From the Henry Herald June 24, 2014 edition:
ATLANTA — State Rep. Andy Welch has been appointed by the speaker of the House to head a committee examining the regulation of organizations and facilities providing care to children on behalf of the state.
Welch, R-McDonough, was the lead sponsor of a bill establishing the House Study Committee on Licensing and Inspection of Child Welfare Providers. Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, tapped Welch to chair the committee which also includes Reps. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, and Republicans Wendell Willard of Sandy Springs, Tom Weldon of Ringgold, Kevin Tanner of Dawsonville, Penny Houston of Nashville and Joyce Chandler of Grayson.
Welch, who represents parts of Butts, Henry and Newton counties, said various nonprofit facilities provide services of different types to children in state care, including those connected to the juvenile justice system and the Department of Family and Children Services. He said one focus of the committee will be to understand who is providing those services and how various state agencies regulate them.
“The focus here is to look at the regulations, determine whether or not we’re creating an undue burden on the provider” and ensure, protective, educational and in some cases rehabilitative services are delivered, Welch said. “The protection of the state’s children, and wards of the state, is extremely important to their future … As legislators, we have a responsibility to make sure the agencies are providing those services.”
Welch said the committee will be interested in how such facilities are inspected so as to determine whether inspections by different agencies have overlapping areas of focus or are necessary to determine whether various services are provided adequately.
“We’re just trying to look at that balance and see if, indeed, it is out of whack,” he said. The committee will study “in as many facets as possible, how is the state providing care to children and to what extent can we provide better care and more effective regulatory oversight of these organizations that are providing care?”
Welch, who is vice chairman of the standing House Appropriations subcommittee on economic development and vice chairman of the House committee on code revision, said the child welfare study committee will meet at least three times in August and September of this year. One of those meetings will likely consist of a visit to a child welfare service provider to observe the inspection process.
He said if more than three meetings are needed, based on the information gathered by the committee and the questions that may remain after the three initial meetings, the committee could meet up to five times.
Welch said the first meeting is planned for mid-August with a presentation from the Department of Human Services. The study committee is expected to make any recommendations for legislative changes by the end of the year, in time for the next session of the General Assembly.Read More
INDIANAPOLIS (June 12-13, 2014) –
Georgia State Representative Andy Welch along with Representatives Bruce Williamson, Buzz Brockway, Tim Barr, and Paulette Braddock as well as Senator Bill Cowsert from Georgia joined a bi-partisan group of over 100 state legislators representing 33 states at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis this past June 12 and 13. The Assembly of State Legislatures (a.k.a the “Mount Vernon Assembly”) gathered to continue work toward a recommendatory set rules and procedures for a future state-led convention for proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution as authorized by Article V of the Constitution. This Indianapolis meeting is a continuation of our efforts that began in on December 7, 2013 at George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
The Assembly did not consider any specific constitutional amendments. Rather, its focus is on building the framework needed to hold a potential amendment convention in the future, should one be called by the states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The meeting was open to the public and was streamed live.
The Executive Committee assigned Representatives Welch and Braddock to serve on the Judiciary Committee. After a long afternoon of discussion and debate regarding the process for a state-initiated application for a convention and the manner of the Congressional call for such a convention, the committee recommended the formation of two subcommittees. The Applications Subcommittee will review and determine the validity and effect of all existing applications filed by the States with Congress calling for an Article V convention. The Call Subcommittee will analysis the process, form and manner of Congress’s duty to call a convention of the states for the purpose proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to recommend Rep. Andy Welch for chair of the Applications Subcommittee. Welch accepted the nomination but only after requesting and receiving the blessing of the Committee to add Senator Marv Hagedorn from Idaho as a co-Chair. Welch mused that “Peaches and Potatoes can make a good combination.” The Application Subcommittee anticipates completing its work in about 3 months, which will help inform the Assembly at its next meeting in December of this year.
Representatives Williamson and Brockway, assigned to the Planning, Communications and Finance Committee, worked with the committee to outline the structure of the Assembly and initiated discussions regarding the next meeting location in December and funding. Rep. Williamson proposed holding the next meeting in Atlanta. Serving on the Rules and Procedures Committee, Rep. Barr and Sen. Cowsert participated in debate regarding the particular rules and procedures to be recommended to govern a future convention of the states.
