Our US Constitution protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. I am a firm advocate of this birthright. I will continue to uphold this stance.
The National Rifle Association named me to their “A” rating list as a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate. I am proud of such fact.Read More
As you may have heard Georgia is the number one place to conduct business. What you may not have heard just recently is Georgia has the 6th best jobs gorwth rate in the nation. With nearly 80,000 new jobs established since this time last year, the economic policies we adhere to are showing the fruits of our labor.
Keeping the environment ripe for more job growth is important. It is why we need to make sure we elect leaders. Please make sure you vote this November.
Georgia also had solid over-the-month growth, ranking sixth in the nation and third in the Southeast. Georgia ranks in the top 10 states for percentage growth over the month. The number of jobs in Georgia totaled 4,132,900 in August, up from 4,053,600 in August 2013. The August-to-August job growth was the second largest in Georgia since 2005, GDoL said.
I had the privilege to speak on how to amend the Constitution to balance the federal budget using Article V of the Constitution. As one of the sponsors of HB 794 I was asked to participate in a lecture for college students on the subject matter.
From the Henry Herald:
Georgia State University associate professor Dr. Robert Baker, left, and state Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) met Thursday before a lecture hall of students in a constitutional discussion at Clayton State University about ‘How to amend the Constitution to balance the federal budget using Article V of the Constitution, a strategy not used since James Madison.’ The discussion was part of Clayton State’s Constitution Week activities. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)Read More
It was with much anticipation and hard work we saw the fruits of so many hard working people with the opening of Southern Crescent Technical College in McDonough. I was proud to have a small role
in getting this first building open and will work further to see the other needed buildings put into place.
Southern Crescent Tech makes its footprint official in Henry
July 21, 2014
McDONOUGH — Southern Crescent Technical College hosted an official ribbon-cutting and grand opening Thursday at its newly-opened Henry County Center academic facility — a feat many years in the making, officials declared.
The building is the first of as many as eight on the 25-acre campus. It is 35,000-square feet of classroom and lab space built to conveniently accommodate students in and around Henry County.
Southern Crescent Tech officials said the county accounts for 27 percent of the college’s student population. But residents only now have that immediate access to the college thanks to nearly a decade of community discussion, planning and collaborations.
June Wood, chair of the college’s board of directors, spoke to the years-long efforts to build a brick-and-mortar facility for students in under-served Henry County.
Wood said the ongoing project to develop the technical college presence began with discussions among members of the local school board and development authority and officials at then-Griffin Technical College and the Technical College System of Georgia.
She said the school board donated 25 acres of land adjacent to its Henry County High campus.
The Henry County Chamber of Commerce Steering Committee studied the matter and garnered business community support for the project.
She said the endeavor also involved county and city leaders and the Henry County Legislative Delegation, which helped secure state funding to construct the first and second buildings on the McDonough campus. SPLOST dollars, too, have been devoted to building out Henry County Center.
Representatives from the aforementioned organizations were on hand to celebrate the fruits of their labors.
Charles Woodroof, also a member of Southern Crescent Tech’s board of directors, spoke along with the college’s president, Dr. Randall Peters.
Other speakers included TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson; Henry County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Charlie Scott; McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland; Henry County Board of Commissioners Chair Tommy Smith; State Rep. Andrew Welch (District 110); State Rep. John Yates (District 73); State Sen. Rick Jeffares (District 17); and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
Those involved in manifesting the vision spoke as well — Mark Milam, owner of Impact Officer Interiors, which furnished the space; Tony Aeck, chair of Lord, Aeck and Sargent Architecture, who designed Building A ; and Dave Cyr, president of Parrish Construction Group, who built the facility. Construction costs were about $7.2 million with $1.2 million to furnish and equip the building.
An open house followed Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. It included a tour of the building, which is outfitted with general purpose classrooms, a CISCO networking lab, computer classrooms, life science labs and an MRI/CT simulator.
The center facilitates Southern Crescent Tech programs in business management, criminal justice, logistics and pre-allied health courses as well as general education core classes.
Spokeswoman Anna Taylor said 160 credit-seeking students are enrolled at the site this summer. She said there are also residents who receive adult education instruction at the facility. Taylor said 250 students have enrolled for fall courses at the center so far. She said fall semester begins Aug. 18, and enrollment is ongoing. For more about program offerings, visit www.sctech.edu.Read More
In 2011 Representative Andy Welch, R-McDonough, attempted to get a bill passed requiring pulse oximetry screening for newborns in Georgia hospitals. This screening will help expectant parents know if their child has a heart defect before it’s born. The screening only takes a minute and there is no pain involved for the infant.
