SMITH COLUMN: Update from the Capitol

Published 11:30 am Friday, February 10, 2023

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By Vance Smith
Represents Georgia House District 138

The pace at the Capitol is starting to pick up. Over 1100 bills have been drafted by Legislative Council but not all have been introduced. This number does not include resolutions drawn up to recognize individuals and organizations in a legislator’s district. 

Tuesday, Jan. 31 was designated as KIA Day in Georgia. The current Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and I presented a Morning Order from the well of the House to recognize KIA and the positive impact it has on West Central Georgia. Not only does KIA employ some 3,000 individuals in their workforce, but the spin-off companies in Harris, Troup, Meriwether and surrounding counties have a huge economic impact on employment opportunities for citizens in our area.

KIA had a large contingent at the Capitol Tuesday including the President of KIA North America Mr. Sean Yoon, President of KIA Georgia Stuart Countess, along with Rick Douglas and April Bartley and others from KIA in West Point. Also, KIA had individuals from their Washington DC office, as well as, from their headquarters in California. I am very appreciative of the members of the House giving KIA a warm reception this week. 

I continue to be excited to have KIA in my district because I believe it gives our young adults an opportunity to finish college or technical college and find a good job in our area.

This week we also voted on the amended 2022-2023 budget on Thursday, February 2nd. The state’s revenues have come in 7.8% higher than the original budget. This amounts to $2.36 billion. $1 billion of this amount will be used for a one-time tax relief grant to ease the burden on taxpayers across our state. The remainder of the dollars will go to Human Resources, Health, Public Safety, Education and Transportation. I voted in favor of the budget, HB 18, with the final House vote count being 170-1. It now moves over to the Senate for review.

Several groups and citizens came to the Capitol over the past week. Judge Thomas Lakes, Probate Judge for Harris County, and Judge Marc D’Antonio, Probate Judge for Muscogee County came by, and I had a chance to talk with them. Also, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (“CASA”) for Children had a day at the Capitol, and I spoke with Ms. Sheri Cody and Mr. Keagan Clark and several other ladies that accompanied them. They perform a tremendous service for our foster children in our area of Georgia. When you hear about their work or cross paths with them, please thank them for helping our foster children. 

Remember to let me know when you are coming to the Capitol. It is always great to see people from home. Continue to contact me at or 404-656-0254