money like it has no value, paying people not to work — employees that are badly needed by industry to stay home and not work,” Jenkins said.

He said he has advocated for leaders in Washington to create fiscal policies that will bring order and prosperity to Georgia. He said on the state level disciplined spending is important, noting the state’s recent tax break after a budget surplus.

OTHER TOPICS

The candidates also discussed building a workforce to fill current and future jobs and answered some audience questions.

To view the full forum, visit The LaGrange Daily News Facebook page.