The following press release comes from the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia.
For Immediate Release
September 9, 2016
Contact: Carla Rieffel, Executive Assistant
McDonough, GA – On September 6, 2016, the District Attorneys’ Association of Georgia (DAAG) recognized Representative Andrew J. Welch for his leadership and hard work during the 2015-2016 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. Welch has served on several committees, including the Judiciary Committee and the Juvenile Justice Committee where he sponsored House Bill 361, which contained the recommendations of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform and provided for Juvenile Code Reform. House Bill 361 amended Georgia law to clarify that traffic offenses committed by children under 17 years of age are to be processed in juvenile court, while traffic offenses committed by children 17 years of age are to be handled in criminal court. Additionally, the Bill clarified what factors the court should consider before transferring a juvenile offender charged with certain violent crimes to Superior Court. This legislation required that the court hear and consider the impact of the offense on the victim.
“Rep. Welch has performed an invaluable service to crime victims in juvenile court cases. Reforming the Juvenile Code to provide such protections ensures that violent youth offenders in Georgia are held accountable.” says Chuck Spahos, Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. “Inclusion of such criteria provides victims of crime in juvenile cases a voice.”
In 2016, Rep. Welch was also appointed Chairman of the Appropriations Public Safety Subcommittee. His instrumental leadership helped to prioritize pay increases for assistant district attorneys and assistant public defenders, most of which had not seen such an increase since 2008. He has also been the chief advocate for adding state-paid assistant district attorneys and assistant public defenders to the juvenile courts of this state.
“Rep. Welch serves the citizens of District 110 and the State of Georgia with honor and integrity.” Spahos said. “His leadership both at the State level as well as within his district is surpassed by few. His concerns for the victims of crime and his commitment to make sure the state fully supports the criminal justice system has made Georgia a safer place.”