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February Legislative Accomplishments

On Feb 1, Amy Sharma, spoke before the Natural Resources and Environment Subcommittee (remarks begin at 1:05:30) about HB 748, the Coastal Marshland Restoration Act. This bill would weaken protections of coastal marshlands, and Dr Sharma provided information about the importance of wetlands and marshlands.

On Feb 10, intern Ashley Burditt spoke before the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee about HB 1175 that would allow the sale of raw milk. (Ms Burditts remarks begin at 1:55:12, and Dr Nick Place, Dean of UGA’s College of Ag and Env Sciences, has good science remarks beginning at 1:04:14).

There was a lot of heated discussion around this bill. It is up for consideration because Dairy Farmers in Georgia are looking for new markets.

Ms. Burditt told the story of Pasteur, added an anecdote about a child who got E Coli from raw milk because his mom wanted him to eat healthy, and ended with facts about the danger of raw milk to human health. She then asked that the science be considered alongside all the other aspects of this situation.

Ashley Burditt speaks before the House Ag Committee

On Feb 15, intern Brooke Lappe testified before the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee (remarks begin at 1:18:57) about HB 1150. Termed the “Freedom to Farm Act” is would actually roll back farmer protections and allow Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to move into Georgia. This “Bad Neighbor Bill” is opposed by environmental groups throughout Georgia and Sci4Ga provided talking points about the science and the impacts to Sen Kim Jackson.

Despite last minute bill changes – that led to calling a few audibles on her statement – Ms. Lappe outlined the various evidence-based environmental ills of CAFOs. And she did a great job for science!

On Feb 16, Amy Sharma, spoke before the House Education Committee (remarks begin around 31:15) about HR 650 which would establish a study committee on literacy instruction. This resolution was the result of what we learned from the Education and Workforce Speaker Series and corresponding Roundtable. We are very grateful to all the partners who helped craft this resolution, Rep Gambill, Rep Evans, Rep Greene, Rep Mathiak, and Rep Paris for sponsoring it, and look forward to getting to work this summer.

Amy Sharma, Malcom Mitchell, of Share the Magic, and his Super Bowl ring.
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