Coservative Values and Issues from Rick Jasperse
Rick Jasperse State Representative District 11 Georgia

As a Representative for the 11th District, one of the most common questions I am asked is my position on our 2nd Amendment.

My actions have spoken loudly on this issue during my time in the General Assembly. I have been able, with the help of many, to pass a number of bills that continue to restore our rights as Good Georgians. Along with Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun), Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), and Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), every 2nd Amendment bill we have proposed in the State House has passed. It took a lot of work and we got a lot of criticism, but in the end, we have prevailed.

I can send you a summary of the issues we addressed in HB 89, 2008; SB 208, 2010; HB 60, 2014; HB 492, 2015; and HB 280, 2017.

I have been recognized with a few awards during the past few years, including the NRA’s Defenders of Freedom Award and Legislator of the Year two times. There are only two people in the General Assembly today that have received these awards. I am one of them.

Reciprocity, meaning licensed Georgians can carry their weapons in other states and that other states’ licensed citizens can carry in ours, is important. I worked Along with Alan Powell to get South Carolina to recognize our license a few years ago. I am working with Mandi Ballinger to pass the NRA’s national reciprocity bill in this session. Georgians can then carry their weapon in more states freely.

Many years ago, I helped our 4-H Club start a 4-H Skeet shooting team to teach safe gun handling and marksmanship. We have had some great volunteers for many years who have kept this program going. There are about 50 young men and women who are active in this project today.

I support your and your family’s ability to protect themselves. I will always continue to work to restore our rights. Remember, those rights have been eroded by the other party for many years, and in ten short years, we, as Republicans, have improved them a lot.

Be wary of candidates who say they are for the 2nd Amendment and always add the words …… ”But,” or “Common Sense.” It's a sure sign they want to take something away they don't think you need.

During the Corona virus issue we have right now, the reason the Government cannot confiscate your weapons in times of Emergency is because I, along with others, especially Rep. John Meadows, put that in HB 60 knowing that someday it could be a possibility.

Red flag laws allow the Government to take your weapons upon the accusation of a crime. I fight these bills every day in the legislature because they rob your constitutional rights to Due Process.

I oppose efforts by the Left to infringe upon the right of the law-abiding people of Georgia to keep and bear arms. I will encourage the public’s awareness of the principle that the best guarantee of liberty is a well-armed populace of good citizens.

Criminals will never abide by gun control laws, and armed, law-abiding Georgia citizens are no threat to public safety. The purpose for the 2nd Amendment, according to those wise Founding Fathers, was to guarantee that the citizens would be able to ensure the protection of their liberties and families.

If you have any questions about this subject matter, please call or email me.

Agriculture is very important to the economy of the 11th district. Knowing this, I asked to be placed on the Ag Committee right off the bat in Georgia’s State Legislature. I have been an active member of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee since 2010 and have sponsored a number of bills to improve Agriculture in Georgia.

Our 11th district:
• has 750 poultry houses (Value: $250 million).
• produces 7.5 million pounds of beef, raises 1500 horses, and a wide variety of goats and other livestock (Value: $13.5 million)
• has over 1000 farms whose average size is 85 acres.
• has 5 tractor and farm equipment dealerships, 6 Ag suppliers, and many other allied companies to assist our Ag producers.
• has a wide variety of other agricultural enterprises.
The 11th district is one of the largest agricultural areas north of Macon according to Ag Census reports.

As the County Extension Agent, I have spent my life working with the folks who make working in agriculture part of their lives. I have been a leader in this area for many years.

1. I will continue to work to defend your ability to work the land and help feed our community. To defend Agriculture, you must understand the issues and challenges you face. I know the issues.
2. Property rights are important to all of us. I will continue to defend them.
3. You need a representative in Atlanta who protects your business, lifestyle, and values. I have and will stand up for you as I have in the past.
4. Water and agriculture go hand in hand. I understand this critical issue, and I will protect our water use rights in Georgia and have done so as a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
5. When we created the Jasper Farmers Market 20 years ago, we knew it would increase income for our local farmers/gardeners. It did, and we worked with then Representative Graves to make the rules of Farm Markets in Georgia more market friendly. It’s one of the largest community Farmer’s Markets in North Georgia. I will continue to promote and Georgia grown for OUR farmers.
6. Our Agricultural youth programs are valuable to our schools and communities and to our families. FFA, 4-H, and Young Farmers programs prepare our kids and young people for the future. Our district has very successful programs in these areas. Just like I always have I will support our youth and all of Agriculture.

