2018-02-21 / Front Page

Legislators discuss issues at Eggs & Issues breakfast

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor


Legislators attending the annual Eggs & Issues legislative breakfast held Saturday at the Café on Cotton were, from left, State Rep. Butch Parrish, State Sen. Jesse Stone, Cong. David Allen, Nancy Bobbitt with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office and Sam Tostensen with U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office. 
(Staff photos by Deborah Bennett) Legislators attending the annual Eggs & Issues legislative breakfast held Saturday at the Café on Cotton were, from left, State Rep. Butch Parrish, State Sen. Jesse Stone, Cong. David Allen, Nancy Bobbitt with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office and Sam Tostensen with U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office. (Staff photos by Deborah Bennett) Eggs and issues were served up at the annual Legislative Breakfast held Saturday at the Café on Cotton. Sponsors of the event were Jenkins County Farm Bureau, Planters E.M.C., Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company and Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce. Those attending heard comments from Cong. Rick Allen, State Sen. Jesse Stone, State Rep. Butch Parrish, Nancy Bobbitt with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office and Sam Tostensen with U. S. Sen. David Perdue’s office.

Those attending were welcomed by Mandy Underwood, Executive Director, Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce/ Development Authority and introductions were made by Duff Ayers.


A large crowd of local residents were in attendance at the annual legislative breakfast on Saturday, including youth group of Jenkins County Family Enrichment Center. A large crowd of local residents were in attendance at the annual legislative breakfast on Saturday, including youth group of Jenkins County Family Enrichment Center. The tragic school shooting and loss of life in Parkland, Florida was a subject Cong. Allen spoke about passionately.

“If we had obeyed the laws already on the books, this would not have happened. There is a tremendous push back by some in Washington D.C. on obeying the laws of the land. When we take God out of the public square, the pub- lic square no longer receives God’s protection,” he said.

Cong. Allen called attention to the fact that there are 25 million citizens receiving government assistance. “They need to go back to work. A job is the most Godly thing you can give someone. It’s critical,” he commented.

When the issue of prayer in public schools and school events was presented by a local citizen, Cong. Allen responded, “Only 10% of the federal budget is used for education in Georgia. I would say, don’t take the federal money and you can pray as much as you want.”

Rep. Parrish discussed the issue of healthcare, saying that there was a need to establish more residencies in rural areas of the state. “It has been shown that doctors tend to stay wherever they do their residencies,” he said. He also outlined a student loan forgiveness plan that would entice doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners to locate in rural areas.

Rep. Parrish commented on education, noting that tools were in place to provide for a well-trained workforce. He called attention to the fact that funding for a mobile welding lab had been included in the state’s budget last year. The lab could travel to technical schools, colleges and correctional institutions across the state to provide training.

Sen. Stone also addressed the area of education, commenting that it was the most important program under the state government with one-half the total state budget being spent on education. “We are working to establish a pilot program that would make testing a tool for teachers to use while they still have the students, unlike the End of Course testing now,” Sen. Stone said.

An Adoption Bill, sponsored by Sen. Stone, was also discussed. The Senator noted there were 14,000 children in foster care in the state with only a little over 1,000 adoptions occurring annually. The legislation would make adoption easier, he said.

When the issue of protecting historical monuments was presented by a local citizen, Sen. Stone responded, “I think our heritage is something that all citizens have a stake in it. It should remain under state law rather than local discretion.”

Nancy Bobbitt with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson’s office reported that Sen. Isakson, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, was working diligently on legislation to help veterans. “The Senate has passed 10 major pieces of legislation and is currently working one to help veterans receive services in their own communities,” she said.

Sam Tostensen with U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office, called attention to his own local connection, remarking that he was delighted to be in the hometown of his late grandparents, Andy and Edna Hodges.

He commented that immigration, education and job creation were topics of special interest to Sen. Perdue and that progress has been made. “The news media is not telling you what is getting done,” he said.

Mr. Tostensen said that that illegal immigration crossings along the southern border of the nation were down 60% and that 2½ million new jobs had been created. “One hundred sixty-eight federal judges have been appointed to positions and a bill has been passed that makes it easier for firings of Veterans Administration employees who are not doing their jobs,” he added.

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