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Volume XIII, Number 32


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January 30, 2023

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Gold Dome Report – Legislative Day 5 2023

After a week of hearings on Governor Kemp’s proposals for the Amended FY23 and FY24 budgets, legislators returned to the State Capitol on Monday for Legislative Day 5…and more budget hearings. The House is wasting no time getting to work on the Amended FY23 spending plan, known as the “little budget”. Its eight appropriations subcommittees completed their initial hearings on Monday, only ten days after the release of the amended budget proposal. With adjournment sine die just over nine weeks away, there’s no time to dawdle if the General Assembly is to complete its only constitutionally-mandated task — approving the State’s spending plans before the final gavel falls.

While appropriators are busy with the budget, most other legislators are still getting organized and finding their desks. The hoppers are still relatively empty, moving boxes are still being shifted from office to office, and committees are still getting organized. But the Office of Legislative Counsel (“OLC”) is stoking fear of what may be to come. According to OLC, as of January 20, its lawyers have drafted 920 bills and 129 resolutions for legislators. With fewer than 100 measures introduced to date, there could be a deluge of legislation to come. We’ll try to keep you afloat in the flood with the #GoldDomeReport.

In this Report:

  • House Appoints Committee Leadership, Members

  • New Legislation

  • What’s Next

House Appoints Committee Leadership, Members

House Speaker Jon Burns (R-Newington) and the Committee on Assignments completed its work of appointing House committee leaders and members last week. New chairs for the House’s committees are listed below, and a complete list of the committee leadership and members can be found here.

Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Chairman Robert Dickey (R-Musella)
Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin)
Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Penny Houston (R-Nashville)
Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville)
General Government Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Marcus Weidower (R-Watkinsville)
Health Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville)
Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Knight (R-Griffin)
Human Resources Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Katie Dempsey (R-Rome)
Public Safety Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Bill Hitchens (R-Rincon)
Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn)
Banks & Banking Chairman Noel Williams (R-Cordele)
Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight Chairman Steven Meeks (R-Screven)
Code Revision Chairman Bill Yearta (R-Sylvester)
Creative Arts & Entertainment Chairman Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton)
Defense & Veterans Affairs Chairman Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville)
Economic Development & Tourism Chairman Ron Stephens (R-Savannah)
Education Chairman Chris Erwin (R-Homer)
Energy, Utilities, & Telecommunications Chairman Don Parsons (R-Marietta)
Ethics Chairman Buddy DeLoach (R-Townsend)
Game, Fish, and Parks Chairman Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro)
Governmental Affairs Chairman John LaHood (R-Valdosta)
Health Chairman Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville)
Higher Education Chairman Chuck Martin (R-Marietta)
Human Relations & Aging Chairman Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah)
Industry & Labor Chairman Bill Werkheiser (R-Glennville)
Information & Audits Chairman Steve Tarvin (R-Chickamauga)
Insurance Chairman Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee)
Interstate Cooperations Chairman Mark Newton (R-Augusta)
Intragovernmental Coordination Chairman Beth Camp (R-Concord)
Judiciary Chairman Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville)
Judiciary Non-Civil Chairman Tyler Paul Smith (R-Bremen)
Juvenile Justice Chairman Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton)
Motor Vehicles Chairman John Corbett (R-Lake Park)
Natural Resources & Environment Chairman Lynn Smith (R-Newnan)
Public Health Chairman Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta)
Public Safety & Homeland Security Chairman J. Collins (R-Villa Rica)
Reapportionment & Redistricting Chairman Rob Leverett (R-Elberton)
Regulated Industries Chairman Alan Powell (R-Hartwell)
Retirement Chairman John Carson (R-Marietta)
Rules Chairman Richard Smith (R-Columbus)
Small Business Development Chairman Mike Cheokas (R-Americus)
Special Rules Chairman Steven Sainz (R-St. Marys)
State Planning & Community Affairs Chairman Karen Mathiak (R-Griffin)
State Properties Chairman Gerald Greene (R-Albany)
Technology & Infrastructure Innovation Chairman Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth)
Transportation Chairman Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper)
Urban Affairs Chairman Brian Prince (D-Augusta)
Ways & Means Chairman Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire)

Speaker Jon Burns (R-Newington) announced a new Special Committee on Healthcare Policy at Eggs and Issues and later in a press release. This committee will be chaired by Representative Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro) and be comprised of the health committee chairs.

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest has been introduced in the House:

H.B.26 Right to Breath Act; enact Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-065)


H.B.32 Quality Basic Education Act; no high school which receives funding shall participate in sports events that does not utilize instant replay in Championship games; provide Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-078)


H.B.35 Georgia Ports Authority; provide for powers; expand arrest authority of officers Rep. Bill Hitchens (R-161)


H.B.37 Community Health, Department of; mitigate potential loss of Medicaid coverage caused by discontinuation of Families First Coronavirus Response Act; provide Rep. James Beverly (D-143)


H.B.38 Community Health, Department of; utilize appropriations for purposes of obtaining federal financial participation for medical assistance payments; provisions Rep. James Beverly (D-143)


H.R.12 Leadership in Georgia's counties; combat housing insecurity and homelessness; urge Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-065)


The following legislation of interest has been introduced in the Senate:


"Blind Persons' Braille Literacy Rights and Education Act"; enact Sen. Gail Davenport (D-044)


S.R.9 Together Georgia; recognize Sen. Larry Walker (R-020)


S.R.10 Easterseals Georgia; recognize GA Sen. Larry Walker (R-020)


 What’s Next

The General Assembly will reconvene for Legislative Day 6 on Tuesday, January 24 at 10:00AM.

Copyright ©2023 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 23

About this Author

Stanley S. Jones, Jr. Government Relations Attorney Nelson Mullins Atlanta

Stan practices in the areas of healthcare law, governmental relations and public policy, and administrative law.

Helen L. Sloat Legislative Consultant Nelson Mullins Atlanta
Legislative Consultant

Helen is a legislative consultant and Georgia Registered Lobbyist. She is an advocate for various clients including healthcare providers, insurers, and child welfare providers. Helen tracks federal and state legislation, conducts research, drafts bills and amendments, and lobbies for legislative initiatives' introduction and passage. She has experience with Georgia's budgetary process.

George S. Ray Government Relations Attorney Nelson Mullins Atlanta

George focuses his practice on Georgia government relations, state and local administrative law and regulatory proceedings, and business litigation. Representing education, healthcare, nonprofit, and other business entities before the Georgia General Assembly and State agencies, George works with clients to develop and implement strategies at each stage of the legislative and regulatory policy processes. He also helps clients resolve Georgia business, regulatory, and procurement disputes.