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Chapman looking foward to busy year
Although he announced last year he'll be leaving state office to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia Rep. Jeff Chapman says he still has plenty to do in the legislature this year.

The 167th district representative will be in the running for Rep. Jack Kingston's 1st District congressional seat in 2014, making him ineligible to run again for the state House, but Chapman said he will continue to serve his constituents through January 2015.

One way he plans to do that is to revive a bill that he sponsored in the House last year, he said. House Bill 267 would prevent the Georgia Power Co. from charging its customers beyond the costs to construct a new nuclear power plant in the state. Chapman said he has no issues with allowing the utility to charge its customers for construction two nuclear reactions at the Waynesboro-based Plant Vogtle, but profits should not be made on their backs.

"It's a sensible and a fair thing to do," Chapman said. "What my legislation does is prevent (Georgia Power) from adding an 11 percent profit to cost overruns. I think it's a bad incentive for captive rate-payers to have to pay profits."

In 2013, Chapman's bill got a "do not pass" recommendation from a subcommittee, he said, but it still can be heard by the full committee.

Chapman added he's expecting to file legislation that would allow for tax credits for those who donate to nonprofit agencies that provide mental health services in hopes of encouraging nonprofits to be more frugal and to raise the quality of care.

"It's not a deduction, but a tax credit," he said. "Instead of money running through the bureaucracy and being sent back down to different organizations, the dollar would actually have more power, more value."

As much effort as Chapman said he'll be putting into backing his own legislation, he said he'll also be putting into opposing wasteful spending or nonessential bills.

* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at kquimby@thebrunswicknews.com, or at 265-8320, ext. 321.



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