David Ralston is a Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives for the 7th district, which includes parts of Dawson, Fannin, and Gilmer counties. He has been serving as the 73rd Speaker of the Georgia House since January 11, 2010. Ralston is the state’s longest-serving Republican Speaker and the Georgia General Assembly’s longest-serving Speaker since Tom Murphy.
David Ralston Family
David Ralston was born on March 14, 1954, and is 68 years of age. Ralston is married to Sheree Ralston and has two children.
David Ralston’s early life and education
David Ralston was born in the Georgia town of Ellijay. He went to Young Harris College, North Georgia College and State University, and the University of Georgia School of Law.
David Ralston’s career
David Ralston was a member of the Georgia Senate from 1992 to 1998. Ralston was the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Georgia in 1998, but Thurbert Baker defeated him. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for the 7th Congressional District in 2002. After Glenn Richardson resigned, he got elected as Speaker in 2010. As a result, he became the first speaker from Georgia for the north Georgia state House in more than 150 years.
David Ralston’s Accomplishments and legislative priorities
Ralston as a speaker has been a champion for job creation and economic development and has consistently led pro-jobs, pro-economy legislation, including Georgia’s first-ever income tax cut in 2018. Other bipartisan legislative accomplishments that have helped Georgia remain one of the top states in the nation for business for the eighth year in a row include the passage of Georgia’s Transportation Funding Act in 2015, the elimination of sales tax on manufacturers, and the full funding of K-12 education for the first time in 2018. Ralston also worked to keep the HOPE Scholarship from going bankrupt, supported criminal justice reforms that have made Georgia a national model, and led the effort to pass a state hate crimes law following the murder of Ahmad Arbery.
Prior to 2020, Georgia was one of only a few states in the country without a hate crimes law. Speaker Ralston has also collaborated with leaders from both parties to move Georgia forward through bipartisan legislation. A few measures such as Georgia’s comprehensive adoption reform in 2018 and the state’s first-ever paid parental leave policy for state employees and teachers in 2021 are primary in this regard. His legislative priorities for 2022 include the passage of a comprehensive mental health reform bill, millions of dollars in additional funding for law enforcement officer pay and training, and continued efforts to ensure Georgia election integrity.
Ralston’s one-of-a-kind bill passes out of committee
David Ralston had introduced a one-of-a-kind mental health reform bill a month ago. The committee has now passed this bill, despite opposition.
“I am tired of telling desperate and hurting families that we have no treatment options in Georgia,” -Ralston said while he was introducing the bill. “Georgia is a great state. Passing this landmark bill will also mean we’re a good state.” -he added.
The bill seeks to provide parity in pay for mental health care providers, working on the development and strengthening of the workforce. It was introduced in order to address the shortage of mental health workers. The bill served the additional purpose of helping police departments burdened with the responsibility of serving as first responders to calls involving mental illness and substance abuse.
David Ralston’s Net Worth
David Ralston’s net worth is estimated to be between $500,000 and $1 million. Ralston makes most of his income through his career as a politician. He has an annual salary of around $99,100.
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