J. Noel
Georgia House of Representatives
Public Information Office
Room 505, Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
404-656-5082 1-800-282-5800
For Immediate Release        
February 3, 2004
Noel Proposes Ban on Outsourcing of Government Call Center Jobs
State Representative John Noel (D-Atlanta) has introduced legislation in the Georgia General Assembly which he hopes will help to protect American jobs, and ensure citizens calling to inquire about government services will not be transferred to a foreign country.
HB 1357, authored by Noel, would ban international outsourcing of any call centers which provide information on state and/or local government services within Georgia. The proposed legislation mandates that any telephone call center operated by, or on the behalf of any department, agency, or other entity of Georgia state or local government should be physically located entirely within the United States.
“There are instances where a government agency will contract with a company to provide call center services, and then that company turns around and sends those jobs to India,” said Rep. Noel.
One such example is the Georgia Department of Human Resources which contracts with the company Citicorp to operate its Food Stamp Program customer service center. Citicorp then outsources those jobs to India. The contract is worth some $8 million per year.
“That is simply unacceptable,” continued Noel. “State taxpayer dollars should not be going to generate jobs in foreign countries.”
Rep. Noel is serves on the MARTOC, Transportation and Natural Resources and Environment Committees.
For further information please contact Rep. Noel at 404-656-0265 or home at 404-254-7170.
Georgia State Money Spent on Foreign Call Centers Sparks Debate
When food stamp recipients in Georgia call a state helpline with questions about the program, they end up talking to an operator nearly 9,000 miles away in India.
The state spends millions on customer service jobs staffed by cheap labor in India, even as unemployment persists here at home.
A Democrat from Atlanta wants to change that with legislation that would ban spending state tax dollars for jobs overseas.
Representative John Noel says the $8 million that the Department of Human Relations spends each year on the food stamp hotline in India is a fundamental misuse of taxpayer money.
But some Democrats and Republicans disagree. Some lawmakers say state agencies shouldn't be required to make contractors use U-S labor to carry out the job. If it's cheaper to send calls overseas, they say, then tax money is well spent.
The debate over call center jobs seeping to Asia is a national one, and several other states have debated proposals similar to Noel's.
 Georgia looks to pass quirky bills
By Associated Press, 4/7/03
ATLANTA -- The green tree frog isn't the official amphibian of Georgia -- yet.
Amid intense partisan debates on the flag, redistricting and the budget, a handful of quirky bills -- including the tree frog legislation -- are making their way slowly through the General Assembly.
Atlanta Democrat Rep. John Noel was so upset that he could not get sweet tea at a restaurant that he and four co-sponsors filed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor "of a high and aggravated nature" not to offer sweet tea in any restaurant that serves iced tea.
The punishment for such an egregious offense? Up to 12 months in jail. Noel's bill is pending in the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
The only active police officer in the Legislature, Rep. Victor Hill, D-College Park, wants to crack down on massage parlors that stay open all night. Hill wrote 12 pages of rules he says will protect reputable therapists but drive out the neon-lit establishments that sell randy rubdowns.
There is also a push that would make Bengal cats -- a rare breed of an Asian leopard cat -- legal in Georgia. The bill passed the House and is in the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee.