Limited Constitutional Government
Senator Bethel is a principled conservative. His fundamental guiding principles include a belief in governing in accordance with the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions, support for the government closest to the people as opposed to central authority, low taxes, and free markets. In his first year in the legislature, Charlie led the charge to implement the Interstate Healthcare Compact allowing member states out from under federal regulation of healthcare.
Citizens have a right to honest, transparent, and ethical government. Senator Bethel takes the responsibility to obey the laws and rules governing candidates and officeholders seriously. Although he believes the laws that govern the ethical behavior of elected officials should be a given, Charlie knows having strong, enforceable ethics laws are crucial to protecting public trust. The first bill Senator Bethel presented on the Senate floor prohibited any public official from granting themselves a waiver from testing requirements to obtain any benefit or license. This issue came to light as a statewide official had done just that just weeks before Senator Bethel was sworn in, and he knew it was critical to act swiftly to restore public faith in their elected officials.
Jobs and the Economy
Government is not the answer to economic woes and government should not be responsible for creating jobs. In our free market economy, entrepreneurs are far more successful in creating opportunities for citizens. Government can, however, help create an environment for economic success.
Low taxes, limited regulation, quality educational opportunities, and high quality infrastructure are the key elements of success. Senator Bethel believes that when our families, friends, and neighbors have good paying jobs they are able to provide for their families and contribute to the community well being. That’s why he has worked to make sure Georgia is the most business-friendly state in the nation. We still have a lot of work to do in Northwest Georgia and Charlie is committed to that work.
In the Senate, he led the fight to pass significant tax reform, resulting in the elimination of sales tax use on energy for manufacturing saving jobs in our community and creating an incentive for new job growth. Charlie also sponsored the final repeal of Georgia’s Estate (Death) Tax. Senator Bethel believes it is critical to connect our technical colleges and universities in Northwest Georgia with the needs of local businesses and those looking to relocate. With Dalton State and others in mind, Bethel has continuously voted to secure money in the budget promoting workforce development initiatives.
He also supported legislation eliminating the marriage tax penalty once and for all, recognizing the State of Georgia should promote strong families, not punish those who are married. Senator Bethel will continue to push legislation in the Senate that results in growth opportunities for small business and future economic development in Northwest Georgia.
Charlie knows the Georgians he represents expect their government to provide the services they need in an efficient and responsible manner, and that government should live within its means like we do.
Educating our children and protecting our families lie at the top of that list. Senator Bethel has voted each of the last 3 years to increase the state’s K-12 funding, leading to teacher raises and the reduction/elimination of furlough days. Currently, Charlie is working to expand the impact of the HOPE Scholarship for students attending our state college and access institutions.
Working closely with Governor Nathan Deal and his Criminal Justice Reform Council, Senator Bethel was able to pass significant reforms to our juvenile justice system providing new ways to divert low-risk offenders from detention centers and better rehabilitate our youngest offenders while saving taxpayers millions in the process. While Charlie Bethel has shown a commitment to be smart on crime, he has also proven that he is not soft on crime. This year, he passed legislation to strengthen Georgia laws dealing with domestic abuse protecting our families in Northwest Georgia and punishing those who belong behind bars.
Charlie will continue to make sure taxpayer dollars are not wasted as invested the areas where Georgians will see the most value.
Protecting Our Conservative Values
As our state senator, Charlie Bethel embraces the responsibility to protect our conservative values from the overreach of special interest groups and the federal government, and to defend those who can’t defend themselves. A strong defender of the Second Amendment, Senator Bethel has fought against every attempt to limit the ability of citizens to protect themselves.
Senator Bethel has seen firsthand how the constant overregulation by the federal government harms small businesses and slows economic growth in Northwest Georgia. That’s why he introduced the Interstate Power Compact to fight the EPA and increase state autonomy over environmental protections. Charlie is also committed to protecting the unborn, and has voted in favor of every pro-life piece of legislation to reach his desk.
Led by his faith, he knows decisions at the Capitol often are decided not by what is politically correct, but rather what is morally right. That’s why Charlie worked across party lines to pass legislation in 2015 to ensure that insurance companies provide coverage to families with a child who suffers from Autism.
Working for Northwest Georgia
Although many of the issues Senator Bethel deals with effect the entire state, his focus is always on Northwest Georgia. Charlie has passed domestic violence legislation that originated in the Conasauga District Attorney’s office. A champion for both the working men and women of Northwest Georgia and our manufacturing industry, Charlie has passed legislation expanding workers compensation benefits for those injured at work and advocated consistently for policies to support manufacturing, mining, and agriculture. Senator Bethel passed legislation paving the way for the new dormitories at Dalton State through public private partnership. Along with these issues of particular importance to Northwest Georgia, Charlie takes great pride in being able to help his constituents with the unique problems and obstacles they face in obtaining needed services from state government.
Beyond the political field, Charlie invests himself in our community. Coaching youth athletics, reading to students in our schools, actively participating in church life and missions, serving on boards like that of the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Foundation, volunteering with the FCA, attending local festivals, and attending high school athletics and community arts events are a sampling of where Charlie spends his time outside of work.
Charlie believes that the best preparation for representing the community is found in connecting with people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and points of view. That is why Charlie is committed to representation focused on bringing us together as opposed to pitting groups against one another.