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Georgia

Updated 2-19-17 Casino Gambling Takes a Front Seat in Georgia – Calls Needed!

By | Georgia | No Comments

In the first eight days of Georgia’s 2017 state legislative session, three bills have been introduced that will expand predatory gambling in Georgia, if passed. CWA of Georgia is lobbying aggressively on your behalf to stop the bills in their tracks.  Your voice is vitally important to the success of stopping the expansion of gambling in the state.  See our action alerts and call for prayer below.

The First Two Bills: Casino Gambling

The threat of state-sponsored predatory gambling via casinos is once again knocking at our door in Georgia.  Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) have filed their respective casino bills. SB 79 and HB 158, both named the “Destination Resort Act”, would allow up to two resort-style casinos to operate in Georgia under the governance of a newly created Georgia Gaming Commission.

You will pay even if you don’t play. 

Consider the social costs of gambling addictions obtained from the Georgia State University Problem Gambling Research & Intervention Project:

  • Bankruptcy – 20-30 percent of gambling addicts have declared bankruptcy, compared to 4.2 percent of low-risk gamblers and non-gamblers.  The average cost to creditors per personal bankruptcy is $39,000.
  • Debt/Spending patterns – 90 percent of gambling addicts gamble with their paychecks or family savings, and 30 percent reported gambling debts ranging from $75,000–$150,000.
  • Correctional costs – The estimated lifetime correctional costs of gambling addicts in Georgia is $249,159,000.
  • Costs of property crimes related to gambling – The average amount stolen per person who reported stealing (money and/or property) is $135,000.
  • Work related costs – The estimated cost to employers from gambling related absences is $45 million.

Georgia cannot afford casinos – neither economically nor socially.

Status on HB 158: HB 158 has been assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee. No hearing date has been set for the bill.   Action item: call your state representative and ask him or her to oppose HB 158 if it comes up for a vote. Click here to find your state representative.

Status on SB 79: SB 79  was heard in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on Thursday, February 9, 2017 but not vote was taken. The bill will be heard again on Thursday, February 23.  Action item:  If you have contacted the members of the Regulated Industries  and Utilities Committee, please contact them again and urge them to OPPOSE SB 79, the casino bill. In addition, contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose SB 79.  Click here to find your state senator.

Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)      (404) 656-7454     butch.miller@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville)      (404) 656-4700     frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford)     (404) 463-1368    Renee.Unterman@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville)                (404) 656-5038    jack.hill@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Bill Coswert (R-Athens)              (404) 463-1366    bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus)     (404) 463-3931     jrm2016@yahoo.com
Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth)            (404) 656-0048   david.shafer@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough)  (404) 463-1376     rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega)      (404) 656-9221    steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga)    (404) 656-0057    jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon)         (404) 656-0045    john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus)      (404) 656-0074    ed.harbison@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Steve Henson (D-Tucker)          (404) 656-0085   stevehenson@mindspring.com
Sen. David Lucas (D-Macon)             (404) 656-5035    David.Lucas@senate.ga.gov

Download these resources and educate others on why casinos are bad for Georgia.

Pray that the hearts of the representatives be softened toward righteousness and that they seek God’s wisdom and guidance on the issues that greatly impact Georgians and their families.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and action.  They make all the difference.


Read about The Third Bill: Daily Fantasy Sports

Updated 2-17-17: CWA of Georgia’s 2017 Legislative Priorities, Targeted Bills List and Voting Scorecard

By | Georgia | No Comments

georgiastatecapitol

The 2017 Georgia legislative session begins Monday, January 9, and you can depend on CWA of Georgia to actively represent you at the State Capitol in Atlanta.  We have made it easy for you to track the progress of bills involving our 2017 legislative priorities that are aligned to CWA’s Seven Core Issues.

The targeted bill list and legislative scorecard will be updated regularly to include action items, links to committee and floor votes, and talking points to help you lobby from your kitchen table or laptop! In addition, we will provide specific ways to pray for pending legislation.

