Week 1 In Review

We have successfully made our way through the first week of session! It was a big week, both under the dome and in the community! Check out Day 1-4 of the 2020 Legislative Session:

Under The Gold Dome

HB 756- Coal Ash Bill

On the first day of session, my colleagues and I dropped HB 756. The disposal of coal ash is currently being handled in an unsafe way. Coal ash is currently stored in unlined pits, allowing toxic materials in the coal ash to contaminate the groundwater. We’re trying to fix this! The bill would apply the same rules for disposing of regular trash to the disposal of coal ash. Disposing of coal ash in a similar fashion to municipal waste would help us keep our water clean. The bill has been assigned to the Natural Resources and Environment committee and we hope to have a hearing soon.

First Two Votes of the Session

HB 276: This bill will tax marketplace facilitators in the State of GA. I made the decision to vote no on this bill, because, while I am not fundamentally against taxing big corporations, these taxes will fall on the backs of Georgia’s consumers who buy products online, and I was not confident that this regressive taxation would not negatively affect many in our community. This bill passed.

HR 882: Four days into session and the partisan posturing has already begun. HR882 was an urging resolution commending Donald Trump on the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. You elected me to make change in the lives of the people in Gwinnett and throughout GA, not to play divisive games designed to stir up controversy. I proudly voted no. This bill passed, largely along party lines. You can see AJC coverage here.

First Meeting of Higher Education Committee

The Higher Education Committee met for the first time this week. We did not hear any bills, but did hear presentations from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission about PPEM and Dr. Tristan Denley of the Board of Regents about the new Nexus Degrees in GA. I’m excited to hear what is happening in the world of higher education and to see what we can accomplish to help the hundreds of thousands students learning here in Georgia. The next committee meeting will be Wednesday, January 27th, when we will have our first hearing of the session.

This week we welcomed Dylan to the dome! He was our first page of the session. It was a pleasure meeting this enthusiastic and very artistic (he drew me an amazing picture) student.
I had the opportunity to meet this great group of students visiting the Capitol from Dalton State University. As a member of the Higher Education Committee, I love meeting and engaging with our college students.

In The Community

Junior League Gwinnett/N Fulton Town Hall on Human and Sex Trafficking

On Tuesday evening I attended a town hall event, hosted by the Junior League, on human and sex trafficking. The expert panel included law enforcement, nonprofit organizations that serve trafficking victims, and expert attorneys. It highlighted facts about human trafficking, addressed myths surrounding who’s at most risk for being trafficked, and offered resources for victims. The critical issue of human trafficking hits close to home as a large number of these incidents occur in diverse, suburban areas like  Gwinnett County. With the information I learned in the town hall, I plan to work diligently with my colleagues to continue the fight to reduce human trafficking and support victims.


The Junior League Town Hall event was timely and important. I applaud the Junior League’s mission for empowering girls, and admire the work they do in the spirit of that mission.

What’s Next

Next week will be all about the budget. Governor Kemp just dropped his proposal and there are cuts to some extremely important programs. The GA budget is already very small, with very little wiggle room. This reduced budget along looming tax cuts lead to  inevitable underfunding of many critical services used by our State’s most vulnerable.  I worry that we are doing this all wrong! I will be in attendance at all of the budget hearings, plan to do everything in my power to get and keep the money our communities need.

But before budget hearings, we will take a moment to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I will be marching in the Gwinnett County MLK Parade on Monday morning at 11 AM. For more info on parade route and activities, click here.

Copyright © 2020 Jasmine Clark for Georgia State House District 108, All rights reserved.

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