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2018 Legislative Session: Week 1

On Monday, January 8th the House convened for the regular session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly. The first week of session is always eventful and exciting, and this year was no exception. My House colleagues and I have a great deal of legislative business to accomplish in the next two and half months, so as soon as Speaker David Ralston gaveled the House into session on Day One, we got right to work on behalf of our state’s citizens. This past week, the House convened to take up legislative business, committees began meeting to review and discuss proposed legislation and Governor Nathan Deal delivered his annual State of the State address. 

            This year I will again serve as Chairman of Appropriations for K-12 Education. It is an honor to work on behalf of our state in this position. I will also serve on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Banks and Banking, Education, Energy Utilities and Telecommunications, Higher Education, and Natural Resources and Environment. After session last year, I was appointed to serve on a House Special Committee – House Rural Development Council. This Council held 9 meetings across the state in 2017 to learn about the issues impairing the stabilization and growth of rural Georgia. The Council also worked to find solutions to move the entire state forward. While this Council exists for two years, it issued a report of recommendations to pursue during the 2018 legislative session in the areas of workforce, broadband, economic development, education and healthcare. I am committed to working towards finding the best solutions to see that Rural Georgia grows and prospers.

As most of you know, I am a true Georgia Bulldog fan. What a great season! Although the National Championship game did not end as well as I expected, the Bulldogs gave us a great season and the Rose Bowl game will go down in history. Just a little bit of personal history – my grandfather’s 1918 UGA graduating class marched off the graduation stage to the Selective Service office in Athens and signed up to serve our country. He lettered in track while at Georgia and I was very fortunate to attend some UGA football games with him (Hodges Mobley).

On Thursday Governor Deal gave his last State of the State address to the entire Georgia General Assembly as well as our Judicial Branch and visitors. It is always a delight to hear the Governor speak and this speech was no exception. He and First Lady Deal truly have servant’s hearts and they have enjoyed serving our great state for the last seven years. In his speech on Wednesday to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce he stated there is ‘Nothin’ Lame ‘bout this Duck’ and he means it. In his SOS speech entitled “Orchards of Opportunity” Governor Deal reflected back to the year that he became Governor’s 82nd governor in 2011. Since that time, our state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 10.4 percent to 4.3 percent, which is the lowest it has been in over 10 years. More than 675,000 private sector jobs have been created, our state has maintained a AAA bond rating, added to our Reserve Fund, and Georgia has been named the #1 State in which to do business for five consecutive years. In next week’s column I will talk about the recommendations for the amended FY18 budget as well as the FY2019 which begins in July.

            I would like to encourage my young constituents ages 12-18 to sign up to be a Page in the Georgia House. This is a great opportunity to learn how state government functions. Please email me and I will send out the Page forms to you –

            Many of you have asked me about this cold weather we are experiencing. Peaches need between 850 and 1000 hours of below 45o weather. Everyone at Dickey Farms is incredibly excited about having a actual winter this year versus our mild, warm weather last year. I am excited to say that we have received over 700 hours to date. This compares to the 397 hours we had last year. For you weather buffs the University of Georgia College of Agricultural maintains a weather site which is updated regularly. Great information for gardeners as well as farmers.

            I am most appreciative of your continued prayers and support as I begin my eighth year in the Georgia House of Representatives. Please feel free to contact me any time with any concerns or issues you may have. My administrative assistant in Atlanta is Sheila Raney and her office number is 404-463-2246. My office is located on the second floor in the Capitol – Room 245. My email address is Thank you again for this privilege of serving you!


Robert Dickey

State Representative – District 140

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