We know it is Deeds, not Words, that determine what kind of leader you are. Agriculture and the 11th District need a leader who has fought for Agriculture before and is not afraid to speak up and take a stand tomorrow.

Vote for Rick Jasperse. I want to serve you as your State Representative! You can count on me.

If you know me, you know education is important to my family and me. Go back and read “About Rick” on my website and see what it did for my Dad, and you’ll understand me better. We are all aware that our children and adults must have access to quality education if they are going to be able to master those skills and knowledge they need to compete and excel in our ever-changing world.

I know that one of the most important economic development tools for Georgia and the families we serve is an educated workforce. I respect and appreciate that this opportunity would not be possible without the hard work of teachers and parents. We must be committed to providing the resources and learning environment to make this happen.

We have many excellent Pre-K--12 schools, technical colleges, colleges, and universities, with trained, dedicated teachers, and hard-working administrators. Our state needs to reduce paperwork and allow teachers to teach.

We have been through some very difficult economic times in our State. We have been able to put money back into the budget for schools during the past few years after some very lean times. My hope is that our economy will continue improve. We have been successful in fully funding QBE funding for the first time since its inception in 1982 in our 2019 budget and will do it again in the 2020 budget.

When decisions need to be made, you can count on Rick to do what is best for our students. Let’s all work to be Pro-Education. Some steps that we can take to get there:

• Local control is important. Recognize that all counties are not the same and that their needs and problems are diverse. What is good for downtown Savannah or Atlanta may not be what’s needed in Fairmount, Spring Place, or Tate.
• Continue to give our elected School Boards more responsibility to spend our dollars directly for the classroom by reducing overhead and controlling cost and bureaucracy. Ensure an open relationship with a community in meeting their needs.
• Invest in technology and education and Virtual education to put our young people and adults in a position to succeed. It’s a benefit to all of us to build a great educational system in the 11th District.
• Support the efforts of schools to maintain an effective level of discipline to maintain the best educational environment for our youth.
• Protect home-school parents’ rights to choose this honorable method of educating their children.

Ever since I have been in the House, I have requested to be on committees that impact education. I was on K-12 Education Appropriations for a few years and am now on the Higher Education policy committee and am the Chairman of one of the most important committees in the House: Education. You can expect that I will always be involved in education while I am in the House.

Our Republican majority, and We, as Georgians, have prioritized K-12 and Higher Education students and teachers by:

• Fully funding student funding formula statewide in budget last session for first time since formula implemented 33 years ago (QBE: Quality Basic Education formula). We will do it again in 2020.
• Working with Governor Kemp for all of us to give teachers a $3000 raise in 2019 and will work again to make another $2000 in 2020. This is the largest raise in our State history.
• Increasing education funding per student every year since Great Recession to highest level per capita, inflation-adjusted, in state history.
• Having the highest graduation rate ever at 80%. When Gov. Perdue took office in 2003, graduation rate stood at 67%.
• Making dual enrollment sustainable this year. We know that our popular dual enrollment for high school students leads to more students graduating and moving more quickly through technical college and four-year degree programs.
• Providing students with more educational options by offering high quality online courses that can be accessed by any student in Georgia.
• Funding $2 billion in total teacher/professor retirement in final budget this session, which is $360 million more than originally budgeted, to maintain actuarially sound pensions for teachers/professors. Georgia is committed to teachers through one of best pension programs in nation.

If you have ideas about improving education, please send me an email or call me.

