Last Monday, the Georgia Legislature headed back to the Gold Dome for the 2022 session. To be honest, it feels like we hardly had a break, with special session ending right around Thanksgiving! The atmosphere at the Capitol is still slightly subdued, with mask mandates, twice-weekly COVID testing and very limited guests in the building. On the other hand, all members seemed boisterous about UGA’s national championship win, with the Speaker of the House playing the Georgia fight song to adjourn the chamber one day!
Aside from some procedural and local bills, we didn’t vote on much last week. On Thursday, Governor Kemp gave the State of the State speech, which highlighted much of the legislation we can expect to see in coming weeks, from constitutional carry (allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit), restrictions on what can be taught in schools, and bans on transgender girls playing sports. This week, the Appropriations Committee will meet each day – we refer to it as Budget Week – so we won’t gavel in again until Monday the 24th.
On Wednesday, Jan. 12th, the joint Senate & House City of Atlanta Delegation met to discuss the proposed Buckhead City legislation. The following guests presented on the unintended ramifications on the proposed legislation:
Ed Lindsey, Committee for a United Atlanta
Michael Handelman, Neighbors for a United Atlanta
Tom Gehl, Georgia Municipal Association
Kenyatta Mitchell, City of Atlanta
Erica Long, Atlanta Public Schools
Robbie Ashe, Attorney, Bondurant Mixson Elmore
Bill White, the Chairman & CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, was unable to provide a time he could meet with us. We hope to schedule him at a future date.
You can watch the entire delegation meeting here. The AJC has a good write-up of the meeting here.
Buckhead City Update
Two bills have been filed – one in the House and one in the Senate.
The House bill, HB 854, submitted by Todd Jones of Cumming, has been assigned to the Governmental Affairs committee. Here are the email addresses for the committee, if you’d like to email them about this bill:
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The Senate bill, SB 324, submitted by Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, has been assigned to the Urban Affairs committee. Here are the email addresses for the committee:
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I am the second signer on HB 901, sponsored by Rep. Shea Roberts, which would require any referendum to de-annex part of an existing city be voted on by the entire city that is impacted, not just the voters who would be part of a newly incorporated municipality. If this bill passes, and the Buckhead cityhood bills pass, all of Atlanta would be allowed to vote on whether Buckhead can secede from the city of Atlanta. I’ve long had concerns about the constitutionality and morality of a small subset of a city voting on that entire city’s future. This legislation would answer those concerns not just for the proposed Buckhead City bill, but for any de-annexation bill in the future.
This bill has been assigned to the Governmental Affairs committee. The email addresses are listed above.
Join me on Sunday, January 30th at 4 pm for another listening session!
You must pre-register on Zoom for the link ahead of time. You can pre-register here.
If you haven’t already, please browse my website, betsyforgeorgia.com.
As your Representative, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-656-0116 with questions, concerns, or solutions you may have regarding legislation or other happenings in District 54.
To stay updated, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and follow the Georgia House of Representatives @GAHouseHub on Twitter. Additionally, in-depth information regarding current bills, Georgia’s annual and supplemental budgets, committee meetings, and livestreams from the General Assembly can be accessed via www.legis.ga.gov.
I encourage you and your family to visit our State Capitol and my office, where all constituents are welcome. I look forward to connecting with you!
My office is located at:
18 Capitol Square, SW
409-B, Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
Representative Betsy Holland
GA House District 54