I’ve invested my entire career in educating leaders of future generations by sharing the value of hard work, self-discipline and servant leadership with them. As your State Senator, I will fight to ensure our children are able to live, work and raise their families in a Georgia they are proud to call home.
February 27, 2015
November 18, 2014ATLANTA (November 18, 2014) | State Senator John Wilkinson (R- Toccoa) was elected to serve as Secretary of the Senate Republican Caucus for the upcoming biennial legislative term of the Georgia General Assembly. In this role, Sen. Wilkinson will be responsible for recording all official legislative activities for the Senate Majority Caucus. “I am honored to represent our caucus and thankful to my colleagues for entrusting me with this role,” said Sen. Wilkinson. “I look forward to working with the leadership team, the caucus and each member of the Senate to promote legislation that ensures Georgia’s continued economic growth and vitality.” Sen. Wilkinson is currently the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He is also the Vice-Chairman of the Education and Youth Committee, and a member of the Appropriations and Government Oversight committees. The first term of the 153rd Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly will convene on January 12, 2015, at the Georgia State Capitol.
November 17, 2014
October 16, 2014
ATLANTA (October 16, 2014) | The Georgia State Senate team, captained by Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, fell just short of “bringing home the bacon” at the 2014 Legislative Livestock Showdown on Saturday, October 11, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. The fourth annual event, an entertaining showmanship competition between members of the Georgia State House and Georgia State Senate, was co-sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
“I am so proud of the 4-H, FFA and Senate members who participated in the Legislative Livestock Showdown at the Georgia National Fair in Perry,” said Sen. Wilkinson. “They did a great job. As Chairman of the Agriculture Committee it was my responsibility to find five senators willing to participate. The fact that all five of them took their time on a Saturday to participate is a strong indication of their support for young people and agriculture!”
In a departure from previous years, the legislators were judged on swine showmanship skills rather than cattle showmanship skills. Legislators were paired with a 4-H or FFA member who coached them on technique and presentation that morning before the show. During the livestock show, legislators individually presented their own hog for judging in the arena based on the knowledge and best practices taught by their 4-H or FFA coach.
The Senate team was represented by Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford), Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge), Sen. Don Balfour (R – Snellville), Sen. Nan Orrock (D – Atlanta) and Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga).
The Georgia House team was eventually named the winner of the 2014 Legislative Livestock Showdown. The traveling trophy will now reside in the office of House Speaker David Ralston until the 2015 event.
September 17, 2014
ATLANTA (September 17, 2014) | Senator John Wilkinson (R- Toccoa) honored Dystonia Awareness Day at the Capitol today, September 17, 2014. Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions, often resulting in painful and debilitating body positions for the victim.
“As our country continues to shine light on the awful diseases and illnesses that face our country, I felt a personal obligation to bring awareness to this debilitating disorder,” said Sen. Wilkinson. “Dystonia affects an estimated 300,000 people in North America alone, including my courageous wife, Debbie. We urgently need to bring awareness to Dystonia because so many people are misdiagnosed, which in turn delays proper treatment. This disorder can make the most simple tasks impossible to achieve, however I know as a state and a country, we can come together to combat this disorder through research and knowledge.”
Governor Nathan Deal presented members of Tyler’s Hope, a foundation established to advance research for a cure, discover effective treatments and promote for awareness and education of Dystonia, with a proclamation declaring September as Dystonia Awareness Month in Georgia. Sen. Wilkinson also led the adoption of Senate Resolution 850 during the 2014 Legislative Session to recognize September as Dystonia Awareness Month.
“We are grateful that the state of Georgia has recognized September as Dystonia Awareness Month. This is a big leap in the effort to spread awareness and educate,” said Rich Stabb, Co- Founder and President of Tyler’s Hope. “Awareness will play a huge role in helping hundreds of thousands of people receive better treatments, quicker diagnosis, and ultimately finding a cure.”
Sen. Wilkinson’s wife, Debbie Wilkinson, a school teacher in Carnesville, Ga., noticed symptoms in 2006 when excessive, involuntary blinking began to impair her vision. In 2011, Wilkinson had an invasive procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery that dramatically improved her symptoms and pain. She now partners with the Dystonia Medical Research Facility (DMRF) to lead the North Georgia Dystonia Support Group, which meets in Gainesville. Wilkinson, along with other volunteers, are currently petitioning the White House to recognize Dystonia Awareness Month at the national level.
Dystonia is frequently misdiagnosed due to a lack of understanding and awareness of the disorder. Children of virtually any age can be diagnosed while many adults become disabled in the prime of their lives. It can affect multiple generations in a single family or occur sporadically with no family history. Symptoms of dystonia are not the same in every patient, and can affect a specific part of the body or many parts simultaneously.
For more information regarding Dystonia, please contact Jessica Feeley at DMRF at 800-377-3978,firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dystonia-foundation.org. DMRF is a non-profit organization that strives to advance Dystonia research for improved treatments and ultimately a cure, promote awareness and education, and provide support resources for affected individuals and families.