Greg Kirk: Jan. 14, 2017

Published 3:30 pm Monday, January 16, 2017

Hitting the ground running in 2017

It’s only week one and your Georgia State Senate is already hard at work. Just this week, we’ve sworn in 55 senators and each senator has been assigned to their committees. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced the Senate Committee assignments and I am thrilled to be serving as a member on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Health and Human, Insurance and Labor and the Judiciary Committees. Each of these is vital to the state of Georgia, and I will work hard as your senator to ensure these committees make lives better for all Georgians.
On Wednesday, Governor Nathan Deal issued his seventh annual State of the State address, in which he discussed the highlights of his Amended 2017 FY and General 2018 FY budget proposal with the General Assembly and the people of Georgia. Once again, Governor Deal emphasized the importance of our education system by reminding us of the number of failing schools in Georgia. Over 100 of Georgia’s elementary schools, which serve about 89,000 students, have been given a failing grade. To that end, Governor Deal has recommended an increase in K-12 public school funding by $2 billion, representing half of Georgia’s revenue growth. He also built in a two percent salary increase to the pay scale of all state teacher positions to reward them for their dedication to our youth. And, while this is a tremendous step forward, Governor Deal was right when he said we can’t just pour money into a problem and hope it goes away. This legislative session, we must work as a General Assembly to create a working solution to improve our schools.
In his address, Governor Deal also celebrated the commencement of the construction of the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, which will provide training towards the defense of our cyber infrastructure. The center is designed to promote the modernization of Georgia’s cyber security, since, as Governor Deal put it, a cyber-attack is inevitable; 90 percent of entities with a digital infrastructure have at least one vulnerability where malicious hacking can occur. This center is a tremendous endeavor, and will help cement Georgia as the Silicon Valley of the South.
On Thursday, I was proud to introduce Turner County Commissioner Joe Burgess to the Georgia State Senate. In honor of his commitment to Turner County and its people, I introduced Senate Resolution 12, which recognizes and commends Burgess for his service. This die-hard Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs fan is a person of magnanimous strengths with an unimpeachable reputation for integrity, intelligence, fairness and kindness and, by his example, he makes this world a better place in which to live. SR 12 was adopted by the Senate without objection.
It is an honor to serve the 13th Senate District under the Gold Dome. I encourage you to continue to reach out to my office with any concerns or comments so that I can better serve you, my constituents. Thank you all for your continued faith in me, and for your efforts at home to continue making Georgia the great state that it is.

Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, represents the 13th Senate District which includes Crisp, Dooly, Lee, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties, and portions of Sumter and Wilcox counties. He may be reached at 229.854.9706 or by email at