POLITICS: Chamber event marks start of Legislative session

If people are looking for a last-minute chance to connect with their legislator, today is their chance.

The county's local delegation is expected to attend a Chamber of Commerce briefing and a kickoff event tonight.

The festivities begin with a public policy committee meeting, where leaders will work to convince the lawmakers to work on issues such as transportation, water and education.

Speakers range from Gwinnett Medical Center's Phillip Wolfe to Gwinnett Transportation Director Brian Allen, pitching the chamber's legislative agenda for the upcoming 2010 session, which opens Monday in Atlanta.

Following the briefing, the lawmakers will engage in a meet and greet, allowing residents and civic and business leaders the opportunity to meet their legislator at the 1818 Club.

The policy session begins at 4 p.m., with the reception scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m.

The reception costs $45 for Chamber members and $55 for non-members.

According to an e-mail from earlier in the week, Reps. Billy Mitchell, Lee Thompson, Pete Marin, Len Walker and Tom Rice had confirmed they would attend.

Johnson praised for

support of environment

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson received high marks for his pro-environment voting record in 2009.

The congressman, whose district includes parts of Lilburn and Norcross, was awarded a 100 percent score by Environment America.

According to a press release, Johnson supported legislation last year to establish a cap-and-trade climate change mitigation policy, invest $80 billion of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds in clean energy and green transportation, and protect more than 2 million acres of public lands and national treasures.

"Protection of our imperiled planet is a central challenge of our time," Johnson said. "I'm very proud of my record."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.