More Money in Your Pocket

The most widespread concern I hear throughout our district is “Jobs.” With unemployment and underemployment, it has been one of our most critical issues. Our region is a natural magnet for job creation because of its location and hard-working citizens. The vast majority of our jobs come from locally owned small businesses. Better job opportunities will come as Georgia encourages the creation and growth of small businesses. What we have done in the past few years under Republican leadership:

• Put more money in people’s pockets by encouraging job creation and higher wages.
• Passed legislation cutting state personal and corporate income tax rates from 6% to 5.75% in 2019 and passed in the House to 5.5% in 2020. Provided first state income tax reduction since implemented in 1934. This was exciting to vote for. I know it will help YOU.
• 700,000 new jobs have been created in the past 8 years. This was done by job creators who opened new businesses and expanded existing businesses. Many businesses moved to Georgia to relocate to create and provide jobs.
• Georgia has earned national distinction as Best Place to Do Business for five years running (Site Selection Magazine). A Pro-Business-Pro Worker environment does this.
• At the end of 2019, Georgia had the lowest unemployment in decades, due to policies Republicans passed and implemented. Wages have been growing faster than national average.

We all have Invested in our infrastructure to fuel a more prosperous future:

• Targeted higher funding to road and bridge improvements than ever, surpassing almost every state per capita. Increased road safety for all Georgians, reducing congestion and helping businesses move products more efficiently.
• Broadened state’s economy significantly since Great Recession through initiatives encouraging 21st century manufacturing and agribusiness, film production, high tech, data centers, and healthcare business expansion.
• Targeted technical college and university programs in high demand areas. Georgia offers 17 technical college programs tuition-free through HOPE grant in fields with a 99% placement rate. Also, students earn higher credit towards the HOPE scholarship GPA at 4-year colleges for STEM courses required in high demand areas.
• Opened the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County. This will open the doors to the world for our region and our goods.
• We worked to make sure we had the State funds to deepen the Savannah port. Began deepening 39 miles of Savannah River from 42 to 47 feet with completion projected January 2022. Georgia enlarged the Brunswick port to move 600,000 automobiles in 2019.
• We passed a number of bills to make Our State the best place for a military base to be. We have made it easier for a family to move, work, and be educated here. These policies to support nine military installations and their soldiers and their families, responsible for 130,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

As your State Representative:

The House created the Rural Development Council to look at issues across the rural parts of our state including the creation of jobs and bringing business and industry to rural Georgia. From 28 meetings across the State, over 30 pieces of legislation have been passed to help Rural Georgia. I am the co-chairman of this important committee.

I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our residents have the training and skills to work at our new businesses. Our investment in Technical Colleges and other Higher Education has been a priority for me and the General Assembly. A few years ago, I was selected to be a member of the State’s Oversight Committee on Technical Education to make sure we meet the needs of Georgians.

I will work to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce taxes. I have always wanted to do this. I will need your help in finding waste. If you see any, please let me know. Governor Kemp has instructed his Office of Planning and Budget to evaluate all departments for waste, overlap, and ways to cut unnecessary spending in order to save taxpayer dollars before any budget is submitted to the State Legislature every January for examination, hearings, and debate in committee and on the House Floor.

I am always listening for your suggestions and new ideas to make government more effective.

We are the lowest-taxed state per capita. It takes leadership; I would appreciate your vote to continue our work.

What we have done in the past few years under Republican leadership:

• For the first time since they created the Georgia Income Tax, in the 2019 budget we cut the State Income Tax to you, as an individual. We all rejoiced when we voted on this, because we stayed within our sustainable budget AND refunded this surplus. I look forward to working on this more in the future!
• Reduced Taxes on Senior Citizens. We worked hard and voted a few years ago to provide a $35,000 deduction per person for all types of income for persons 62 to 65 and $65,000 for each taxpayer 65 or older for Georgia state income tax.
• Enacted Zero-based budgeting requiring a solid justification for every penny spent by state government. From what I have seen in the past few years, this has helped to cut State expenditures.
• I support Governor Kemp in making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and keeping state government lean and focused on making our state a great one to live and do business.

Some politicians seem to forget that every dollar government spends was first earned by one of us. When times are good and revenues are high, they spend like there is no tomorrow. That is exactly what happened here in Georgia when state government spending grew much faster than our population.

