• Legislative Update 2019 - Week #1

    GEDA (Georgia Economic Developers Association) & Prepared by: Cornerstone Government Affairs


    Noteworthy Items:

    The General Assembly gaveled in on January 14, 2019 at 10 am. Governor Kemp and all the constitutionally elected officers were sworn in at 2 pm the same afternoon in front of a record-breaking crowd at McCamish Pavilion on Georgia Tech’s campus.

    In Governor Kemp’s inaugural address, he spoke of Georgia as being known for its low tax environment, being a logistics hub, the Hollywood of the South, and soon-to-be known as the cyber capital of the world. He spoke of wanting to build on the accomplishments of Governors Perdue and Deal by cutting taxes and red tape, fully funding education, and ensuring a strong workforce pipeline. He mentioned having a vision for a safer, stronger Georgia. Kemp acknowledged challenges our state faces: small businesses feel like we are still in the 20th century, mental health needs, opioid abuse, gang activity and sex trafficking, and 63% of third graders not being able to read on grade level. Echoing the words of his beloved former coach, Coach Henderson, whose life motto was “It Can Be Done,” Kemp vowed to tackle these and other issues, including infrastructure in Atlanta and to ensure that high speed internet is available across rural Georgia. He also promised to work with the General Assembly to ensure that families in Georgia have access to quality healthcare and education systems regardless of their zip code. Finally, he vowed to work hard every day for ALL Georgians, not just those who voted for him.

    On Wednesday, January 16, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual “Eggs & Issues” breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center. Attendees had the chance to hear from Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan, and Speaker Ralston. Notably, during the speeches:

    • Governor Kemp plans to provide funding for each school system to address school safety, as well as provide funding for mental health counselors in our schools;
    • Governor Kemp plans to push for a historic pay raise for teachers;
    • Speaker Ralston predicts school security, rural development, and transit to be the focus of the House this session;
    • Speaker Ralston announced several special committees and commissions:
      • Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics to be led by Representative Tanner
      • Special Committee on Access to Quality Healthcare to be led by Representatives Richard Smith and Sharon Cooper;
      • House Working Group on Creative Arts & Entertainment led by Representative Matt Dollar.

    On Thursday, January 17, Governor Kemp delivered his “State of the State” address in the House Chamber, where he outlined his plans to boost teacher pay, invest in school safety, and keep Georgia on the path to economic prosperity.

    Committee Leadership:

    As the General Assembly gavels in, committees are selecting new leadership. We are seeing some changes in committee leadership from last session. All committees are listed below with their respective chairs. Committees likely to be most relevant to GEDA issues are bolded.
    House Committees:

