Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DuBose Porter makes Campaign Stop in Colquitt County

DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) made a campaign stop in Colquitt Co. on May 8 to talk about his campaign. He said he is running for governor because he wants to put people back to work and to put a priority back on education. He said education has always been important to him, as he served as former governor Zell Miller’s floor leader and was one of the first legislators to sign the HOPE Scholarship creation bill.

The key to economic development is education,” Porter said. “That’s why I’m running.”

Porter said he would place a special emphasis on a student’s early education, particularly kindergarten through third grade. His goal would be for every third grade student in Georgia to be reading at a third grade level before they move up to the fourth grade. Studies have shown students who are not at grade level reading by third grade are less likely to graduate from high school.

In addition to education, Porter said another important issue facing the state is public safety. The current administration has not done a good job keeping public safety a priority, leading to closures like the GBI Crime Lab in Moultrie.

Porter said a major way to get needed funding for the state is to collect sales taxes and fine those who cheat the system. In a study done using businesses in Valdosta and Gainesville, Porter found 25 percent of businesses with a business license do not have sales tax certification, and the Georgia Revenue Department refuses to check the certifications.

If those sales tax cheaters were found and forced to pay, Porter said that would generate between an estimated $500 million and $1 billion in unreturned sales tax money. While that would not fix every financial problem facing Georgia, it would have prevented the lab closures and state employees, including teachers and public safety officers, from having to take a single furlough day.

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