Ed recognizes that maintaining the status quo in public education is simply incompatible with America remaining free and prosperous in the next century. With a focus on our children’s future, Ed has been successful in supporting smaller class sizes, making teacher pay in Georgia #1 in the Southeast, and in playing a leadership role in providing school choice options for Georgia’s families.
Ed believes that, “it’s tragic when only children from high income families have access to our nation’s best schools. The charter school movement gives children from all backgrounds a chance at an innovative, individualized education that gives them a better chance at getting ahead in life. As an ardent supporter of public education, I believe that America must be committed enough to our school children to put every option on the table to achieve educational excellence. We have seen in Great Britain that leveraging the power of parental choice creates healthy competition among public schools, drives innovation, and ignites parental involvement; higher achievement follows naturally in that kind of environment.”
As a member of the House Non-civil Judiciary Committee since 2005, Ed has played an important role in the passage of every piece of criminal justice reform legislation passed in Georgia for more than a decade. His contributions include legal reform relating to criminal and juvenile justice, death penalty, DUI, illegal immigration, gun rights, abortion, metal theft, criminal record restriction, controlled substances, sex trafficking, and internet crime.
As the Chairman of the General Law Subcommittee of House Non-civil Judiciary, Ed has worked tirelessly to protect the fundamental rights of Georgia citizens while providing law enforcement officials the legitimate tools they need to protect Georgia’s communities.
Rep. Setzler is endorsed by the Georgia Right to Life and received the organization’s highest award in 2012 for his leadership in helping pass a ban on late term abortion HB-954 and for sponsoring HB-1114 the Assisted Suicide Prevention Act. Ed was instrumental in the passage of HB-197 the Women’s Right to Know Act, a law that requires doctors to obtain written parental consent before performing abortions on minors, provide full disclosure of the facts regarding fetal development and fetal pain, and provide a 24-hour waiting period for the woman to consider these facts before she is able to carry through with an abortion. Rep. Setzler played an active role in securing bipartisan support for this bill from over 80% of the members of both houses. Since this bill’s passage, Georgia has seen a reduction in the number of abortions by over 4,000 per year.
Rep. Setzler coauthored HB-147 the Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act, an informed consent bill providing that if an ultrasound is taken during the performance of an abortion the mother is given the opportunity to view the ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat prior to having the abortion performed. Ed also worked in the Non-civil Judiciary Committee to help secure passage of SB-77, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in which Georgia became one of 30 states to prosecute a violent crime against a pregnant woman as crimes against two distinct persons. Under SB-77, a person found guilty of causing the death of an unborn child shall be guilty of “feticide”, a crime punishable by life in prison. Not only did this bill provide tougher penalties for crimes against women, it profoundly changed Georgia law to recognize that the life of the unborn child is sacred and worthy of full legal protection beginning at the moment of conception.
In response to the US Supreme Court’s Kelo vs. New London decision, Ed supported landmark property rights legislation that prohibited local governments in Georgia from seizing a homeowner’s property for the purpose of collecting increased tax revenue from land developers. Specifically, HB-1313 (2006) prohibits local governments in Georgia from seizing private property through the use of eminent domain for purposes of “economic development”. Furthermore, it toughened the definition of “blight” to protect well-kept properties in run-down neighborhoods and provided property owners a greater due process before government could take their property under any circumstances.
As a Lifetime Member of the National Rifle Association, Ed has been given an A+ rating for his leadership in protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of Georgia’s citizens. As sponsor and cosponsor of numerous pieces of gun rights legislation, Rep. Setzler has presented as a policy expert on nationally televised CSPAN forums on state-level stand-your ground laws.
NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT
As a leader in the 19-member Cobb legislative delegation, Ed organized and chaired the 2007 Cobb Water Summit and supported the creation of a Statewide Water Management Plan to guide the state in the management of our vital water resources. With the passage of SB-342 (2008), Ed supported the creation of a drinking water reservoir fund to manage reservoir development and has committed adequate resources to create new drinking water reservoirs to safeguard our state’s drinking water supply.
Ed helped establish an innovative public trust fund to build financial resources to fund the preservation parks, wildlife habitats, and green space and helped place under protection more than 24 million acres of privately owned forest land, more than any other state in the nation. Ed has fought successfully to protect local ordinances that encourage the smart, sustainable growth of our communities and has been instrumental in the protection of vulnerable water and wildlife resources statewide.
True to his 2004 campaign promise, Ed supported constitutional limits on the growth of government spending and helped cap the Georgia income tax at its current rate of 6 percent.
Ed proudly supported ethics reform that has taken Georgia from being one of the loosest to being one of the toughest states in the nation in its laws regarding the disclosure of elected officials, official’s families, and lobbyists personal information and financial dealings.
To provide an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability in state government, Ed supported SB-300 (2008), the Transparency in Government Act which publicizes state expenditures, contracts, audits, salaries, and travel expenses for every state agency and employee on a publicly searchable website. Additionally, Ed supported passage of SB-1, the Zero-based Budget Act that when passed will require state agencies every 4 years to produce a full accounting and justification of every dollar spent in every state program.
In 2008, Ed provided $60 million in vital funding to support Georgia’s statewide trauma care network and Grady Hospital. In 2014, Ed supported legislation that allowed Georgia citizens to purchase healthcare across state lines and prohibited expansion of government funded healthcare by executive order, requiring legislative approval for public healthcare expansion.
With the passage of HB-1080 in 2006, Ed helped provide a major tax credit for child care and dependent care expenses incurred by Georgia parents, putting up to 30% of child and dependent care costs back into the pockets of Georgia’s single and working parents!
With the passage of HB-130 (2008), Georgian’s have been able to freeze their credit to keep criminals from accessing their credit histories, opening up credit cards, or taking out loans in their name.
Also in support of working families, Ed supported a thoughtful incentive to reduce traffic and promote employees tele-working from home. The HB-194 (2006) Tele-working Tax Credit allowed businesses to write off up to $1200 from their annual tax bill for the cost of providing automation & equipment for employees to work 5-12 days per month from their homes. Not only has this bill eased the strain on single parent and working families, but it has provided businesses real financial incentives to keep cars off of the road to ease rush hour traffic.
Ed supported the passage of HB-470 (2008), the Georgia Lemon Law has assisted buyers of flawed, new automobiles. This law created a procedure for timely resolution of complaints and disputes and has ensured that consumers receive all necessary information in purchasing an automobile.
In support of Georgia’s working families, Ed supported SB-531 (2008) that gave homeowners a greater opportunity to ward off foreclosure. This bill required a 30-day notice to a homeowner rather than the previous 15-day notice and required that creditors provide due process to homeowners before seizing their home.
Ed has shown statewide leadership in moving Georgia forward by supporting traffic relief for metro-Atlanta while exploring creative ways to use technology to maintain our quality of life and economic competitiveness. A leading proponent of using existing state dollars to fund transportation infrastructure, Ed sponsored legislative initiatives between 2009 and 2015 to provide a funding mechanism for transportation infrastructure without raising state taxes.
Ed supported HB-1189 (2008) that required GDOT to develop a statewide strategic transportation plan to clarify Georgia’s long-term transportation vision while allowing resources to be focused on a 5-year list of projects. This program requires that details be made available on the web, outlining how each project will mitigate congestion, increase mobility, and improve the air quality, public safety, and economic development of our state.
With the passage of HB-1019 (2008), Ed supported the creation of the Georgia State Transportation Infrastructure Bank to provide cities, and counties, and transit operators low interest loans and flexible payment terms to fund much-needed transportation and transit infrastructure improvements statewide.