ATLANTA – State Representative Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) recently received the 2014“Champion of Georgia’s Cities” award from the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). The award, given at the end of every two-year legislative term to state legislators who actively support major GMA initiatives and goals, was presented at the Johns Creek council meeting on August 18.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from GMA,” said Rep. Riley. “As a state legislator, it is my job to listen to those voices back home and represent the best interests of our constituents to continue to improve our local governments.”
Rep. Riley was recognized by GMA for her sponsorship of House Bill 71 during the 2013-2014 legislative term. HB 71 improves the security of the investments made by the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefits System Board on behalf of pension programs in cities across Georgia. In addition, she was also recognized for her overall willingness to discuss municipal concerns with GMA throughout the legislative session.
“We greatly appreciate Rep. Riley’s strong support for city government and her willingness to always listen to our issues and concerns,” said GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton. “Due to her strong leadership, the citizens of all of Georgia’s cities will benefit.”
Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its 521 member cities.
For more information about the Georgia Municipal Association, please click here.
Representative Lynne Riley represents the citizens of District 50, which includes portions of Fulton County. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves on the MARTOC, Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, and Ways & Means committees.
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GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY JOINT MEETING NOTICE
TO: Members of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, Economic Development, Regulated Industries and Utilities Committees
FROM: Rep. Lynn Smith, Chairwoman, and Sen. Ross Tolleson, Chairman - House and Senate Natural Resources Committees
DATE/TIME/LOCATON: DATE CHANGE
Thursday, September 25, 2014 @ 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Senate Chamber
Overview and discussion of proposed rule change that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly released on March 25, 2014. This proposal could represent the most sweeping change ever to the rules governing federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction under the CWA extends to a variety of activities including dredging, filling, discharging pollutants, reporting hazardous substances releases and oil spill control. This meeting offers stakeholders of all types — industry, agriculture, real estate development, oil and gas, utilities and municipal government — the opportunity for information on the scope of the proposed changes and their potential impact on business practices, regulated activity and environmental protection.
July 28, 2014
RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602
As a member of the Georgia General Assembly, I support policy initiatives that provide opportunity and economic growth for the Peach State. One item that provides both of these is affordable and reliable electricity. In Georgia, we proudly endorse a diverse energy portfolio by embracing all available sources. Although we are continuously developing our renewable and alternative energy sources, our state still relies on coal for 33% of our electricity production. It is through coal that we are able to keep our electricity grids reliable and our rates affordable. EPA’s recently proposed carbon regulations, and the effective ban they place on coal-based power, are cause for great concern for the vibrant economic future of both Georgia and the United States of America.
Domestically, this rule will have several negative consequences. The effective ban on coal-based power will cause the loss of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly. Indirect job loss is especially concerning because industries far beyond coal will be affected by the rule. Attempting to replace coal with more expensive and less abundant forms of energy will cause unavoidable increases in power costs for every business. In order to absorb higher electricity costs, businesses will be forced to reduce their workforce and increase the prices of their products, leading to an overall rise in the cost of living. The potential combination of price increases and job losses constitutes an unacceptable hardship for Georgia families. Furthermore, the availability of electricity for all consumers will also be in question, since relying on less fuel sources is a grave threat to our grid security. As energy demand continues to increase, it is reckless to reduce reliance on coal, our most abundant and affordable fuel source. Our nation needs to develop all available energy options to fuel continued economic growth.
In addition to narrowing our energy options, effectively eliminating coal from our energy portfolio will impede global competitiveness. As businesses find it more difficult to afford to operate in the United States, they will surely relocate to other countries. While domestic businesses struggle to comply with EPA requirements, businesses in other nations will offer similar products at a lower cost. American products will suffer in the global market, causing us to lose our competitive edge. With the increasingly global economy, it is imperative that all U.S. policies foster competitive business opportunity.
Overall, it is crucial that EPA considers these costs when writing the final rule. The financial hardships that our citizens would face, and diminished global competitiveness for our nations’ businesses, are both unacceptable outcomes. I entreat EPA to revise their proposed carbon standards, and develop a new approach that embraces all available forms of energy. By doing this, states will have the flexibility they need to protect the environment without sacrificing the economy. Fossil fuels, such as coal, and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive – Georgia’s energy portfolio is evidence of this fact. It is important that this approach is taken nationwide to ensure households and businesses have the electricity they need at prices they can afford.
Representative Lynne Riley
House District 50 - Johns Creek, North Fulton County
Administration Floor Leader
109 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
House Bill 744, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget effective for state spending beginning July 1, 2014, is set by a revenue estimate of $20.8 billion. This reflects an increase of $916 million, or 4.6%, over the original Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
Of all new revenue for FY 2015, 72% is budgeted to cover needs in K-12 and higher education, which net $660.7 million in new funds. Health and Human Services agencies received the next largest increase in new revenue - $203 million or 22% - largely to meet Medicaid and Peachcare needs and Department of Justice settlement requirements.
The House was able to fund a number of its priorities in the FY 2015 budget including enhanced funding for K-12 education; salary adjustments for critical positions in state agencies; and provider rate adjustments in various agencies.
Highlights are included in the following document:
Article from NorthFulton.com
Riley said she recently attended the Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition launch event where she supported the group's call for federal lawmakers to take action on just three areas: tax and immigration reform and expanded trade.
The Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition, which has launched a Georgia chapter, is an alliance of businesses, local trade associations and concerned individuals. They say they are committed to supporting "a common sense, pro-growth agenda for America."