Helpful resources:

 

Updated 2/15/17 Committee Vote on Daily Fantasy Sports is Gambling – Action Needed!

By | Georgia | No Comments

2-15-17  See Status Update below to see how members of the subcommittee voted on HB 118.

On the fast track is HB 118, the Fantasy Contests Act, sponsored by State Representative Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown). HB 118 seeks to regulate and legalize paid-entry fantasy sports.

Daily Fantasy Sports is gambling. Supporters of the bill claim that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is not gambling – that it is a game of skill, much like entering golf or fishing tournaments (tournaments where you are normally betting on yourself).  The problem with their argument is that those who play DFS are betting on a player or players whom they do not control.  They cannot control injuries, coaching decisions, weather, and other similar circumstances. The bottom line with DFS – you cannot control the outcome.

When a similar bill was introduced last year, then State Attorney General Sam Olens was asked by the Georgia Lottery Commission to weigh in on whether fantasy sports games were illegal under Georgia law – whether they are games of chance or skill. According to a letter from Wright Banks Jr., Deputy Attorney General, to the Lottery Commission, “fantasy sports constitutes illegal gambling and are not allowed under Georgia law.”

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia opposes HB 118 because if passed, the state legislature will rubber stamp America’s newest form of predatory gambling, Daily Fantasy Sports.  Click here for CWA of Georgia’s DFS talking points.

Status Update: With a vote of 9-2, HB 118 was voted out of the Public Finance and Policy subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.  The bill now moves to the full committee. Here is how the subcommittee members voted:

No   Rep. John Carson (R – Marietta)
No   Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe)
Yes   Rep. Patty Bentley (D – Butler)
Yes   Rep. John Corbett (R – Lake Park)
Yes   Rep. Geoff Duncan (R – Cumming)
Yes   Rep. Penny Houston (R – Nashville)
Yes   Rep. David Knight (R – Griffin)
Yes   Rep. Chuck Martin (R – Alpharetta)
Yes   Rep. Allen Peake (R – Macon)
Yes   Rep. Mickey Stephens (D – Savannah)
Yes   Rep. Dale Rutledge (R-McDonough)

Take Action:  Contact the Ways and Means Committee members TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE HB 118. In addition, contact your state representative and urge him/her to oppose HB 118. Click here to find your state representative. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Pray that the hearts of the representatives be softened toward righteousness and that they seek God’s wisdom and guidance on the issues that greatly impact Georgians and their families.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and action.  They make all the difference.

 

Educate yourself on DFS:

Merry Christmas Georgia (and Looking Ahead to 2017!)

By | Georgia | No Comments

merry-christmas-4

 

A hearty “Merry Christmas!” to you from Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia. I pray this letter finds you enjoying the blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As we come to the end of another busy and productive year, we at CWA of Georgia want to pause and pass along some of the accomplishments and blessings of 2016 to our faithful members and supporters. We want you to know how much we appreciate your participation in our work. Your prayers are always appreciated and without them our work would not be fruitful. 

 

Legislation, Policy and Events

  • Lobbied full-time under CWA Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) as volunteers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC tirelessly for the passage of a broad-based religious protections bill that was passed by the state legislature, only to be vetoed by the governor.
  • Lobbied under CWALAC against and successfully stopped a state-level casino gambling bill and a public accommodations bill (i.e., “bathroom bill”).
  • Testified under CWALAC before several House and Senate committees.
  • Partnered with several other faith-based organizations and schools to sponsor Georgia’s first Religious Freedom Day at the State Capitol.
  • Spoke at a press conference under CWALAC in response to Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of the religious freedom bill.
  • Participated in a press conference for Dr. Eric Walsh who was fired from a state job because of his religious beliefs.
  • Lobbied our Georgia Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. under CWALAC.
  • Attended CWA’s 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally in Washington, D.C.
  • Sponsored our 13th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. Over 70 faithful members prayed for and encouraged our state lawmakers during the Georgia legislative session.
  • Met with the State School Superintendent, the State Board of Education Chairman, local school board members and local school district leadership to educate and voice opposition under CWALAC to the U.S. Department of Education directive on school bathrooms.
  • Actively opposed a private grant taken by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to develop Social-Emotional Learning standards. I met with the State School Superintendent, State Board of Education members and several state legislators to educate on the dangers of these types of standards.  Because of the pressure put on the GaDOE by CWA of Georgia members, the grant money was returned. This was an enormous victory!

