House Announces New Rural Development Council

Pay attention. Not all study committees are created equal. The House Rural Development Council is more equal than others.

The House Rural Development Council was established two years ago with the open ended mission to address the concerns of rural Georgia through policy and legislation. Some of the results included several bills on rural broadband, as well as some of the changes to Certificate of Need laws and non-profit hospital transparency.

For the past two years, the council was co-chaired by Ways And Means turned Rules Chairman Jay Powell and Appropriations Chairman Terry England. Their titles and time spent on the project demonstrate the direct support of the council by House leadership. Both will remain on the council as “Chairmen Emeriti”.

The direct leadership of the group will now being led by Co-Chairs Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper, Chairman of House Education) and Sam Watson (R-Moultrie, Chairman of General Government Appropriations). John Corbett (R-Lake Park, Chairman of Motor Vehicles) will be Vice-Chairman of the council. House staff member extraordinaire Holli Pitcock will support the council.

Committee members are as follows:

·         Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Butler)

·         Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin)

·         Rep. Mack Jackson (D-Sandersville)

·         Rep. Dominic LaRiccia (R-Douglas)

·         Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee)

·         Rep. Tom McCall (R-Elberton)

·         Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn)

·         Rep. Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville)

·         Rep. Ed Rynders (R-Albany)

·         Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville)

·         Rep. Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville)

Ex-Officio Members for subject matter expertise include:

  • Rep. Shaw Blackmon– Chairman of Transportation & Infrastructure (Appropriations)

·         Rep. Sharon Cooper – Chairman of Health & Human Services

·         Rep. Robert Dickey – Chairman of K-12 Education (Appropriations)

·         Rep. Penny Houston – Chairman of Economic Development (Appropriations)

·         Rep. Chuck Martin – Chairman of Higher Education

·         Rep. Butch Parrish – Chairman of Healthcare (Appropriations)

·         Rep. Don Parsons – Chairman of Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications

·         Rep. Trey Rhodes – Chairman of Game, Fish & Parks

·         Rep. Lynn Smith – Chairman of Natural Resources & Environment

·         Rep. Ron Stephens – Chairman of Economic Development

·         Rep. Kevin Tanner – Chairman of Transportation

The Rural Development Council will extend throughout the duration of the 2019-2020 legislative term.

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