Georgia legislative session 2017 guide

Your guide to Georgia’s 2017 legislative session

Your guide to Georgia’s 2017 legislative session

Use the secretary of state’s poll locator service to identify your House and Senate districts and who represents you: http://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Look for lawmakers in the House or Senate chamber or in their offices. You can find your legislators’ phone numbers and office locations on the General Assembly’s website: www.legis.ga.gov When the Legislature is in...
Tips from lobbyists about how to make your case to Georgia legislators

Tips from lobbyists about how to make your case to Georgia legislators

Hundreds of professional lobbyists will fill the third floor of the Capitol for the next few months, pushing some bills and working to defeat others. Nonprofessionals — otherwise known as citizens — also show up but are sometimes overwhelmed by the often rowdy goings-on. We asked a few veteran lobbyists what makes a good lobbyist and what citizens can do to be heard over the din. Southern...
Top issues for Georgia’s General Assembly in 2017

Top issues for Georgia’s General Assembly in 2017

A primer on some of the top issues expected to come up during the legislative session that begins Monday: The issue: Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a “religious liberty” bill this past spring, putting to rest absolutely nothing. Advocates on both sides expect it to return in 2017, despite a reluctance among statehouse leaders to expend capital on such a lightning rod issue. Key proponents...
Key players during the legislative session

Key players during the legislative session

GOVERNOR Nathan Deal: The governor enters the third year of his second term and will set the agenda again in 2017, although his influence may be a little diminished by the fact that he is nearing the end of his tenure and his signature Opportunity School District, a proposed constitutional amendment, got hammered at the polls in November. However, he still has the power to veto legislation and legislative...
Five newcomers to watch in the Georgia Legislature

Five newcomers to watch in the Georgia Legislature

Among Georgia’s 236 lawmakers, none have more ground to cover than the newbies who enter the Capitol as first-time legislators. They are a diverse lot, both Republicans and Democrats alike, and some have an opportunity to make outsize statements despite their relative inexperience. Here are five newcomers to watch as the Georgia Legislature kicks off its work for the new year: Chamber: House...
Ralston to create new transportation funding panel

Ralston to create new transportation funding panel

House Speaker David Ralston on Thursday announced the creation of a new panel charged with studying transportation and ways to pay for it, including transit.  Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, told reporters that the new subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, which writes the state budget each year.   Since lawmakers in 2015 adopted a major new transportation funding plan, Ralston...
Don’t catfish this, it’s for the chil’rens: A legislative glossary

Don’t catfish this, it’s for the chil’rens: A legislative glossary

Here’s what Georgia lawmakers mean when they say… A dinner, a lunch: A group meal sponsored by lobbyists. A good bill: Commonly used by lawmakers to start debate and let colleagues know they are not, in fact, presenting a “bad bill” that will, say, destroy the environment, triple income taxes or reintroduce child labor. Example: “This is a good bill that heps the chil&rsquo...
Obamacare, transportation and snow on minds of top Georgia legislators

Obamacare, transportation and snow on minds of top Georgia legislators

Georgia legislative leaders unveiled their top priorities Thursday for the 2017 session, saying they planned to open on schedule next week despite the weekend threat of a winter storm. Those priorities include monitoring the state’s response to the expected federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act, regional transportation planning and more money for education initiatives. First, however, was...
Deal to maintain focus on failing schools plan for 2017

Deal to maintain focus on failing schools plan for 2017

Gov. Nathan Deal plans to put all his political might behind a measure that would give the state more power to intervene in persistently struggling schools, saying in an interview Friday that he is unlikely to push a more sweeping plan to overhaul the school funding formula until it passes. Declaring himself undeterred by the November defeat of his Opportunity School District initiative, Deal...
In spite of support, Medicaid expansion in Georgia remains unlikely

In spite of support, Medicaid expansion in Georgia remains unlikely

Georgians overwhelmingly support an expansion of Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured people, but expansion appears to be even less likely now than at any time since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. That’s in large part because the new Congress is preparing to dismantle the law known as Obamacare, and state officials — the ones who would have to approve a Medicaid...
Casino supporters gear up for push in Georgia with new Legislature

Casino supporters gear up for push in Georgia with new Legislature

Brandon Beach has a simple question: What would Georgia leaders say if a company wanted to invest more than $1 billion on a new business, give 5,000 people jobs and not ask for a dime of public money to help? “We’d be rolling out the red carpet,” said Beach, a Republican state senator from Alpharetta. The only hiccup in Beach’s scenario is the hypothetical company in question...
Watchdog: Georgia elections among least competitive in nation

Watchdog: Georgia elections among least competitive in nation

Georgia is one of the least politically competitive states in the nation and money is a big part of it, according to the Institute on Money in State Politics. “Georgia is always at the bottom,” said Pete Quist, chief researcher for the Montana-based institute, which produces regular reports ranking competitiveness among states. According to their data, 81 percent of incumbents for...
The Navigator will help you get around the Legislature

The Navigator will help you get around the Legislature

How well do you know your legislators? Who gives them campaign contributions? Do you know how much? Maybe you would like to know how good they are at turning bills into law. This is the third year that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will be providing that kind of information, and more, on the Georgia Legislative Navigator at http://legislativenavigator.myajc.com/. The Navigator serves several...
Meet the AJC’s legislative team

Meet the AJC’s legislative team

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will have the largest group of journalists at the Capitol during the 2017 legislative session, providing expertise that can’t be found anywhere else. Here’s a look at the team: Bob Andres joined the AJC in 1998. He has held photography and photo editing positions in California, Florida and Georgia. He will produce photos and videos from the Capitol during...