ATLANTA – State Representative Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro) recently introduced House Resolution 129, which seeks to allow Georgia lottery revenue to be used for HOPE recipients to convert their HOPE scholarship to a small business startup loan to fund their business venture should they decide they want to try entrepreneurship instead of traditional college upon leaving high school. Rep. Neal’s legislation was recently passed by the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee and was sent to the House Rules Committee.
“In an effort to encourage the next generation of young innovators in this state, House Resolution 129 would be an awesome, out-of-the-box opportunity to help Georgia students in a manner that has not been done before,” said Rep. Neal. “The opportunity to use a HOPE Scholarship as a small business startup loan could be life changing for many students. So often, young entrepreneurs who do not want to go directly to college, but, instead, want to try out their new idea, they get discouraged due to not having the startup money to get the business off of the ground. We could change that with HR 129.”
House Resolution 129 would authorize the Georgia General Assembly to dedicate the net proceeds of one or more games operated within a Georgia lottery towards economic development purposes, as well as direct these lottery funds towards programs that provide direct loans to small businesses located in Georgia that are also independently owned and operated by Georgia residents.
“I am so humbled that my fellow colleagues in the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee understood my vision and have a desire to work with me to get this program off of the ground,” added Rep. Neal. “I am so hopeful for the future of the HOPE Scholarship program. This is an opportunity to ensure that Georgia is the number one place to do business, as well as a state that can also be the number one place to build new business innovators of tomorrow.”
HR 129 was not scheduled for a vote on the House floor by the House Rules Committee before the “Crossover Day” deadline yesterday, March 8, 2021. However, due to outside interest in the measure, Rep. Neal plans to continue her efforts to champion HR 129 during the 2022 legislative session, which will begin January 2022.
Additionally, Rep. Neal’s House Bill 236 was passed by the House on Monday, March 9 with unanimous, bi-partisan support. HB 236 seeks to protect victims who have been granted a temporary protective order.
For more information on HR 129, please click here.
For more information on HB 236, please click here.
Representative Yasmin Neal represents the citizens of District 74, which includes portions of Clayton County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and currently serves on the Economic Development & Tourism, Juvenile Justice and Public Safety and Homeland Security committees.