    • Agriculture & Consumer Affairs – Rep. Tom McCall
    • Appropriations – Rep. Terry England
    • Banks & Banking – Rep. Greg Morris
    • Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight – Rep. Lee Hawkins
    • Code Revision – Rep. Timothy Barr
    • Defense & Veterans Affairs – Rep. Heath Clark
    • Economic Development & Tourism – Rep. Ron Stephens
    • Education – Rep. Rick Jasperse
    • Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications – Rep. Don Parsons
    • Ethics – Rep. Randy Nix
    • Game, Fish & Parks – Rep. Trey Rhodes
    • Governmental Affairs – Rep. Ed Rynders
    • Health & Human Services – Rep. Sharon Cooper
    • Higher Education – Rep. Chuck Martin
    • Human Relations & Aging – Rep. Jesse Petrea
    • Industry & Labor – Rep. Bill Werkheiser
    • Information & Audits – Rep. Darlene Taylor
    • Insurance – Rep. Richard Smith
    • Interstate Cooperation – Rep. David Clark
    • Intragovernmental Coordination – Rep. Jan Tankersley
    • Judiciary – Rep. Barry Fleming
    • Judiciary (Non-Civil) – Rep. Chuck Efstration
    • Juvenile Justice – Rep. Mandi Ballinger
    • Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment – Rep. Eddie Lumsden
    • MARTOC – Rep. Deborah Silcox
    • Motor Vehicles – Rep. John Corbett
    • Natural Resources & Environment – Rep. Lynn Smith
    • Public Safety & Homeland Security – Rep. Bill Hitchens
    • Regulated Industries – Rep. Alan Powell
    • Retirement – Rep. Tommy Benton
    • Rules – Rep. Jay Powell
    • Science & Technology – Rep. Ed Setzler
    • Small Business Development – Rep. Wes Cantrell
    • Special Rules – Rep. Dave Belton
    • State Planning & Community Affairs – Rep. Jimmy Pruett
    • State Properties – Rep. Gerald Greene
    • Transportation – Rep. Kevin Tanner
    • Ways & Means – Rep. Brett Harrell
    Chairmen of the subcommittees of Appropriations are as follows:
    • Economic Development – Rep. Penny Houston
    • Education – Rep. Robert Dickey
    • General Government – Rep. Sam Watson
    • Health – Rep. Butch Parrish
    • Higher Education – Rep. David Knight
    • Human Resources – Rep. Katie Dempsey
    • Public Safety – Rep. Andy Welch
    • Transportation & Infrastructure – Rep. Shaw Blackmon
    Senate Committees:
    Please note new appointments have been notated in italics
    • Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee: Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Lee Anderson (R – Grovetown)
    • Appropriations Committee: Chairman Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia)
    • Banking and Financial Institutions Committee: Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John F. Kennedy (R – Macon)
    • Economic Development and Tourism Committee: Chairman Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan)
    • Education and Youth Committee: Chairman Sen. P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa)
    • Ethics Committee: Chairman Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
    • Finance Committee: Chairman Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell)
    • Government Oversight Committee: Chairman Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Marty Harbin (R – Tyrone)
    • Health and Human Services Committee: Chairman Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge)
    • Higher Education Committee: Chairman Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough)
    • Insurance and Labor Committee: Chairman Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson) and Vice-Chairman Sen. P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville)
    • Interstate Cooperation Committee: Chairman Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D – Dawson)
    • Judiciary Committee: Chairman Sen. Jesse Stone (R – Waynesboro) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens)
    • Natural Resources and the Environment Committee: Chairman Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen)
    • Public Safety Committee: Chairman Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla)
    • Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee: Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan) and Vice-Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
    • Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee: Chairman Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan)
    • Retirement Committee: Chairman Sen. Ellis Black (R – Valdosta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome)
    • Rules Committee: Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville)
    • Science and Technology Committee: Chairman Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Greg Dolezal (R – Cumming)
    • Special Judiciary Committee: Chairman Sen. Jen Jordan (D – Atlanta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta)
    • State and Local Governmental Operations Committee: Chairman Sen. Greg Kirk (R – Americus) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton)
    • State Institutions and Property Committee: Chairman Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia)
    • Transportation Committee:  Chairman Sen. Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) and Vice- Chairman Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)
    • Urban Affairs Committee: Chairman Sen. Lester Jackson (D – Savannah) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Steve Henson (D – Stone Mountain)
    • Veterans, Military and Homeland Security: Chairman Sen. Bruce Thompson (R – White) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus)


    The House and Senate put forward the calendar for the remainder of January. It is as follows:
    • January 14 = Convene
    • January 15 = Legislative Day 2
    • January 16 = Legislative Day 3
    • January 17 = Legislative Day 4
    • January 22-24 = Budget Hearings (aka Budget Week)
    • January 28 = Legislative Day 5
    • January 29 = Legislative Day 6
    • January 30 = Legislative Day 7
    • February 5 = Legislative Day 8
    • February 6 = Legislative Day 9
    • February 7 = Legislative Day 10
    • February 8 = Legislative Day 11

    GEDA Legislative Event:

    Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
    Georgia State Capitol
    206 Washington Street Southwest
    Atlanta, GA 30334


    The program will include:

    • 9-10 Legislative Leaders Briefing, 450 CAP
    • 10-11 Photo with the Governor, CAP, North-wing, 2nd floor
    • 11-1 Lunch, 230 CAP, South-wing, 2nd floor
    • More details will be forthcoming soon.

    Glossary of Terms:

    Effective - The bill has been signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect the date stated.
    Recommitted -  A parliamentary motion to reassign a bill which has been in one committee to the same or a different committee. 
    Second Read -  In the House, second reading occurs automatically on the legislative day following the bill's introduction. In the Senate, second reading occurs on the legislative day after a bill is reported from standing committee, except that after the 35th day of the session, second reading occurs on the day a bill is reported from committee.
    Conference Committee -  A special committee consisting of three members from each house appointed by the presiding officers to seek a compromise when the two houses have passed different versions of the same bill and insist on their respective positions.
    Pre-filed - A bill that is filed before the beginning of the legislative session
    Withdrawn - A bill is removed from consideration
    Referred - Placed into committee

    To find your law makers click here.
    To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2019 click here.

  • Upcoming Events

  • New Members