Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, has announced the members of the House Rural Development Council. The council, which includes Rep. Ed Rynders, R-Leesburg, is a result of the passage of HR 389 during the recent legislative session and is to work with rural communities to find ways to encourage economic growth.

“Georgia is a growing and prosperous state, and we are thankful for that,” Ralston said. “But that prosperity isn’t being felt in every community across Georgia.

“Some of our rural areas are still struggling, and we must do everything we can to help private businesses grow jobs in every corner of our state.”

Rynders said he appreciated the speaker’s help in drawing attention to the dire need for the expansion of the economies of rural Georgia.

“HR 389 is chiefly Speaker David Ralston’s initiative,” Rynders said. “I don’t know if any speaker has visited more communities than Speaker Ralston. In his travels he has listened to the people throughout rural Georgia who are seeking meaningful economic development.

“I appreciate the speaker’s commitment to rural Georgia and look forward to trying to improve the quality of life for all Georgians. But keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all even in rural Georgia. This council will look for solutions for job creation while addressing the unique challenges facing our communities.”

Southwest Georgia has representation on the council leadership. Ralston previously announced that the council will be co-chaired by House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, and Ways & Means Chairman Jay Powell, R-Camilla, Rep. Sam Watson, R-Moultrie, who chairs the House Rural Caucus, will serve as vice chair of the council.

The other members of the House Rural Development Council, which has a distinctly rural Georgia flavor, include Patty Bentley, D-Butler; John Corbett, R-Lake Park; Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin; Mack Jackson, D-Sandersville; Dominic LaRiccia, R-Douglas; Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee; Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear; Clay Pirkle, R-Ashburn; Terry Rogers, R-Clarkesville; Darlene Taylor, R-Thomasville, and Bill Werkheiser, R-Glennville.