In the closing session, Welch and Williamson engaged in amendments and debate regarding the language of a resolution approved unanimously by the body. In short, the resolution requests that each state send a bi-partisan delegation of at least 3 currently elected legislators to the next gathering of the Assembly in December.
When asked about the import of the Assembly, Welch stated: “The fact that such a large and diversified group of state delegates has now met twice, with more meetings to come, regarding a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution is indicative that Congress has failed to address the legitimate redresses of citizens and states across this nation. When Congress falls deaf to the people, the drafters of our Constitution authorized the States to act by proposing amendments at a convention of the states. The Assembly of State Legislatures is one of many groups calling on the States to listen to the American people and lead. I am honored and excited to be a part of this movement.”Read More
NOTE: Andy Welch drafted and ensured passages of the law that allows cities to prosecute these “Businesses”
The city of McDonough no longer allows the sale of drug paraphernalia. Effective 9/7/2012, convenience store, gas stations and similar establishments are prohibited from selling items considered drug paraphernalia. Items such as pipes, screens, clips, rolling papers, testing kits and small spoons must be removed from the stores.
IF stores continue to sell these items penalties ranging from $1,000 fine to $5,000 and six months to five years in jail will be implemented. It is hoped that other counties will adopt similar resolutions.
For More Information Click HereRead More
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
Contact: Betsy Lynch
|Monday, April 29, 2014|
Gov. Deal Signs Balanced Budget Compact,
Co-Sponsored by Rep. Welch
ATLANTA—State Representative Andy Welch (R–McDonough) commented today on Governor Nathan Deal signing House Bill 794, otherwise known as the Compact for a Balanced Budget. Co-sponsored by Rep. Welch, HB 794 calls for an Article V constitutional convention with the intent of amending the United States Constitution to include a balanced budget requirement for Congress.
“I want to thank lead sponsor, Rep. Paulette Braddock, our colleagues in the House and Senate for supporting the Compact, and I want to thank the Governor for signing the legislation so that Georgia becomes the leader in the push for a Balanced Federal Budget,” said Rep. Welch. “The Compact for a Balanced Budget contains a constitutional amendment that will bring an end to Congressional fiscal irresponsibility and cap the Federal debt. With nearly 17.6 trillion dollars in debt, 107% of our Gross Domestic Product, this measure is needed to stop Washington from continuing to borrow against the future financial liberty of our children and grandchildren.”
HB 794 proposes to enter the state of Georgia into a compact with other states as part of an effort to require the federal government to balance its budget. This compact will bind all participating states to an agreed upon convention agenda, which intends to prevent a “run-away convention.” HB 794 also creates a Compact Commission that will lobby other states to join the compact.
“The compact approach is, by far, the most transparent and secure approach to achieving a state-initiated amendment. It provides the greatest protection against a run-away convention or a time and resource wasting ‘Do-Nothing’ constitutional convention,” added Rep. Welch.
The Compact’s approach and amendment language is the product of thoughtful drafting and extensive constitutional research spearheaded by Nick Dranias at the Goldwater Institute. The Goldwater Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect freedom and prosperity. Rep. Welch worked closely with Dranias to tailor fit the language of the Compact for Georgia.
“The amendment language in the Compact is exceptionally well-drafted,” said Rep. Welch. “If ratified by other states, the amendment would force Congress to balance its budget, establish a national debt limit, force the president to prioritize spending if spending comes within 98 percent of the debt limit, and require a two-thirds vote in Congress to raise any existing taxes. The higher threshold for tax increases would ensure that the budget is balanced in a more preferable manner: such as through spending cuts, elimination of tax exemptions, or a shift to consumption-based taxes like the “Fair Tax” model.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides states with the right to make amendments to the U.S. Constitution by means of a constitutional convention. In order for a constitutional convention to be called, at least two-thirds, or 34 states, must petition on the same subject. Twenty states have already filed petitions on the subject of a balanced budget amendment. The Compact for a Balanced Budget has been passed by the Alaska House of Representatives and awaits Governor Parnell’s signature. It is expected to be taken up by several other state legislatures this year.
Governor Deal signed HB 794 on April 12, 2014.
For more information about HB 794, 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.