The General Assembly continues to progress through its calendar and move legislation forward as the Session finishes its sixth week. While Crossover Day is still a month away, another date has been quietly looming in the background and is beginning to come into play. That date is Monday, March 7th, the first day of qualifying to run in the 2022 elections. Qualifying will end on Friday, March 11th. While that is still weeks off, the effect of an election year is already being felt both in the bills that are progressing, the tenor of the debates and in the decisions being made.
This week two notable legislators announced they are retiring – one in the Senate and one in the House.
On Tuesday, Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Lindsey Tippins of Marietta announced he was not running for re-election. Then another bombshell hit Thursday when House Appropriations Chairman Terry England revealed he was not running for reelection after serving 17 years, 12 as the Chair of the all-important budget writing committee. The reverberations of that retirement will be felt throughout the Capitol as he is universally respected.
They are not the only two legislators to announce retirements as at least 10 House members and almost as many Senators have already declared they are either running for different positions or retiring. Many more announcements are expected over the next three weeks before Qualifying ends. Rumors are circulating that 30 or more legislators may not come back in the House alone, that’s not counting any changes that may occur as a result of the elections themselves.
Press Conference Supporting Georgia INFORM Act Draws Media Coverage
A press conference held Tuesday by Sen. Albers and members of Georgia Retailerswas well attended by local media and resulted in a number of positive stories on the local news that evening as well as on the web. Fox 5 and WSB 2 both ran stories that helped explain the issue and why the GA INFORM Act is an important tool for law enforcement. Attorney General Chris Carr, State Senator John Albers, and Rep. Houston Gaines of Athens, the House sponsor of the legislation, all spoke on the importance of the legislation.
The General Assembly has now completed 18 Legislative Days of the 40 Day Session.
Next week’s schedule is as follows:
- Monday (2/21) – President’s Day
- Tuesday (2/22)– Legislative Day 19
- Wednesday (2/23) – Committee Work Day