cwa-lobbying

CWA Is On The Move in Georgia – Will You Join Us In 2017?
I hope you will prayerfully consider joining with CWA of Georgia in one or all of the following ways:

  • Prayer/Action Chapters – The heart of CWA is prayer and action, and we believe we will only see change in our nation when we as God’s people commit to both prayer and action. We want to grow our Prayer/Action Chapters by five in 2017. Consider starting a local Chapter where members meet monthly to pray and act on issues affecting the family and our Judeo-Christian values. Learn more about our prayer/action chapters
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project – 2017 will include our 14th Annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project. We would love to have you on our team of encouragers and ga-ealintercessors. Sign up today! Encourage a friend to do the same!
  • Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol – Join us for our very first Encourage-A-Legislator Day at the State Capitol on February 8, 2017. Details about the event will be e-mailed to participants in the EAL project.
  • 100 No More Human Rights Prayer Rally – CWA of Georgia will host one of CWA’s 100 No More human rights national prayer rallies. In 100 years, Planned Parenthood has aborted over seven million babies. Over 30 percent of all Planned Parenthood abortions are performed on black mothers. We unite our voices and pray, “100 No More!” Details about the event will be e-mailed and posted on our state webpage (ga.cwfa.org).
  • CWA/YWA Partnership Event – We are in the planning stages of hosting our first ever event with CWA’s Young Women for America (YWA). We covet your prayers as we begin to plan this great event. Watch for more details to follow!
  • CWA of Georgia Leadership Team – To have an even greater impact in the state, CWA of Georgia is growing our state steering committee and grassroots activist team. Please pray for our state organization in this area, that the Lord will raise up like-minded women and men to help advance His kingdom values in the public policy arena. Perhaps the Lord might be moving you to get more involved with CWA of Georgia. Learn more about the positions here. Contact CWA of Georgia by phone at 770-617-1987 or email for more information on how you can get involved.
  • E-alert Response Team – Commit to faithfully praying and acting on the e-alerts we send out and forwarding them on to friends and family. Sign up today if you aren’t already on the list by e-mailing us at director@georgia.cwfa.org.

The Lord has called CWA of Georgia to be both salt and light in our state. We are working diligently in Georgia – standing for what is righteous, fighting for life and upholding faith and family.  But we cannot do this work as effectively without you.

Your generous tax-deductible year-end gift to CWA of Georgia will help us continue working on your behalf and our beautiful state. To support us financially, make your check payable to “Concerned Women for America” and send to CWA of Georgia, PO Box 671374, Marietta, GA 30066, or donate online. You will be sowing seeds into good soil!

Please know that what you do makes a difference!  We encourage you to continue standing for righteousness with us so that Biblical values are restored to our nation. Let’s honor God and His Word!

In Christ,
Tanya Ditty
State Director

CWA of Georgia Prayer Project Opportunity

By | Georgia | No Comments

Georgians: Can Prayer Make a Difference? Absolutely!

“The fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Do you want to make a “powerful and effective” investment in the state of Georgia? Consider participating in the annual Encourage-A-Legislator Prayer Project (EAL) sponsored by Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Georgia.  The program is designed to be simple yet effective as we pray for the hearts and minds of our legislators and their families.

We are very excited to be embarking on our fourteenth year of prayer and encouragement, and we want to invite you to join us! If you are new to CWA, the EAL project consists of sending postcards of encouragement and a commitment to pray for a state legislator(s) during the 2017 Georgia legislative session. The EAL Prayer Project is not used for lobbying purposes.

