Issues

Medicaid expansion

It’s past time for Georgia to accept billions in federal aid to expand coverage for more than 650,000 uninsured Georgians. Currently there are a few proposals circulating to be able to tap these federal funds that would withstand political backlash. Tonya would work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to negotiate the best solution to reduce Georgia’s high uninsured rate and struggling hospitals.

Transportation investments

The recently adopted $10 billion transportation investment plan does not any capital improvements to MARTA or other transit programs. Investing in infrastructure is critical but it must include transit. Furthermore, we need to expand last-mile solutions throughout the district.  Tonya would be a strong advocate for legislation to ensure MARTA expansion funding along I-20 as well as work with regional transportation authorities to ensure we are planning for a future of transportation solutions that are adaptable and flexible.

Economic development & living wage initiatives

DeKalb, Newton & Rockdale counties need quality, high-paying jobs for thousands of residents struggling to make ends meet. Tonya will work with the State Economic Development and Community Affairs offices, local chamber of commerce and development authorities to attract and grow new businesses within the district.  Also, raising the minimum wage would also act as an economic stimulus, which she would support when it is raised through the Senate Democratic Caucus during the next legislative session.

Education

Georgia has failed to meet the school funding requirements of its Quality Basic Education law since 2003. These Austerity cuts, which have exceeded a billion dollars in some years, has left an educational deficit and shifted the school funding burden onto local governments, many of which don’t have the tax base to pay for state cuts.  Tonya will continue to push for full funding of Georgia’s schools, to eliminate loopholes allowing the General Assembly to under fund schools, and to fight attempts to make funding cuts permanent.

Furthermore, Tonya will work with her democratic colleagues to create a state block grant program to enable schools to partner with community, business, faith-based, and other groups to implement wraparound services such as after school programs, job training, nutrition programs, and community engagement activities to better serve the needs of high poverty students and their communities. This program is based on programs implemented elsewhere that have dramatically increased academic performance at minimal cost to the state.