Georgia General Assembly

Shyann Swanson

Wednesday on Political Rewind, could the tragic story of Ahmaud Arbery spur action on the part of Georgia’s elected officials?

And now that a new district attorney is at the helm, the case’s fourth, what can we expect as proceedings continue?

We spoke to attorney Chris Stewart, one of the lawyers representing the Arbery family and Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Jones.

State Rep. Matt Gurtler on the floor of the Georgia House during the debate over the budget.
House Media Services

As Georgia gun sales surge in Georgia due to worries over the coronavirus, Georgia state Rep. Matt Gurtler, R-Tiger, wants to make sure people can carry weapons -- concealed or open -- without fear of arrest.


"It's imperative that we suspend the enforcement of those weapons licenses," Gurtler said.



Monday on Political Rewind, formal meetings in the legislature were put on hold last week as agency heads and legislative leaders discussed Gov. Brian Kemp's proposed budget cuts. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ariel Hart discussed the impacts on Georgia health issues.

And, in other health news, the federal government is signaling it is likely to approve the governor's waiver designed to lower insurance premiums through government subsidies. The proposal would assist insurance companies in paying for medical bills for Georgians with insurance plans from the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. 

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, speaking with the press ahead of the 2020 Georgia General Assembly.
Donna Lowry / GPB

The top Republican in Georgia’s House of Representatives is anticipating a lengthy 2020 legislative session as state lawmakers grapple with tax and budgeting rules.

During his annual pre-session press conference House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, laid out his expectations and offered a preview of the upcoming General Assembly.

On this edition of Political Rewind, the 2018 session of the Georgia General Assembly was gaveled to a close late last night.  What did lawmakers do about measures to crack down on distracted driving, to expand transit across metro Atlanta, or to boost the chances for economic growth in rural Georgia?  We’ll look at these and other accomplishments under the “Gold Dome” this year.  Then, with the session now finished, the sprint to the May primary elections is now under way.  We’ll look at where the top races stand right now.  Plus, the City of Atlanta has been paralyzed by one of the bigges

On this edition of Political Rewind, we're looking at the headlines coming out of the General Assembly. The House overwhelmingly approves a bipartisan resolution that asks Congress to pass a law allowing medical marijuana research.


Mar 31, 2017
Ezra Morris / GPB

Thanks to Georgia lawmakers, you won’t have to pay sales taxes the next time you hail an Uber, buy something from Amazon, or fix up your yacht. And you’ll still be able to play fantasy sports.

The 2017 legislative session ended with a number of changes to Georgia’s tax laws still on the table and a collection of special tax breaks headed to the desk of Governor Nathan Deal.

Ezra Morris / GPB

Georgia lawmakers took action on a number of health bills during the the 2017 session. Governor Nathan Deal has already signed one of them into law.

Adoption Law Update Lingers On Georgia Lawmakers' Last Day

Mar 30, 2017
Matt Barnett / Flickr

Changes to Georgia adoption law that proponents call long overdue await a final vote entering the General Assembly's final day on Thursday.

Conservative lawmakers added a "religious freedom" provision for private adoption agencies two weeks ago, forcing last-minute legislative maneuvers that could still send the bill to Gov. Nathan Deal's desk.

Adoption attorneys worked with the bill's sponsor, Marietta Republican Rep. Bert Reeves, for two years to craft the 100-page bill.

Georgia Lawmakers OK $49 Billion Budget With Teacher Raises

Mar 22, 2017
Matt Barnett / Flickr

Georgia teachers and other state employees would get a 2 percent salary increase while staff overseeing child welfare cases will see a 19 percent raise under a state spending plan approved Wednesday by the General Assembly.

The $49 billion budget includes about $25 billion from state sources particularly income taxes; the rest is largely provided by the federal government. The spending plan for the year starting July 1 now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal, who has broad power to veto individual line-items before signing it.

Georgia State University Police Department

Today a vote is scheduled on the house floor for a controversial piece of legislation that would restrict the authority of universities to investigate alleged sexual assault on campuses across Georgia. House Bill 51 was introduced by state Rep. Earl Ehrhart and would require university officials to notify law enforcement if a felony, such as rape, has occurred with or without the consent of the victim.

The Problem of Part-time Legislators

Mar 31, 2016

The Georgia General Assembly's work is done. Legislators must now run for re-election. Well, most of them. More than a dozen are actually going to retire. Among them Nikki Randall of Macon. So why are they leaving? And is it because of the salaries these part time lawmakers get?  To answer that question GPB Macon’s Michael Caputo brought in Chris Grant a political science professor for Mercer University. 

Michael Caputo: So these are supposed to be part time jobs. Are they really part time jobs? 

Wikimedia Commons

The 2016 Georgia legislative session is over. State House Speaker David Ralston (R- Blue Ridge) yelled out Sine Die! and pounded the gavel from his perch in the House chamber, officially ending the General Assembly session around 12:30 early Friday morning.

What The Heck Is Sine Die, Anyway?

Mar 22, 2016
Branden Camp / AP Photo



March 24 is the final day of the 2016 Georgia legislative session, Day 40, Sine Die.

Sine Die comes from a Latin phrase that means, roughly, “without picking a day for meeting again.” Both chambers of the state legislature are required by law to finish their business by the end of the legislative day on Sine Die.