Freddie Powell Sims: Bipartisanship brings results
Published 10:03 pm Friday, October 26, 2018
Total allegiance to political parties by politicians is expected from a small percentage of voters, before and after elections. Political parties are defined as organizations aiming to elect people with similar interests and ideologies from a certain geographic area, who also focus on establishing policy and representing constituent issues.
Inevitably, there will be times when some politicians forget about the importance of being an advocate for the wellbeing of their constituents, and feel it more important to elevate “party over people.” When this occurs, it is disingenuous and reckless to exhibit this kind of political behavior, regardless of party affiliation. It is also misleading to theorize that if you hold membership in the minority party that you are incapable of being a part of the decision making process or unable to fulfill appropriation requests.
As a member of the minority party, I have had numerous (overt) opportunities to work with the majority party to get appropriations allocated for Senate District 12, as well as, participate in the policy making process. Just one example is Georgia Southwestern State University. For some years, the University was in need of appropriations for its Academic Center for Excellence building. It lacked an adequate HVAC system and handicap accessibility to the second floor via an elevator. After working with several legislators this 2018 legislative session, Rep. McGowan, Senator Kirk, and I were able to get $3.4 million dollars for Georgia Southwestern State University.
2018 budgetary items benefitting District 12 also included: Georgia Southwestern Railroad $2.6 million in bonds; Regional Educational Centers $13.9 million; State Charter Schools $4.1 million; Pupil Transportation $142.2 million; Adult Addictive Diseases $45.2 million; Dual Enrollment $78.8 million; Behavioral Health $6 million; Detention Centers $39.2 million; Governor’s Office of Student Achievement $21.9 million, fully funding public education through the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) for the very first time, just to name a few.
Every item mentioned will have positive impact on the citizens of District 12. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I have found that working with the majority party is advantageous and valuable to the political process, as it relates to tangible and intangible needs of the people. Working together and across party lines of one’s district absolutely works for the good of all.
Freddie Powell Sims, a Democrat, is Georgia State Senator for District 12.