A Cartersville state lawmaker will be part of a new special committee working to locate potential new industries for Georgia as state leaders look for ways to deal with possibly slowing economic growth.

District 15 State Rep. Matthew Gambill, R-Cartersville, was named to the panel by House Speaker David Ralston.

“I am honored to be selected to serve and I look forward to the important work we will be undertaking,” Gambill said in a posting on Facebook.

The Special Committee on Economic Growth will look at industries which may wish to enter the state of Georgia and require legislation creating new regulations for their operations, Ralston said in a news release.

State revenue collected from such new industries could be used to fund specific programs like education, health care or infrastructure needs, he said.

“In taking a holistic view of our state’s finances, we would be remiss if we did not explore options for new sources of revenue to continue funding priorities while keeping the tax burden on Georgians as low as possible,” Ralston said.

“I know this committee will earnestly investigate potential new industries and listen to feedback throughout the state on what actions should or should not be taken to grow Georgia’s economy.”

Gambill is serving his first term in the state House after his election in 2018.

He works as director of business development for employee benefits manager ShawHankins, after serving as executive director of the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Education from 2004 to 2018.

The Special Committee on Economic Growth will be led by co-chairs Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee; Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, chairman of the Regulated Industries Committee; and Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, chairman of the Economic Development & Tourism Committee.

The other members of the special committee appointed by the speaker are Gambill and Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire; Rep. J. Collins, R-Villa Rica; Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, R-Marietta; Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville; Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta; Rep. Miriam Paris, D-Macon; Rep. Steven Sainz, R-Woodbine; Rep. Michael Smith, D-Marietta; Rep. Dale Washburn, R-Macon; Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway; and Rep. Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville.

Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, also announced the state House will begin work this fall to prepare the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 and the Fiscal Year 2021 state budgets.

Ralston also has directed the House Appropriations Committee to begin meeting to ensure adequate time and deliberation for the 2020 legislative session budgeting process.

“Thankfully, we have managed Georgia’s finances conservatively over the last decade and that has paid dividends in terms of a AAA-bond rating, healthy budget reserve fund and a strong economy,” Ralston said.

“Adjusted for inflation, Georgians still pay less per capita to operate state government than they did before the recession hit in 2007,” he said.

“What’s more, we’ve invested in rewarding teachers and law enforcement officers, fully funding public education and improving our transportation and mobility infrastructure while also cutting the state’s income tax rate.

“However, we are not content to rest on our laurels, and I appreciate Gov. (Brian) Kemp’s concerns about the possibility of slowing economic growth,” Ralston said. “As such, the House will begin work this fall on next year’s budget process.”

Ralston also directed House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, and his subcommittee chairmen to begin holding committee meetings this fall to allow adequate time to prepare the amended 2020 budget and the 2021 budget.


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