Speaker Ralston has been busy this summer. Tuesday he named members to three more study committees. Here they are.
The Joint Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Study Committee will consist of five representatives and five senators. Its stated purpose is:
To study how providing market incentives for installation of refueling infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles would serve as a catalyst for the realization of cheap and clean fueling options for the public and to study whether increased market incentives for the purchase or lease of alternative fuel vehicles may drive development of infrastructure.
In plain English, this means that the Committee will look at how Georgia can incentivize refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles (think Prius or Leaf). These stations are currently too expensive for private companies to invest in without thinking they will receive a return on their investment. Here are its members.
- Rep. Bubber Epps – Co-Chair (R-Dry Branch)
- Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton)
- Rep. Valerie Clark (R-Lawrenceville)
- Rep. Dominic LaRiccia (R-Douglas)
- Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough)
The Joint High-Speed Broadband Communications Access for All Georgians Study Committee will also have five representatives and five senators serving on it. It will look at how high-speed broadband connections can be brought to rural Georgia. The economy increasingly relies on Internet connections and rural lawmakers are fearful that their constituents will get left behind if a greater effort is not made to bring rural businesses and consumers into the online marketplace. Rural Georgia is already one of the poorest areas in the southeastern United States. An influx of jobs from Internet-reliant businesses is sorely needed. Here are the committee members.
- Rep. Don Parsons – Co-Chair (R-Marietta)
- Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella)
- Rep. Susan Holmes (R-Monticello)
- Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville)
- Rep. Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville)
Finally, there is the Joint Music Economic Development Study Committee. In order to compete with our friends in Nashville, this Committee will consider ways that Georgia can “promote the music economy statewide and foster integration with other creative industries including film, digital media and gaming.” While aspiring artists should not expect lucrative tax credits like those afforded to the film industry, the recommendations from the Committee will probably include ways that the state can retain musical talent in accordance with its goal of “expanding music content as a net cultural export.” Here are the three House members who have been appointed.
- Rep. Matt Dollar – Co-Chair (R-Marietta)
- Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens)
- Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville)