September 2, 2022

Happy Labor Day! Here's the latest campaign update and summary of ongoing work.

Get your yard sign today! Sign up at our website or email me your address at A few voter plan important dates — Voter registration ends October 11th. You may request a vote-by-mail ballot now, and it will be mailed to you beginning Monday, October 10th.


Get your yard sign today! Sign up at our website or email me your address at A few voter plan important dates--- Voter registration ends October 11th. You may request a vote-by-mail ballot now, and it will be mailed to you beginning Monday, October 10th. All vote-by-mail ballots must be received by 7:00pm on November 8th – election day!

What issues are most important to you? Although up for re-election, I have not stopped working diligently for the interests of all those in Georgia House District 82.


I am delighted to receive an endorsement from the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club. I have worked with Sierra Club on many issues, including my co-sponsorship of the coal ash bill, and I respect their expertise. I am also on the board of the Altamaha Riverkeepers, and this association helps me follow and understand water issues across the state. Below are photographs of some of my favorite places in Georgia.

View from my Fightingtown Creek cabin porch.

Toccoa River


The Senate Study Committee on Development Authorities, formed to find ways of requiring more accountability and transparency from local development authorities, met again on August 25th at the State Capitol. I am thrilled that Republican Chair Max Burns is leading this effort and asking the same questions I have been asking for years: what is in the tax incentive deals offered to developers, who is entitled to know the details, and when may the taxpayers or impacted school systems know? There are over 1600 development authorities in Georgia. This is an important issue in my district and throughout the state.

The committee next meets on September 13th in Savannah at the Georgia Economic Development Conference and plans to make a full report to the State Senate by December 1st. For more information on the importance of the Senate study committee and my involvement from its conception, read this August 8th article from the Henry Herald.


June 9 meeting of the Behavioral Health, Reform and Innovation Commission - Photo credit: Rebecca Grapevine, Capitol Beat News Service

We are aggressively continuing our work on implementation of HB 1013. The Behavioral Health, Reform and Innovation Commission (BHRIC) met on June 9th and identified several key priorities for next year’s legislative session. These include data collection and data sharing, parity enforcement, reimbursement rates for mental health, workforce shortages, helping those with mental illness steer clear of the prison system, and coordination of care. This week's disaster of the closing of Atlanta Medical Center, a 460-bed Wellstar facility with 65,000 emergency room visits per year, intensifies our focus.

I am chairing the subcommittee on Behavioral Health Reform on Workforce and System Development. We met on July 7and you can watch that session in its entirety below. We will meet again on Wednesday, September 15th via zoom at 3 pm. The session will be live-streamed through the House Media Services webpage. Furthermore, I am leading the discussion on recreation of the MATCH committee, an interagency group that would assist with the placement of children in psychiatric crisis in Georgia.

I am tremendously grateful for all the energy given by so many people to implement HB 1013 and look forward to passing more reforms in the next legislative session.

Below is the Behavioral Health Reform & Innovation Workforce & System Development Subcommittee video.


I met with the Governmental Affairs Local Service Delivery Subcommittee, chaired by Darlene Taylor, on July 20th and 21st. These meetings focus in part on the tensions of annexation and new cities in DeKalb County. You can watch both of those sessions below. The next session takes place on September 12th.

You can find below Part 1 and Part 2 of the Governmental Affairs Local Service Delivery Subcommittee meeting.


UPDATES ON DYSLEXIA EVALUATIONS FROM 2019 STATUTE AND WIC PROCEDURES - Last week the State Board of Education unanimously approved rules for implementing a law passed in 2019 which mandates annual universal screenings for dyslexia. These screenings begin in the 2024-25 school year. My question is this: why did this measure take so long to pass, and why must it take so long to implement? Up to now, five percent of students have been formally identified with the learning disability which affects both math and reading skills. Research indicates that dyslexia could impact between 10 or as high as 20 percent of students now undiagnosed and untreated.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) debit card availability is a related and important issue impacting many poor Georgia families. Georgia was the last of 50 states to give parents a debit card to obtain WIC benefits rather than the confusing and cumbersome paper vouchers. WIC provides high nutrition foods to pregnant women and infants and is recognized as an essential program to assist poor families.


Congratulations to NAMI on its 40th anniversary, and thank you for your recognition of our 1013 team!


Fun day honoring Aaron Hartman, known as "The Mayor" of Toco Hills, by reading to him a resolution passed by the House of the Georgia General Assembly! His family and his barber Chuck Simon were present to celebrate with Aaron.

Bassett hounds were also invited by Chuck and supervised by friend Dan Baskerville, just because Chuck loves bassett hounds. Great day!

Judge Hollie Manheimer, Stephanie Stuckey and I started practicing law together decades ago, and we now show up for each other whenever called. Stephanie was honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and we three wore our Stuckey's hats and cheered. Go Stephanie!!

I joined survivors, nurses, state Senator Rev. Kim Jackson and leaders of COVID Survivors for Change to mourn the over one million dead and support the 250,000 orphans. It is not over, and expansion of Medicaid is essential to continue the fight! Thank you, Tanya Washington, for all your efforts!

I love working with smart and dedicated friends at the Capitol. Josh McLaurin is moving over to the Senate hopefully to join Elena Parent, but Becky Evans and I will keep working in the House!

Opening of the DeKalb County Stacy Abrams headquarters! Hitting the streets for every vote!

DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and I introduced Secretary of State candidate Bee Nguyen to an admiring large crowd of Georgia voters. Three refugees from Afghanistan, students of hostess Caroline Herring, attended and learned the story of Bee's parents, also refugees.

A very fine DeKalb day - an anniversary celebration at the DeKalb History Center with Sydney Cleland and Becky Evans, and earlier across the street with Stacey Abrams and Bee Nguyen, planning big wins in November!


I appreciate your interest and advocacy. Please reach out to me by email or phone to let me know your thoughts about proposed legislation or community concerns.


You can search for and track bills, watch the House (or Senate) in Session, watch committee hearings, monitor legislation by committee, and find contact information —- all on the revamped General Assembly website. Here are quick links:

Make your views known. Write to the leaders:

Mary Margaret Oliver

Coverdell Legislative Office Building

18 Capitol Square, Suite 604

Atlanta, GA  30334