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Gwinnett lawmakers, leaders discuss agenda for job creation

DULUTH -- Gwinnett legislators have their eyes on small business regulations, education and health care, all in an effort to boost jobs.

Business leaders introduced a "jobs agenda" to members of the county's legislative delegation during an Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday. And many lawmakers said they are already focused on the task.

The agenda for the upcoming legislative session includes provisions to improve the area's global competitiveness, such as fair labor policies and tax code revisions, and a focus on infrastructure, education and tourism.

"Everything we are advocating for is about jobs," said the Chamber's Jann Moore. "It's critically important that the business community be at the table."

In the past year, local businessman have been involved in a "red tape watch," where several policies and laws were changed to help entrepreneurs.

"Long term, the red tape watch is the key to getting this community back to a stable financial place," Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, said of loosening regulations. "Just come down and tell us what doesn't make sense (of regs). It's in all our best interest going forward."

Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, who heads the Senate Education Committee, encouraged the business leaders to get involved in their local schools, saying one of the biggest obstacles to drawing companies is that young people are not ready for jobs when they graduate from high school.

"We've got to have kids become productive citizens," he said, adding that work would continue in 2013 to change the state's education funding formula.

With the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, Sen. Renee Unterman said health care will also be a major focus of the session.

A Medicaid expansion, she said, is key to local hospitals to make up for uncompensated care, but a bed tax debated in years past is crucial.

"If we don't reinstitute the bed tax, we can't make our budget," she said. "It's crucial that the leadership support it."

She emphasized the need for leaders to talk to their legislators, especially with a large number of newcomers, about the complex healthcare issues.

"It's crucial you get your input to them to help them make the right decision for Gwinnett County," she said.

Comments

R 1 year, 4 months ago

First... Fund the chamber from multiple county government agencies so the TOTAL tax liability / expense is thoroughly spread out and hard to reconstruct ...

Check!

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Jan 1 year, 4 months ago

Tread lightly! I know that some regulations and laws are outdated and should be changed but almost all regulations and laws were created as a reaction to the inability to operate with common sense. Fifty years ago, it was common to read about a ditch collapsing and killing or maiming a worker, now ditch reinforcing steel structures are required for workmen in deep ditches. Shortly after cars started appearing, night vision was a problem and Georgia passed a law requiring those driving at night to have someone walking in front of the car with a lantern to light the way. Obviously this is no longer necessary, though it stayed on the books for years after electric headlights were standard on cars. Stop the outrageous rhetoric of "cut regulations to help business" and replace it with specific regulations and why they are no longer needed. Industry has proven a greater interest in profit than safety for employees or consumers so most regulations must stay in place. We do not want a "buyer beware" attitude to build small business snake oil salesmen.

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kevin 1 year, 4 months ago

Laws & regs. This is what happens when we allow others to do what we need to be doing ourselves, correctly. A business license has become simply a license to steal and rob people via fraudulent business owners. Maybe our reps in state government need to re-write our Constitution in order to shorten it and bring it up to date. Are they too scared to spend the time to do that?

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

If we relax regulations too much you might as well throw workplace safety and many other things out the window. Employers are not capable of policing themselves. They tend to look the other way and hope nothing happens.

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