Welch was contacted by Jessica Hatcher who’s son, Wyatt, was born with a heart defect in 2008. After a transplant in 2010 Wyatt is doing well. The March of Dimes reports that heart defects are the most common form of birth defects in newborns as well as birth defect deaths.
Despite the fact that Welch was unsuccessful in getting the bill passed he was able to introduce a bill requiring the Department of Public Heath to study pulse oximetry screening as a way to determine if a newborn will be affected with this birth defect.
The House and Senate passed the bill and the Department of Public Health agreed to move forward with the study without the legislation. The screening is scheduled to start by July 1, 2014 with all hospitals implementing the screening by 2015.
For More Information Click Here:Read More
The second week of November has been named ‘Kindness Week, Pass It On’ in Georgia. State Representative Andy Welch (R-McDonough) and the Georgia house of Representatives passed House Resolution 1302 to honor the memory of Welch’s brother, Hunter, who died in 2004 at the age of 12.
Hunter was affected by a rare genetic disorder, Prader-Willie Syndrome, which effects childhood development. His mother, Kit Welch said the despite his condition Hunter exhibited kindness to all he met. After his death, family and friends were inspired to keep Hunter’s memory alive by spreading kindness and showing others the benefits of paying it forward.
For More Information Click HereRead More
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
Contact: Betsy Lynch
|Wednesday, April 30, 2014|
Governor Signs HB 135, 494 Sponsored by Rep. Welch
ATLANTA—State Representative Andy Welch (R–McDonough) wrapped up a successful 2014 legislative session after Governor Deal signed into law two bills that Rep. Welch sponsored. House Bill 135 was signed into law on Tuesday, April 15 and 494 on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
“I appreciate the Governor’s support and endorsement of these bills,” said Rep. Welch. “HB 135 works to eliminate ‘gotcha’ litigation tactics which waste municipal tax-dollars that could have been spent settling cases rather than litigating them.”
HB 135 requires that ante litem notices, or a notice of intent to sue, specify the amount of damages sought against a municipal corporation. According to the bill, the notice must be served to the mayor or to the chairperson of the city council or commission personally, by certified mail, or by overnight delivery. HB 135 states that the amount of damages specified constitutes a settlement offer, but is not binding in a court case if the municipal corporation does not settle.
House Bill 494 allows any owner of a private airstrip to make a written notice to an owner of a nearby utility line to request the installation of safety markers. This legislation gives the Department of Transportation the authority to create the fee schedule for installation, as well as the rules and regulations necessary to implement this new section.
“I would like to thank the bill co-sponsors for their support on this measure,” said Rep. Welch. “HB 494 strikes the appropriate balance between the property rights of private airstrip owners and reasonably protections for the flying public and utility ratepayers.”
In addition to House Bills 135 and 494, House Bill 794, also sponsored by Rep. Welch, was signed by Governor Deal on April 12, 2014.
For more information about these bills, please click here.
Representative Andrew Welch represents the citizens of District 110, which includes portions of Butts, Henry, and Newton Counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, and currently serves as the Vice Chairman on the Code Revisions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development. He also serves on the Judiciary, Juvenile Justice, and Regulated Industries committees.
April 12, 2014 Governor Deal signed HB 794, the Compact for a Balanced Budget Paulette Rakestraw Braddock and I sponsored in the State House and Hunter Hill carried for us in the State Senate. As the first State to enact the Compact, Georgia will serve as the Chair at the Constitutional Convention under the Compact. This a tightly drawn law. It limits all delegates appointed by each state to the Compact to adopting only the amendment language contained in the Compact. You can read exactly what is being proposed as the balanced budget amendment on page 3 of the Compact. The amendment is exceptionally well-drafted: forcing Congress to adopted balanced budgets, establishing a debt limit, forcing the President to prioritize spending if spending comes within 98% of the debt ceiling, requiring a 2/3 majority for Congress to raise any existing taxes so that cutting spending, eliminating tax exemptions, or shifting to a consumption-based tax like the Fair Tax are the preferred approaches over raising taxes in order to achieve a debt-free future for generations of Americans to come. This was a historic moment in Georgia’s and hopefully our Nation’s history. I would be remiss if I did not extend a special thank you to Julianne Thompson for her testimony during hearings and grassroots leadership, to Nick Dranias of Goldwater Institute for his legal advice and brilliance in constructing the Compact, and Chip Napolitano of the Compact for America for his passion and drive for fiscal liberty.Read More
On Thursday, March 20th, the 2014 legislative session came to an end when the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day. This last day of session is known as “Sine Die,” a Latin term meaning “without assigning a day for further meeting.” Being the final day of the legislative session, we worked late in the night to ensure the passage of important legislation related to issues like education, criminal justice and public safety. There are several key legislative accomplishments that I want to bring to your attention.
