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POLITICS: Shafer proposes water conservation legislation

Camie Young

Camie Young

After taking a stab at getting access to the Tennessee River for drinking water, state Sen. David Shafer is now focusing his attention on water conservation.

Shafer, R-Duluth, introduced legislation last week to fund the repair of the state's aging and leaky water infrastructure without forced tax or water rate increases.

"Millions of gallons of water are lost each day to aging or inadequately maintained infrastructure -- as much 18 percent of the surface water withdrawn for public use," Shafer said. "Senate Bill 311, the Water Conservation and Savings Act, provides a way to pay for repairs without resorting to forced tax increases or unfunded mandates."

The bill would allow money used for water withdrawal permits to be directed to repairs of another water system, as long as it is in the same river basin.

"Unfortunately, because many local governments hold water withdrawal permits for more water than their citizens need, there is a little incentive for them to make repairs," Shafer said. "At the same time, many growing counties are waiting years to obtain withdrawal permits of their own."

Locals work phones

for Mass. race

Gwinnett Republicans are taking part in an election hundreds of miles away.

Members of the local GOP participated in phone banking for U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown, who is running for the Massachusetts seat left vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy last year.

People across the country have become involved in the campaign, as Republicans hope Brown could become the 41st Republican in the Senate, giving the body the ability to filibuster during debates and bring the party to the table on the health care issue.

Marin receives award

Duluth Rep. Pedro Marin is taking a seat at the national stage in Latino politics.

The state representative was elected as vice president of membership for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.

"It is indeed an honor to be elected by my colleagues from across the United States to serve in this capacity," Marin, a Democrat, said in a press release. "The NHCSL is one of the premier organizations constantly identifying new ways to support existing Latino legislators as well as preparing others who have a desire a life in public service."

During the conference, Marin also received the prestigious John S. Martinez Excellence in Leadership award for his years of service as a member of the Georgia General Assembly, where in 2002 he became the first Latino Democrat elected into the House and the first Latino to pass legislation in the history of Georgia.

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.