It is an agenda Riley can support.
The Main Street Coalition does not offer specific solutions. It is more about "broadening a conversation" to find real solutions.
"This coalition is not really driving to identify specifics. It is more about saying enough with the over regulations, enough with the red tape and roadblocks," she said.
Riley is a small businesswoman herself who owns her own accounting firm. Government has become a stumbling block to productivity in her own field. The tax code is unwieldy, inefficient and has too many loopholes for special interest groups.
Immigration reform has been a big "hot button" issue in Washington, so much so it rarely tackles it. And when it does come up inside the Beltway, it doesn't get far.
Riley said she would like to see ways for government to be "more welcoming to immigration opportunities."
It should not be so difficult for people to navigate the immigration process or be so combative for people who are already here and worried about their status, Riley said.
"We want to be welcoming in allowing economic opportunity as well as immigration that might jumpstart new businesses," she said.
"Employers also find roadblocks from government in trying to utilize their talents," she said.
"We want Washington to employ more common sense and allow the little guy to be more productive in his daily work and not burdened by tax policies and compliance issues that [hinder the economy]," she said.
As the voices of grassroots groups grow, Riley says she thinks Washington will have to listen.
"What we need is more open conversation and sharing of ideas. No single person or party has all the solutions," Riley said.
This new coalition is the effort to begin that conversation, she said.
- Tax Reform that fixes an overly complex tax code will promote fairness and stimulate growth.
- Expanding trade opportunities for American businesses to drive growth. When U.S. businesses have access to new markets, they ramp up production and create jobs.
- Immigration reform that is balanced and sensible to help grow the economy and strengthening the nation's finances and programs over the long term.
By State Representative Lynne Riley
And one of the most anti-growth policies on the books is the current U.S, tax code, which is a drag on competitiveness and growth. The last rewrite of the nation’s tax code took place nearly thirty years ago, in 1986 – long before the foundations of the modern economy – the internet, personal computing, smart phone technology – were in place.
The House tax-writing committee deserves credit for recently putting forward a serious tax reform proposal. This proposal is an important first step toward propelling our tax code into the 21st Century and spurring economic growth by making the tax code simpler, fairer and flatter.
An analysis by the non-partisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation found that, if enacted, the proposal would add an estimated $3.4 trillion to GDP in the first ten years, while creating an estimated 1.8 million new jobs.
No one expects the latest proposal to sail through Congress without debate and discussion. But what we should all demand of our federal representatives is that the first serious tax reform proposal in a generation receive a fair hearing.
Lawmakers must shelve their partisanship and turn their focus to enacting growth policies we can all agree on -- or else Americans are fated to endure an economic recovery as despairing as the recession that preceded it.
Representative Lynne Riley began her second term in office as the House District 50 (Johns Creek) Representative in the Georgia General Assembly on January 14, 2013. Riley has been a professional accountant and Principal of Riley Accounting Services for over 30 years.
Georgia Business and Community Leaders Urge Action by Federal Lawmakers on Tax and Immigration Reform, Expanded Trade to Create Growth
Atlanta, GA, March 19, 2014 — The Main Street Growth & Opportunity Coalition, an alliance of businesses, local trade associations and concerned individuals committed to supporting a common sense, pro-growth agenda for America today announced its launch in Georgia.
"American businesses pay way too much in taxes, and are forced to dedicate far too many resources to navigating our overcomplicated tax code," said State Representative Lynne Riley (R-50). "If we really want the economy to grow and create more jobs, we need to relieve both of these burdens on businesses—lower their taxes and make the tax code simpler."
The group will support comprehensive tax and immigration reform and expanding trade opportunities and will educate federal lawmakers and state residents about the economic benefits of these policies and illustrate the consequences of inaction.
"Robust international trade is essential to a growing economy, in our state and in the nation as a whole," said State Representative Trey Kelley (R-16), the Director of Marketing for W.C. Brooks Co. "Congress and the President need to work together to get trade deals done and open new markets to American goods and services."
"It's time for our elected leaders in Washington, to move past the peripheral concerns bogging down Congress and take real action on the important issues we face as a country, such as fixing our tax code, trade policies and immigration system," said small business owner Matt McCord.
Interested parties can engage with Main Street Growth & Opportunity Georgia by visiting its website (http://www.mainstreetgrowthandopportunity.org) to sign up for e-mail alerts and by following it on social media.
The original FY 2014 budget approved during the 2013 Session set spending at $19.9 billion. House Bill 743, the Amended FY 2014 Budget, sets spending at a slightly higher amount, $20.2 billion, based on revised revenue projections. This additional revenue of $313.9 million represents an increase of 1.57% over the original FY 2014 budget.
This budget exemplifies the spirit and intent of an “amended” budget and is limited to making only the changes needed to balance within the new revenue estimate, funding the mid-term adjustment for K-12 education, and realigning agency budgets based on need. Highlights of those changes are included in the following document:
Gov. Nathan Deal today named state Rep. Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) to his House floor leader team, replacing Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) who was elected state House Republican caucus chair.
As floor leader, Riley joins Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville) and Rep. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear). The floor leaders carry the governor's legislation in the House and serve as the Governor's Office liaisons to their fellow members.
The American Conservative Union (ACU) announced its second annual ACU Ratings of the Georgia General Assembly, honoring the Peach State's true conservatives.
The winners of the "ACU Conservative" award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher on the ACU Ratings of the Georgia General Assembly.