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State lawmaker from south Forsyth visits with Vietnam veterans


The Cumming Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America meets the first Monday of each Monday at Golden Corral restaurant on Market Place Boulevard. Dinner is at 6 p.m., with the meeting beginning at 7 p.m. All Vietnam-era veterans are invited to attend.

CUMMING — District 25 state Rep. Mike Dudgeon told the Cumming Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America during a recent visit that education and transportation are getting most of the attention in the 2015 Georgia General Assembly.

With funding for Georgia's road maintenance chronically underfunded, the south Forsyth Republican said it is crucial that the legislature address the issue by fixing the gas tax formula.

For him, that means converting from a sales tax on gas to an excise tax that is a fixed amount and revenue neutral.

According to Dudgeon, revenue derived at the pumps alone will not resolve the funding shortfall.

"We just passed a $21.7 billion budget,” he said. “I thought there should have been more money dedicated to transportation then there was."

Turning to education, Dudgeon shared how he had recently traveled to New Orleans with Gov. Nathan Deal and other legislators to see how that state's takeover of some poor performing schools went.

Deal has proposed a similar plan for failing schools in Georgia by inserting personnel who could fix problems. Dudgeon supports the idea.

He also told the veterans how he has stepped out of his usual areas of expertise in promoting a bill he called "The Right to Try Act."

It would allow terminally ill patients to use experimental drug treatments that have not received final FDA approval, provided that the patient, physician, hospital and drug manufacturer agree to its use.