On. Nov. 14, five state legislatures came to the University of West Georgia for a legislative town hall. On the panel were Mike Crane, Mike Dugan, Randy Nix, Dustin Hightower and David Stover. Each panel member answered several questions about what they do; how they got to their current position and current bills each senator is currently working on.
“Our jobs are all the same,” said Crane. “We are sworn to uphold and defend the constitutions of Georgia and of the United States.”
Every panel member stated that they did not know they would end up serving the people of their districts and state. The panel members also encouraged students who were interested in becoming a part of congress to be involved in the community, support specific campaigns and bills and to be different.
“One thing you can do is not be afraid to be different,” said Hightower. “And be passionate about something. Find what you love, find what you believe in and fight for it. That’s what we need.”
Hightower encouraged students who wanted to get involved to step out and take action.
“Right now, voter apathy is at an all-time high,” said Hightower. “We have people who say ‘oh, we hate this about government,’ or ‘we hate that about government,’ but they don’t vote. In the past election term, in Carroll County, voter turnout was less than four percent.”
Dugan is currently supporting a bill referred to as the ‘911 bill’ which states that dispatchers are not required to send audio or visual recordings to media outlets. They would be required to send the written transcripts when requested.
“A media outlet should not profit off of our misery,” said Dugan. “So if you dial the call and you are raped or assaulted, you do not have to release the audio files.”
Hightower is pushing a ‘gun bill’ in the upcoming year. The House and Senate worked on this bill last year but Hightower said it did not pass.
“One of the aspects of the bill is ‘campus carry,’” said Hightower. “People think that if we have guns on campus that everyone’s going to be running around shooting each other, and that’s not the case. If this bill passed, you would have to attain a carry permit in order to carry a gun on campus. We are talking about your 21 and older students who have gone through the process of getting their proper carry permit.”
In order for one to attain a weapons carry permit, they must register with the court, get fingerprinted and pay a fee. If granted, the person will receive a card that is similar to a state identification card with their photo, name and other information.
The panel concluded with appreciation for allowing them to come in and speak to students, reinforced their prior statements about being involved, being different and passionate.
There are several locations in Carrollton that participate in voter registration. If you are not registered to vote, you can visit the City of Carrollton water department, the local DMV or online at www.rockthevote.com.