Important points to know about Rick:

• I believe we are taxed enough, and that our state has a Spending problem not a Revenue problem.
• I believe in running government like a business or a family, and we don’t spend money we don’t have. Just like you or me, our government should not spend money it doesn’t have. We have to prioritize and spend money where it is most needed and not be afraid to make hard choices.
• As a department head in the Pickens County government, I used Zero-based budgeting principles and was consistently under budget. I have always thought of tax money as your money and have operated my department in that way.
• Being fiscally responsible is a way of life for the Jasperse Family. I will be a good steward of your money. Yes, people say I am tight, but I think it’s a compliment.
• Just like you, I hate seeing waste of any type, it all costs money. In our state and local governments, federally, at home or anywhere; we need to watch our resources closely.
• I work every day to help create state policy that sets the stage for a strong, vibrant economy so that our families can prosper, and also for a state that is full of economic opportunity for our children and our children's children.

As your State Representative:

• I will work to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce taxes. I have always wanted to do this. I will need your help in finding waste. If you see any please let me know.
• I will be listening for your suggestions and new ideas to make government more effective.

We are in a low-taxed state. Let’s all work to keep it that way.

Water is a critical issue in our state.

We have:

• Protected our ground water by regulating fracking for natural gas in Georgia. I co-sponsored this bill.
• Supported the State in their fight with Florida and Alabama over the use of the Chattahoochee.
• Funded water planning that will coordinate the use of our important resource.
• Created a study group in 2018 to look at the Tennessee boundary and our access to the Tennessee River (Remember some of our tributaries ends up in the Tennessee river.) water resource.
• Increased recordkeeping and monitoring of water usage in agriculture. Work to do: Work with local authorities to make sure our local communities have the tools to create long range water plans. This is a critical issue for growth and stability.

Since being in the legislature I have learned so much about water and its link to all of our state. It may be drinking water for many of us, irrigation for those who feed us, and recreation for those who enjoy our state. We have to work hard to listen and understand all these needs when creating policy. I will continue to work with our communities as they work to develop long-term solutions to our water supply problem.

This issue is one of the reasons I chose to be on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee when I first came to the legislature.

The growth of our region is tied to our ability to store water with dams. We know water will be an invaluable resource for our communities. I have supported continuing investment in Georgia by all of us to prepare our region for future growth and the inevitable drought.

Making conservation of water a way of life, construction of dams, and maybe the dredging of current reservoirs are all possible solutions to the water needs of the region.

I will work to protect our current uses of water and watersheds so we can grow and prosper and be secure in our water resources. I have worked with farm irrigation, landscape irrigation, home water use, and have taught water conservation to hundreds of school kids. My knowledge of this critical issue is extensive.

I know how to work with all sides of the water issue and help all of us do what’s best for the people of the 11th District and for the State of Georgia.

Conservative Values

My values are a product of our families and of my Christian faith. The solid foundation that my parents and other people of faith have laid has given me a foundation on which to stand. I know you want someone as a Representative who will defend our conservative North Georgia values when they come under attack in our legislature and courts, and I have and will stand firm on principle.

My relationship with God has always been an important part of my life. Christian principles are an important part of my everyday approach to life and to making decisions. It is the basis of my enthusiasm to display a servant–leadership approach to public office just like I have in work, family, and in community activities. I'll always be there to defend the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and our right to prayer.

Pro Life: I am pro-life. In the 2019 session we passed HB 481, The Heartbeat bill. We were in the Health committee listening to the bill and I counted the Republican members; we had enough to pass the bill out of committee and to the Floor for a vote. How exciting! It was a great experience to be a part of history being made. When Governor Kemp signed the bill, it kept a promise Republicans made to Georgians many years ago.

I support adoption. So glad we passed a bill to improve the adoption process in the 2018 session! We are working to continue to improve adoption in 2020. I oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, the gruesome partial-birth procedure, and support laws that require parental notification and consent where minors are involved.

Today with scientific advances that were unthinkable just a few short years ago, our society will face serious moral and ethical issues. In dealing with these issues, I believe the sanctity of life must be the priority and basis upon which these policies are made. Creating life only to end it and use it for research is wrong.

Defending Religious Freedom: During the 2016 session a lot was said about Pastor Protection and Religious Freedom. You can look at my voting record; I have voted for and supported both bills. I have worked to see that our values are represented in Atlanta and defended.

Protecting Prayer: Our nation was founded on religious freedom, and I believe every child and every person in Georgia has the right for reflection, meditation, or prayer during the day. I support voluntary prayer in all schools and oppose any restrictions on the exercise of that right.