Sen. Unterman Named Human Services Chair for National Conference of State Legislatures

Sen. Renee Unterman

Sen. Renee Unterman

PHILADELPHIA (July 24, 2009) – Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) this week was named chairman of the Human Services and Welfare Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the organization’s annual legislative summit in Philadelphia.

The committee is responsible for developing policy in four areas: social services, income security, food and nutrition, and immigration. Unterman served as vice-chair for two years before being elected to chair this prestigious committee.

“Being named chairman of this important committee is quite an honor,” said Sen. Unterman. “I am a fierce advocate for improving human services on a state and national level. In my role as chairman, I will work with state and federal leaders to stop the sexual exploitation of minors, a disgraceful national problem that continues to grow at an alarming rate.”

During the Georgia General Assembly’s 2009 legislative session, Sen. Unterman was successful in passing legislation aimed at protecting innocent children and teens from sexual abuse. The law now expands the definition of “sexual exploitation” to relate to any person who allows, encourages or requires a child to engage in prostitution or sexually explicit conduct. Previous law only applied to the child’s parent or caretaker.

Atlanta is one of 14 cities in the U.S with the highest incidents of child exploitation. Two hundred to three hundred young girls are sexually exploited in Georgia every month, with nearly 130 girls being prostituted on a typical weekend night.

Sen. Unterman shares her district with this year’s NCSL president, Sen. Don Balfour (R-Gwinnett). “There is no one better to fill the role of Human Services chairman than Senator Unterman. She has dedicated herself to reforming Georgia’s human services and I know she has a great passion for this on a national level,” said Sen. Balfour. “I am pleased that I will spend my year serving as president of NCSL alongside Senator Unterman as chairman of this influential committee. Together we will give Georgia a strong voice in national politics.”

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.

Sen. Renee Unterman serves as Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee. She represents the 45th Senate District which includes a portion of Gwinnett County. She can be reached at 404.463.1368 or by email at renee.unterman@senate.ga.gov.

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2009
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Kallarin Richards, Senior Communications Specialist
kallarin.richards@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028