MLK Parade, The Budget and the New Session

MLK Parade

Dewey McClain Master of Ceremonies at MLK rally

Last week started off with the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and I had the pleasure of walking in the Martin Luther King March with the Labor community. The last 15 years I have been the MC for the Rally at the end of the March.

I sure am proud to be able to march and celebrate this holiday honoring Dr. King as it wasn’t always the case. The Martin Luther King Holiday only became a holiday in 1985. And it was a long hard fight to get it approved. I’m glad to say I was part of that effort. Here is a picture of me marching on the Georgia State Capitol in 1983 the last year we marched on the Capitol,1983 was the year the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday was approved, but was not to start until 1985.

Dewey McClain in 1983 marching on the Georgia Capitol

The Session

Our highest priority in each legislative session is passing the budget. The majority of the budget, about 75%, is spent on education and healthcare. The Governor has proposed an annual budget of $32.4 billion which is the largest ever. And we also have a $6.6 billion surplus.

The Governor proposes to return more than half of that surplus to the taxpayers in one-time give-aways with tax refunds and property tax rebates which will do little to help solve the problems facing average Georgians. Wouldn’t this money be better spent helping to keep rural hospitals open and expanding Medicaid?  If we have the means to help Georgians, we should spend the money to do just that!

I assure you, I will continue to keep and eye on the budget proposals and confer with my Democratic colleagues so we have a budget that works for all Georgians!