Moultrie Observer

Government

September 29, 2012

County government group honors state Rep. Jay Powell

ATLANTA — The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) recently recognized state Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camila, with a 2012 Legislative Service Award.

Powell, whose district includes parts of Colquitt and Mitchell counties, has served as a champion of transparency in government and helped Georgia's counties provide local taxpayer relief since taking office in 2010, according to a press release from ACCG.

"Rep. Powell is committed to helping government operate more efficiently and re-establishing public confidence in government as evidenced by several bills he worked on this year," said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. "He clearly has a vision for improving government operations and will not settle for business as usual."

In 2012, Rep. Powell sponsored HB 811 which sought to address the redirection of fees collected by the state for a specific purpose. The bill called for the automatic reduction of the fee if the General Assembly failed to appropriate the proceeds for its intended purpose. While this bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, it failed in the Senate. This legislation was meant to stop the legislature from redirecting millions of dollars of fees annually away from such programs as the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund, Solid Waste Trust Fund, Teen Drivers Education (Joshua's Law), indigent defense and police officer training, and instead deposing fees in the state's general fund. This, in turn, forces counties to raise additional revenues to carry out these mandated services.

Additionally, Powell was the sponsor of HB 397, the rewrite of the state's open meetings and open records laws. While enhancing transparency in local government proceedings, he worked with Attorney General Sam Olens, ACCG, the Georgia Municipal Association and the media to ensure that the law was administratively feasible and that the various requirements of the law regarding access to meetings and records were clarified for both the public and for government agencies.

"The voters sent Rep. Powell to Atlanta to provide honest, transparent and fiscally-responsible governance," said ACCG Associate Legislative Director Todd Edwards. "He has far exceeded all of our expectations in that regard and it is a pleasure working with him on behalf of the counties and taxpayers of Georgia."

ACCG provides public policy and legislative advocacy, leadership development, community and civic engagement and membership services programs on behalf of Georgia's county officials and their communities. ACCG presents Legislative Service Awards to recognize lawmakers who have demonstrated distinguished leadership and interest in working with county governments for the benefit of Georgia's citizens. Presented annually, the awards have gained recognition among elected and appointed officials as a prestigious way to acknowledge Georgia lawmakers for exemplary leadership. For more information on ACCG, go to www.accg.org.

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