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Updates on unemployment, COVID-19, absentee ballots
burns jon 2015
Rep. Jon Burns


Recently, Gov. Kemp applied for a grant from the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program, a plan put in place by President Trump to extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

In exciting news for Georgians, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) just approved this application. The Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) will provide a $300 supplement to eligible Georgians who receive benefits from Georgia’s state and federal unemployment insurance programs. 

The DOL will begin applying the benefits to eligible Georgians starting August 1. Individuals who qualify for this supplement do not need to contact DOL or reapply to receive it. For more information, visit

COVID-19 update

The Governor’s Office recently updated Georgia House members on where Georgia stands in its fight against COVID-19.

Since July 26, the percent of positive tests for COVID-19 dropped from 13.1% to 9.0% - a significant drop. Georgia’s seven-day average of new cases (the average number of cases over the previous seven days) has dropped by 30%. 

Three out of four Georgia hospitals report having fewer COVID-19 patients than they did four weeks ago. The Governor’s Office also reported having surveyed 100% of Georgia nursing homes for their compliance with COVID-19 precautions and that 1,700 additional staff members have been provided to more than 90 long-term care facilities and 45 hospitals.

2020 Census update

Participation in the Census is vital for our state and local communities. Unfortunately, Georgia is far behind most of our neighbors in participation! Our current participation rate is only 59.9%, while the national rate is 64.5%.

The Census results determine the allocation of federal funds to our state and provide vital information for state planning for education and safety needs for our communities. 

Significantly, the Census also determines political representation at the state and federal level. The Census is a major factor in deciding where district lines are drawn to ensure that all Georgians are represented in their local communities, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. Currently, Bulloch County has a 51.4% response rate, Effingham County has a 63.7% response rate, and Screven County has a 51.1% response rate.

New absentee 

ballot request option

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office recently unveiled an online absentee ballot request website to quickly request an absentee ballot from your county Board of Elections.

You will need your full name, your birthday, your driver’s license number, and your county of residence to request an absentee ballot. 

Once you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation of your request, and your local county Board of Elections will mail you an absentee ballot.

Thank you all for allowing me to represent Georgia House District 159. It is truly an honor to work for you and this great state. If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.

Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.