State Representative Tom Graves (R-Ranger) is bringing back the 216 Policy Group. Georgia faces tough issues this year and the 2010 General Assembly will need real leadership to drive the changes Georgia needs to progress. The 216 Policy Group will be the watchdog of the House to make sure that the General Assembly works towards better government.
“The 216 Policy Group believes that less government is better government. And having a principled based belief system is a compass that helps to guide our decision making, because above all, we were elected to do one thing: put principles before politics.” – State Rep. Tom Graves
Back in 2008, the 216 Policy Group was dissolved. This group of conservative legislators played an influential role in key policy areas and votes including budget, appropriations, taxes, education, health care, insurance, immigration and government reform.
The 216 Policy Group ruffled the feathers of the House’s previous leadership. This group rallied against wasteful spending bills and never turned a blind eye to back room deals, but as the behavior within the House grew worse, support for the group diminished. We now look at a new House and new leadership. Speaker Ralston and the new leadership team seem to have tacitly opened the door for a 216 Policy Group comeback.
With all that has gone on in the Georgia Legislature (the resignation of the Speaker and Speaker Pro Tem, deals with lobbyists, and overall culture of corruption), it is time for a watchdog to return to restore a sense of ethical and efficient government. The landscape has changed with new leadership in Speaker Ralston, Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, and Majority Whip Ed Lindsey but Georgia’s problems with the budget, transportation, water, appropriations, etc. remain. The 216 Policy Group is reforming to, once again, take the reigns of conservative leadership and steer Georgia’s House back in the “right” direction.
The 216 Policy Group could play a major role in the 2010 Georgia General Assembly. Committee positions have been set and the session is set to kickoff strong. Votes on the above mentioned issues will be crucial to the health of our state. It’s a good time for this group to be back.