ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – State lawmakers discuss a slew of issues under the gold dome to help fund certain areas. In addition to education, health care and public safety, lawmakers say restoring the state’s economy and providing quality jobs is a top priority.
State lawmakers want to expand manufacturing jobs and electric vehicle production across Georgia.
State Senator Brian Prince said, “Now the question becomes how do we fuel those and keep those running – buying power, so we can sell back to the consumer.”
Lawmakers say rural farmers have had to cope up with advances in technology to stay competitive.
State Senator. Larry Walker (R) Macon said, “Agriculture is still big. We have a booming and film and industry not only in Atlanta but other pockets in the state. Drones and GPS mapping and photo cells on your equipment so even farming is becoming high tech industry and we have to do that to be able to compete.
Another area is to remove red tape to fund mental health and hire qualified counselors to get licensed.
“A shortage of psychiatrists but as the state we can only do what we can do,” said Prince.
But labor shortages are the biggest bottle neck, state lawmakers say, hospitals are still facing severe shortages because of the pandemic.
Prince said, “Contract nurses are like traveling nurses that come from other states or countries in order to fill the shortages in our hospitals. At the end of the nurses get sick too.”
The state’s labor commissioner says georgia is seeing record low unemployment but it’s tough to find the right talent to fill those jobs because of the great resignation.
State lawmakers will have to finalize bills in each chamber by cross over day, March 15th, which is when the bills cross to the other house for discussion. The final day of this legislative session will be April 4th.