Meagan Hanson

Meagan Hanson

Occupation: Attorney, Boyd Collar Nolen Tuggle & Roddenbery, LLC; State Representative, Georgia General Assembly, House District 80

Previous elected offices held: State Representative, House District 80 (incumbent)

Other community service experience: Multiple leadership positions in the Junior League of Atlanta, including coordinating advocacy efforts against sex trafficking, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House; Pro bono family law cases.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

As your state representative, I have brought significant positive change to our community through transit reform, increasing education funding and leading the charge to keep Georgia free from hate and discrimination. This past year, I co-authored game-changing transit legislation to transform and unify the multiple transit systems serving the Atlanta metro area under one banner, the “ATL,” and expand service to areas like Cobb and Gwinnett. But there is more work to be done. My next legislative task is to reform transit funding to meet the needs of our communities.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

Based on feedback from constituents, traffic continues to be the biggest issue facing our district. People want to spend time with their families and friends, not stuck in traffic. This is why I have fought so hard for transit reform, but also why I passed a bill to improve MARTA stations, lifting regulations on MARTA’s ability to choose vendors for its stations. I was also integral in the drafting, vetting and passage of landmark legislation to provide for autonomous vehicles in Georgia. There is no simple solution to traffic, and I am looking for all options to tackle this problem.

After the new “ATL” regional transit authority forms, what local transit priorities would you advocate, if any?

House Bill 930, which created the “ATL” regional transit authority, provides for how each region will choose members to sit on the authority. These members will then work together with each other and the communities they represent to determine their needs and how the “ATL” can choose projects to best serve these communities. On a more global level, I would like to see increased MARTA connectivity inside 285, but I also look forward to seeing the expansion of service to Gwinnett and Cobb County.

What is your position on reducing or eliminating the state income tax and why?

This past session, I voted to decrease the state personal income tax for the first time since 1937, from 6 percent to 5.75 percent. The bill also provided for another potential reduction of the state personal income tax from 5.75 percent to 5.5 percent in 2019, subject to the state’s fiscal health and a vote by the General Assembly. As long as we continue down the prosperous road that Gov. Deal has lead us on, our state should continue to be in a good place to reduce state income tax.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.