CUMMING -- A local Tea Party Group heard from a member of the Georgia General Assembly this week.
State Sen. Michael Williams, whose District 27 covers much of Forsyth County, spoke at a monthly meeting of the United Tea Party of Georgia on Monday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9143, where he discussed items that may come up in next year’s legislative session and what he said was the importance of the supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Last year, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed House Bill 757, which sought to protect religious freedoms, though Williams said certain portions could come back in 2017.
“We have plans on piecemealing it so that it won’t be one encompassing bill; whether it’s churches not being able to [have] nonprofit status [taken away] if they teach heterosexual marriage, also adoption agencies that they don’t lose federal funding if they only want to place with heterosexual couples,” he said. “It’ll be harder for the governor to say, ‘No, I don’t want this one thing.’”
He said two other bills discussed but unpassed in this year’s session — one concerning gambling in the state and a “Brunch Bill” to allow alcohol be served earlier on Sundays — were also likely to come back this year.
Williams also discussed the need nationwide for an Article Five Convention, or convention of the states, to address concerns that Congress is not dealing with.
“The states — 38 states — can all get together and have a convention to change the Constitution. Instead of relying upon Congress to do a constitutional amendment, the states can initiate a constitutional amendment,” Williams said. “It’s primarily because people aren’t happy with what’s going on in Washington.”
He said Georgia covered its bases for such an event to occur but was without support from enough states.
During the meeting, Williams also spoke of his belief in Trump, who he recently supported as a delegate at the Republican National Convention.
Williams said he was the first elected official in Georgia to endorse the eventual nominee, though he admitted he was hesitant at first.
“I didn’t take him seriously, but I started looking at the field of candidates, and what Donald Trump kept saying over and over resonated with me,” he said. “Some things I found that I liked, some things I found I didn’t like, but what I really did like is he’s been consistent for 30 years about how America loses time and time again.”
One of his major reasons for supporting Trump, he said, was his work for the middle class. Williams asked members who they felt was the last president was to do so.
“I figured everybody would probably say Reagan, some of the Democrats would say Clinton,” Williams said. “Nonetheless, it’s been 20-plus years since we had a president that actually supports the middle class.”
Williams also told members it was important to have an active Tea Party and electorate and encouraged them to get involved outside of meetings.
“Sending emails, making phone calls, that’s good, but it’s not good enough for the environment we’re in now,” he said. “You guys can learn all about the issues you want in this world, but if it ends in this room, what good is done?”