The EAL Prayer Project impacts state legislators. It does this in two ways. First and foremost, it intensifies and ensures consistent prayer for each legislator. Second, it encourages and builds bridges with the conservative legislators as well as those who do not normally agree with CWA. As prayers are offered on behalf of the legislators and they receive your postcards, hearts are changed and encouraged.

Our volunteers will pray daily for specific areas of need for their assigned legislators. For example, they will pray for:

  • Wisdom and strength to uphold God’s principles
  • Family unity and peace
  • Suppression of weariness, depression and pride
  • Wise and godly decisions

CWA is prayerfully seeking enough faithful volunteers so that each of the 236 legislators will be individually prayed for during the 2017 legislative session (January 9 – end of March). CWA will provide the postcard; all you have to do is provide the stamp(s) and a commitment to pray and encourage.

If you would like to participate, please e-mail CWA of Georgia’s state office. Please specify whether you would like to pray for one or two legislators. Please provide the following information: Name, Address, Phone, E-mail

I cannot think of anything more powerful than to pray for those in authority, those who make public policy decisions that impact our daily lives. I hope you will join us!   

We are looking for your commitment today. Your packet will be mailed to you mid-January, 2017.

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Rise of the Totalitarian Atheistic State

By | Georgia, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

walshThere is a bonus scene at the end of the movie “God’s Not Dead 2,” that seemed comical to many because it is so far-fetched. A pastor is, very peacefully and matter-of-factly, arrested for refusing to hand over his sermons to the state.

Two police officers hand cuff him and read him his Miranda rights. “Sorry about this pastor,” one of the officers says, as they put him in the backseat of their patrol car and drive the willing law breaker away.

His two Christian friends Mark and Rev. Jude are left behind. Mark says, “What do we do now?” To which the Rev. Jude responds: “Same as always Mark. We pray … in faith.”

But the scene is not at all far-fetched.

The state of Georgia recently tried to compel, under the threat of law, Dr. Eric Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister, to “produce a copy of [his] sermon notes and/or transcripts.”
Read the rest of this column as featured on Barbwire.com.

Update: Georgia Attorney General Back Off Demand for Sermons.

By | Georgia | No Comments

Thank you for your phone calls and e-mails made last week to Gov. Nathan Deal and the Attorney General’s office concerning the ludicrous demands that Dr. Eric Walsh turn over copies of his sermon notes and transcripts to the State of Georgia. Because of public pressure, the Attorney General withdrew their request for Dr. Walsh’s sermon notes and transcripts!

While this was a huge victory, there is still work to do! The demand that Dr. Walsh turn over his sermon notes and transcripts was only one of five egregious requests on the part of the state against its own citizen. As was pointed out by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys at the October 26, 2016 press conference, the State of Georgia is also demanding that Dr. Walsh submit the following:

  • Validation of Dr. Walsh’s credentials as a minister
  • Proof that Dr. Walsh has served as a minister with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination
  • Production of any and all contracts Dr. Walsh has, or has ever had, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its subsidiaries or affiliates
  • A report to the State of Georgia on how—and how much—he has been compensated for producing and delivering his sermons

This invasive request by the State of Georgia (even though the state claims that Dr. Walsh was not fired on religious grounds) is a disturbing display of injustice, intolerance and outright government overreach into the sacred life of a pastor. The state’s actions in this case are reminiscent of the sort of “monitoring” the great German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer experienced in his time. We must demand an immediate end to this type of anti-religious bigotry on the part of state authorities.

Take Action Today!
On November 1, 2016, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Chris Carr to replace Sam Olens as Georgia’s Attorney General.  Contact Gov. Deal and urge him to instruct his newly appointed Attorney General to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-1776 | Online contact form

Contact Attorney General Chris Carr and urge him to settle Dr. Walsh’s case.
Phone: 404-656-3300 | Email

If you made calls last week, please call again. Gov. Deal and Attorney General Carr must hear from you!

Pray that Gov. Deal and the Attorney General will be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Tanya Ditty
State Director