Rockdale County Citizens Forum TONIGHT
I will be in attendance at the town hall hosted by Rep. Dee Dawkins Haigler tonight, January 21st, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library at 1864 Green Street, SW, Conyers, 30012.  This town hall meeting will address increasing the number of Board of Election members meetings from three to five, and increasing the Board of Commissioners number from three to five members. This is an important opportunity to have your questions answered by your legislators. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join me in attending tonight.
I just found out about this meeting last night, so I am simply sharing information.

The 2016 Georgia General Assembly – Week 1
The Capitol has come alive as we convened for the second session of the 153rd Georgia General Assembly. This year promises to be fast-paced, but offers endless opportunities to strengthen our state’s position as a top place to live, to work, and to play.

January 11 marked the first day of the 2016 Legislative Session. Since this is the second session of a biennial term, all the bills that did not pass last year are eligible for reconsideration, in addition to any new legislation put forth this year. We are preparing for a faster, more efficient 40-day session this year, so we are already in the process of vetting new and pending legislation.

As we wrap up this biennium, your legislators will be pushing to pass legislation that improves the lives of people throughout the state. Religious liberty and education are top priorities for me, and I look forward to working on these issues throughout the next 40 legislative days. I am honored that you have put your trust in me and I will always put your best interests at the forefront of my decision-making while here at the Capitol.

Friend and Follow Senator VanNess and Opt In for News More Frequently 
Soon we’ll be sending out a notice to ‘opt-in’ to our weekly newsletter that details many of my activities at the Capitol. All members on this list of supporters will continue to receive newsletters, just not as often.

Also, please take a moment to follow me on social media, by clicking on the links above. Help me spread the good news of District 43!
Issues of Interest

Just because we are expecting to have a quicker legislative session this year, this does not mean we will have a shortage of issues. I expect that we will be revisiting many topics addressed last year including education reform, religious liberty, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, and a couple of issues I am not favorable toward expanding in Georgia: medical marijuana and the legalization of casino gambling. I expect the preservation of the HOPE Scholarship, teacher merit pay, and a plan to reduce the amount of student testing to also be high on the list of priorities for the session.

Rockdale Republican Party meeting will be on February 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Amici’s.   All are welcome so please come early to network.  Persons interested in running for elected office in 2016 should speak with Chairman Toby Dryer at (404) 406-8739 or  Precinct Mass Meeting kicks off the delegate selection process and is coming up on February 20th.

Visit me at the Capitol! 
I am getting settled in to my office in the Paul Coverdell building (324-B) that is next door to the Capitol.  I would love for community members to visit me throughout the session.  We are working on making our office representative of District 43 and we are having an art contest with 3 tiers:  Middle School, High School and Adult entries.  The theme for the contest is “District 43, My Home.” Winners will be announced on February 6 and will be eligible to have their picture made locally or at the Capitol as well as a tour of the Capitol and being a legislative page for the day.  The deadline for submissions is February 4 and entries should be delivered to Peachtree Academy located at 1801 Ellington Road.   From the Monastery and other key tourist attractions to a variety of vibrant community areas & talented artists – we have a rich and unique heritage that I would love to highlight for visitors.

Senate pages
I will have openings for at least 15 pages during the legislative session, which normally runs from January 11 through late March.  Email notices of interest from the student to  Please include the students name, age, grade level, address, phone number, school name and grade point average.  For more information, please read the latest Page information that will answer pertinent questions.  The preferred deadline is January 20.  At least one applicant per school is desired. Students must be at least 12 years of age.

Thank you for your support during 2016.  If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to call me at my new address:
Senator JaNice Van Ness
324-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
18 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

I have been blessed with a great administrative assistant, Kathleen Cominski, who is a resident of District 43!  She is very knowledgeable about the District and current issues and she is celebrating 25 years of working at the Capitol.  She looks forward to helping residents and business owners in our district.  You may reach her by calling me or