One of the most important bills we passed this session was House Bill 744, which establishes the state budget for Fiscal Year 2015. As the only piece of legislation that we are constitutionally required to pass, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget will guide all state spending from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Totaling $20.8 billion in state funds, the final version of this budget includes many of Governor Deal’s original budget recommendations like increased funding for education. In fact, one of the most noteworthy features of the budget is a $314.3 million increase to Quality Basic Education (QBE), which will provide local school systems with the flexibility to eliminate teacher furlough days, increase instructional days and increase teacher salaries. Increased funding was also designated for higher education, including $7.2 million for the creation of a new Zell Miller Grant for technical college students. In addition to carrying through Governor Deal’s recommendations, my colleagues and I in the House also added additional priorities for the state budget, including $460,816 to increase the clothing allowance for foster care children by $100 per child. Other additions to the budget began in conference committee between the Senate and House, including $1.5 million in funding for Meals on Wheels and senior center nutrition programs. Lastly, funding was added to launch enhanced services through our network of public health offices for training providers to recognize and correctly diagnose autism for early intervention. The nearly half a million that is appropriated in the budget shows a strategic, grassroots beginning to address what has become one of the most chronic health condition in children, affecting an estimated one out of every 88 children in the nation.
Also passed during our last week of session was Senate Bill 365, which is a continuation of a multi-year criminal justice reform effort in Georgia. Similar to past years’ legislation, SB 365 includes several measures to help non-violent, first time offenders get back on their feet and become law abiding, working citizens. One measure of this bill provides judges with the flexibility to issue limited driving permits to certain offenders for the purpose of attending court-ordered required programs, seeking employment, or going to work. Another measure in SB 365 calls for non-violent offenders to complete a Treatment Completion Certificate program, and would also require review hearings for juvenile offenders who are placed into foster care. The bill also provides improved liability protection to employers who hire former offenders who have successfully completed Department of Corrections pre-release programs. These programs will make offenders more marketable to employers, so that they are better prepared to make the transition to a productive life outside of prison.
Senate Bill 386 was also passed by the House last week in an effort to safeguard the citizens of Georgia. SB 386 protects the identity and privacy of those who enter Georgia’s court system by prohibiting social security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and financial account numbers from being disclosed in court documents. Senate Bill 386 clarifies that where Social Security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and/or financial account numbers are included, only the last four digits of any such number may be included in the filing. If birthdates are included, only the year of an individual’s birth may be included, and if a minor is identified, only the initials of the minor may be included. Identity theft is an ever-growing problem so it is important that Georgians’ personal information is kept secure; SB 386 ensures that this information is kept private.
While safeguarding our citizens is important, we always strive to enact policies to protect our children as well and last week was no exception. SB 358 received final passage by the House during the last week of session and will go to Governor Deal’s desk for his signature. SB 358 would expand who can file a missing child report with the Missing Children Information Center to include individuals and institutions that are responsible for the care of foster children. The Missing Children Information Center is responsible for filing all missing children reports submitted by local law enforcement agencies. However, the current code does not specify that a report can be filed by a foster parent or foster care agency. Senate Bill 358 would allow a caretaker, governmental unit responsible for the child, or other person with legal custody of the child to file a missing child report. SB 358 ensures that the necessary steps are taken and the appropriate individuals are notified in the event that a foster child is missing.
Last week the House also gave final passage to Senate Resolution 415. SR 415 calls for a state constitutional amendment that would cap the maximum rate for income tax that can be imposed in our state. SR 415 would prohibit any increase in the state’s 6 percent income tax. Before being adopted into the state’s constitution, a referendum will be called so that citizens can vote on the measure. The citizens of Georgia will now have the chance to decide and weigh in at the polls in November on this issue that will affect our entire state.
Now that each of these bills has passed the Georgia General Assembly, they have gone to Governor Deal for consideration. As stipulated in our state constitution, the governor has 40 days to sign or veto the legislation. This means that any bill or resolution that the governor has not vetoed by Tuesday, April 29, 2014, will become state law.
With the future of these bills in the hands of the governor, the General Assembly’s 2014 legislative session has adjourned sine die. Although session is over, I hope that you will continue to contact me with any questions or concerns that you might have regarding your state government. You can reach me at my capitol office at 404-656-0109. Additionally, I will be spending a lot more time in the district now, so feel free to contact me locally at.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.