Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sen. Balfour Begins Term as President of National Conference of State Legislatures

Sen. Don Balfour (R-Gwinnett) today took office as president of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) at the organization’s annual legislative summit in Philadelphia. The first legislator from Georgia to be elected to NCSL office, Balfour will lead the bipartisan Conference in serving the nation’s state lawmakers and advocating for their interests before Congress.

“I have dedicated my political career to serving the people of Georgia, and am humbled by the opportunity to serve the states of this nation as president of such an esteemed organization,” said Balfour. “NCSL is at the forefront of bringing state legislatures together to develop public policy that will strengthen our country and the lives of its citizens. I look forward to working with state leaders from across the nation to enhance the state legislatures’ influence in the federal system.”

Sen. Balfour has been an influential member of NCSL throughout his legislative career. Prior to his election as president, Balfour served as vice president and is a member of the executive committee. He will serve as president in 2009-2010. Known for his work in helping Georgia pass some of the strongest ethics and eminent domain laws in the nation, Sen. Balfour’s colleagues agree that his leadership skills will serve him well as NCSL president.

“This is truly a great day for our state,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “Senator Balfour is one of our strongest and most experienced Senators with over 17 years championing conservative policy and representing his Gwinnett constituents admirably. Now heading one of the most prominent legislative organizations in the nation, Senator Balfour’s expertise and forward-thinking mindset give NCSL a tremendously capable leader who will do an outstanding job as president.”

Balfour’s longtime colleague, Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), remarked: “Senator Balfour is a driving force in some of the most important political issues facing our state. I greatly respect his commitment and dedication to serving our citizens. We are lucky to have such a seasoned leader representing the state of Georgia in one of the most influential legislative organizations. The states are getting a strong leader at NCSL as we face record deficits and unemployment challenges.”

“I am proud to serve alongside Senator Balfour in representing the citizens of Gwinnett County,” said Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford). “Throughout my years in the Senate, I have watched him fiercely champion the issues that are important to his constituents. He is committed to doing all he can to help those he represents, and I am confident that he will serve as NCSL president with the same determination and convictions that have made him a cornerstone in the Georgia legislature.”

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. The Conference is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.
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