January 14, 2022
The 2022 General Assembly began on Monday but without the typical hustle and bustle of a new session. Both chambers gaveled in for a brief Monday session, and then legislators and lobbyists headed out to watch the University of Georgia Bulldogs secure their first College Football National Championship in over 40 years. After being in recess on Tuesday, the legislature met on Wednesday through Friday. using four legislative days this week. They will not be in session next week so that the House and Senate can hold their annual AFY22 and FY23 budget hearings.
On Thursday morning, Governor Kemp gave his annual State of the State address. His budgetary remarks heavily focused on the strength of Georgia’s economy despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. In addition to announcing the $2,000 final installment of the $5,000 teacher pay raise and plans to restore austerity cuts to K-12 education, Governor Kemp also announced a permanent $5,000 cost of living adjustment for full time state employees.
Following through on two of his 2018 campaign promises, the Governor also endorsed legislation to create a new anti-gang unit within the Office of the Attorney General as well as legislation that would eliminate the need for a permit to conceal carry a handgun; commonly referred to as “Constitutional Carry”.
Note that this is the second year in the biennium, meaning legislation still alive from last legislative session can carryover and be taken back up.
We will begin our regular weekly reporting during the week of January 24th when the legislative session will kick into gear after the week of budget hearings. This link takes you to the agenda for the Joint House and Senate Budget hearing set for next week. Joint Budget Hearings Meeting Notice – 01.18.2022 (002).pdf (ga.gov)