Impact – it is something Frontline is bringing to the table as we work to shape the battlespace under the Gold Dome and around our state.
As we close in on Crossover, the focus narrows. Overall, we are engaged on dozens of bills, but two top initiatives are clear: banning dangerous “gender reassignment” for minors and protecting religious freedom with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
On Monday, the Georgia General Assembly was out of session due to President’s Day, but we continued to work the phones and engage on key issues.
When session reconvened on Tuesday, I provided testimony in support of the Student Technology Protection Act, sponsored by Chairman Chris Erwin (Homer), which would standardize strong protections for our school kids on any devices that are given to them by their schools. This is an excellent piece of legislation that we have worked with the Chairman for the last two years to support and pass.
Director of Advocacy, Taylor Hawkins, testifying before committee
That evening, FCBA Director Mark Gonsalves spoke to a group of conservative Republicans in Gwinnett County to share more about our business and legislative initiatives.
Conservative Business Alliance Director, Mark Gonsalves
Also on Tuesday, I had the privilege of being invited to address the TeenPact Leadership Schools class of young people, and spoke to them about impacting government for our values, and more about our organization. We are proud of the way TeenPact is training young folks to know about their state government, see it in action, and engage effectively!
On Wednesday, our President, Cole Muzio, and Scott McInnis met with Congressman Drew Ferguson, exchanged ideas, and prayed together. It was a great time of encouragement!
President, Cole Muzio, and Director of Council, Scott McInnis, with Congressman Drew Ferguson
From a policy perspective, we ramped up efforts directed towards passing the strongest possible prohibitions of the radical, “gender reassignment” surgeries and chemical treatments out of committee. We want legislation that will hold up in Court, fully protect kids, and have the clarity and strength needed to ensure this evil truly ends in our state.
There were two bills to that effect in the Senate Health & Human Services committee on Wednesday. SB 140 was passed out of committee, and the focus now turns to strengthening that legislation before final passage, ensuring it meets the criteria above. To read more about the outcome of that committee and how you can be praying for this critical legislation, read the prayer alert we sent out yesterday. Special thanks to Dr. Quentin Van Meter, MD (pictured below with myself and Cole Muzio), who took time out of his day to testify and provide his expertise, and to all the others who came to speak to protect kids – including Congressman Rich McCormick who wrote a letter in support of the strongest protections for children.
President, Cole Muzio, and Director of Advocacy, Taylor Hawkins, with Dr. Quentin Van Meter, MD
At several points during the week, we also submitted testimony in firm opposition to the gambling expansion efforts in our state. This continues to be a high priority, as we see the potential for rapid expansion growing. CLICK HERE to take action and let your legislators know you oppose expanding these predatory businesses. There are a number of other legislative initiatives we are working on, including some that will come to fruition next year. See below for a more complete list of the bills we are supporting, and continue to keep us in your prayers!
On Thursday morning, we had great Church Ambassador Network meetings with Rep. Will Wade and Rep. Matt Gambill. This was a truly blessed time of sharing God’s Word and praying with two men who follow Him faithfully. Rep. Wade even recognized the CAN group from the House Floor!
At lunch, we had the honor of hosting a group of business and community leaders, near the Capitol to give a legislative update, and speak more about our strategy under the Gold Dome and across the state. Our attendees heard from Senate Majority Leader, Steve Gooch (Dahlonega), as well as representative, Josh Bonner, and Senator Ed Setzler, about important legislation moving through the General Assembly.
In addition to the legislative leaders who spoke, Cole Muzio shared the vision of Frontline and some key strategic initiatives, Scott McInnis provided a Church Ambassador Network update, Mark Gonsalves discussed Frontline Conservative Business Alliance, and I was able to share more detail about what was happening at the Georgia Capitol.
Our Frontline Conservative Business Alliance Leadership Luncheon
Click here to see more photos from our event!
Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed HB 162, the Income Tax Rebate sponsored by Governor’s floor leader Lauren McDonald (Cumming). Earlier this month, Frontline endorsed this piece of legislation, which returns a large amount of our recent surplus to Georgia Taxpayers. We are grateful for fiscally conservative leaders – in both chambers and the executive branch – who made this a priority.
On Friday morning the team met with pastors and Congressman Mike Collins to share the Word and pray over him and his staff before the grand opening of his new district office in Monroe. Representative Collins is a freshman congressman representing the 10th congressional district, previously represented by Congressman Jody Hice.
Overall, CAN met with 4 state legislators and 2 congressmen, spanning both sides of the partisan divide. We continue to see God use this new initiative as a profound opportunity for ministry to those whom He has called to lead.
Next week will be a busy one at the Capitol. We will have Action Alerts and need prayer. See below for a brief rundown of bills to track and their status!
Director of Advocacy
SB 140 – Banning Gender surgeries & chemicals for minors – Passed Committee; heading to Senate floor – TAKE ACTION!
SB 180 – Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act – In Committee: Judiciary – TAKE ACTION! (Urgent)
SB 36 – Raising penalties for buying and selling human beings – Passed Senate, In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil – TAKE ACTION!
SB 233 – School Choice for all students; Promise Scholarship Accounts – Assigned to Education and Youth committee
HB 54 – Expansion of the Student Scholarships enabling private education – In committee: Ways & Means – TAKE ACTION!
HB 129 – Expanding eligibility of TANF benefits for pregnant women – Passed the House; in Senate Committee: Children & Families
HB 162 – 2022 Income tax refund – Passed the House
HB 217 – Ban cockfighting – In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
HB 229 – Enabling the recall of radical, lawless District Attorneys or Solicitors General – In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
HB 231 – Creating the Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission to discipline in lawless DA’s – In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
HB 338 – Student Technology Protection Act – Passed committee; heading to House floor
HB 342 – Regulating the predatory practices of Title pawn agencies – In Committee: Banks and Banking
SB 1 – Removing the *repealer of the Covid vaccine passport ban in Georgia – Passed Senate, in House Committee: Public Health
SB 2 – Removing the *repealer on business immunities from liability claims regarding COVID-19 – In Committee: Judiciary
SB 3 – “Reducing Barriers to State Employment Act of 2023” – Passed Senate, In Committee: Governmental Affairs
SB 42 – Further incentivize posting of the Human Trafficking Hotline info – Passed Senate, In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
SB 44 – Raising the penalties for crimes with a weapon & enticing minors to join a gang and/or commit crimes – Passed Senate, In Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
SB 69 – Honor Clarence Thomas with a capitol grounds statue – Passed Senate, In Committee: Special Rules
SB 92 – Creating the Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission to discipline in lawless DA’s – Passed committee
SB 93 – Banning TikTok on Gov’t devices – Passed Senate, in House Public Safety Committee
SB 97 – Georgia Cyber Command Division under GEMA to monitor cyber threats – Passed Committee; heading to Senate floor
SB 131 – Foster Care reform; simplification of hearing procedure – Passed Committee; awaiting floor vote
SB 133 – Foster Care reform; Uniform process to address custody of children – Passed Committee; awaiting floor vote
SB 134 – Foster Care reform; makes it easier for children to testify in proceedings – Passed Committee; awaiting floor vote
SB 135 – Foster Care reform; establishes standards for admissibility and authenticity of genetic testing – Passed Committee; awaiting floor vote
SB 230 – Foster Care Reform: Update to the Foster Care Bill of Rights – Assigned to Children & Families Committee