These new procedures require that you bring additional documentation with you when you visit one of our Customer Service Centers (CSC). If you currently hold a valid Georgia driver’s license or identification card, you will be issued a Secure ID DL/ID at the time of your next renewal or reinstatement. If you do not hold a valid Georgia driver’s license or identification card, you will be issued a Secure ID DL/ID at the time of your application.
These documents include the following:
· At least one (1) original or certified document to prove your Primary Identity; and
· At least one (1) document to prove your Social Security Number; and
· At least two (2) documents to prove your Residential Address; and
· Appropriate Name Change documents, if needed.
College students and others who need more information on the documentation requirements should visit www.dds.ga.gov.
Twice in recent months, I have been the victim of Internet hacking, affecting both my email account and Facebook account. More than just a nuisance, this is a very common occurrence that I hope you do not have to experience. I contacted the GBI, and they said these money scams from hackers operate in cycles. It seems they have seen an increase recently. The hacker can be someone nearby or in foreign countries, and it is difficult for law enforcement to investigate.
The GBI recommends changing passwords every few months and pay close attention to all email accounts.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To keep your computer safe from criminal hackers, make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up to date and set up a proper firewall to protect your system from unauthorized access. Also use great caution before opening suspicious emails or clicking on links to unfamiliar websites.
I can tell you from experience: better safe than sorry!
Status of Mental Health Changes
Since the closure of Northwest Regional Hospital, I have been closely following developments in Georgia’s efforts to improve the treatment network for mental health patients. I continue to hear concerns from constituents in the community that some of our patients are falling through the cracks. Many are not being supervised or assisted with medication and other services. Our local jail has seen an increase the number of mental health patients who are charged with minor crimes.
I was pleased to note recently that a federal judge was aware these patients are not receiving the services they need. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell warned that he will come down hard on the state if he doesn’t see results.
According to the article, the heart of the state’s plan is an improved network of community mental health teams that work almost daily with the mentally ill patients to help them stay on medications, adapt to the community and stay out of hospitals, jails or homelessness.
But an attorney representing the state’s behavioral health department, told the judge that 13 of 20 community teams — each of which cost about $700,000 annually to staff and operate — were being disbanded and that the remaining seven teams were not up to standard.
The AJC reported the state is nearing the halfway point in the 5-year agreement with the court and with the Justice Department. Following the deal, the state released hundreds of patients from the hospitals and agreed to spend at least $70 million a year to house and treat an estimated 9,000 mentally ill people in need of assistance. The state was to have its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams running by July 1. Each team - made up of case workers, nurses and other specialties — was to ensure 2,000 seriously mentally ill patients in their area took medications and remained integrated into the community.
The program assigns each 10-person team of caseworkers to monitor up to 100 patients. A lawyer representing mental health advocates asked the judge to give a court-appointed monitor control over the state’s efforts. He argued the state has already spent more than two years trying to establish ACT teams and an effective management system for them. He noted that at least one group of patients will be on their third ACT team when a new one is constituted.
Defeat of T-SPLOST
On July 31, voters in nine of 12 regions across the state – including our region – rejected the 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements at the local level (T-SPLOST). I voted against the T-SPLOST legislation due to concerns about a growing bureaucracy, fairness in taxation and equitable benefits for rural counties. I also voted against the referendum because this slow recovery from the worst economic recession in our memory was no time for a large tax increase.
The question now is what comes next in terms of a transportation funding plan for Georgia.
My preference would be to dedicate more of the state motor fuel tax, which is already being collected, toward transportation projects, rather than having that revenue distributed among other spending programs in the state budget. Transportation funding will be a major issue in the 2013 session of the General Assembly.
Rep. Reece may be reached at 404-656-7859 or email@example.com. Rep. Reece serves on the Education Committee, State Institutions and Properties Committee, Science and Technology Committee, and the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee. She is also Vice Chairman of the Rural Caucus and Secretary of the Working Families Caucus.