Lawmakers Day 11: Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan talks bipartisan solutions for Georgia’s foster kids
In a one-on-one interview with GPB Lawmakers host Donna Lowry, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan provided an update on the progression of his top legislative priorities. One priority that impacts Georgia's foster children has been in development for years and is now seeing the light of day.
Senate Bill 370, the Fostering Success Act, is a bipartisan solution that provides tax credits to organizations that house children who age out of foster care. The bill unanimously passed out of committee on Wednesday.
"As I explained to the Finance Committee," Duncan said, "just imagine you’re 18 years old. Your birth certificate says you're an adult. You're not ready for tackling life or putting your own roof over your head or being able to take on a job."
Children who age out of foster care are at risk of homelessness, making it a challenge for them to gain employment while transitioning into adulthood.
"This is an opportunity for us to create a tax credit for $20 million to give wraparound services through approved agencies to help these kids navigate through the difficult parts of early life," Duncan said. "They don't have a family to pick up the phone and call when they get some sort of health crisis or concern."
Also important to Duncan: the LESS Crimes Act, which supports the recruitment and training of police officers, and the Co-Responder Model, to help police officers de-escalate mental health episodes of people in custody.