If your job is to find ways to stop voter fraud, to lower number of highway deaths in Georgia which are at their highest level since 2007, or to get wireless internet to the people of rural Georgia, that’s a lot of pressure. That’s exactly what GA general assembly men are facing right now in the final days of Georgia’s 40-day legislative session. This Thursday marks the last day.
WHAT IS IT? The General Assembly is our state legislature made up of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly meets at the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta. The legislature has two hundred and thirty six members who each serve two year terms and are elected by Georgia voters in their district.
WHEN DO THEY MEET? The General Assembly meets from January until the end of March to establish Georgia’s annual operating budget and to propose laws.
WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT? Hot topics as this session wraps up include distracted driving, paper ballots, broadband access in rural Georgia, and gun control. Most proposals are awaiting approval from either the House or the Senate.
ELECTRONIC VOTING: Electronic voting has come into question. Georgia’s sixteen-year-old electronic touchscreen voting system could be replaced by oldschool paper ballots if approved by the House this session so that election results can be better audited and recounted.
DISTRACTED DRIVING: Fatal car accidents in Georgia are rising at nearly three times the national rate according to House Bill 282. The proposed bill on distracted driving goes beyond texting and driving to restrict all phone and technology use while driving in Georgia.
INTERNET ACCESS: Marli Collier, a legislative assistant for Matthews and Maxwell says that providing greater access to rural Georgia has been a big theme this session. The broadband bill would work to install high-speed wireless Internet access and computer networking in rural areas of Georgia.
GUN CONTROL: The gunman in the Las Vegas shooting used a bump stock on his rifle to rapid fire hundreds of rounds killing 58 people and injuring 500. A proposed bill would add “bump fire stocks” to the list of “dangerous weapons” banned under Georgia law and would further ban the sale and possession of this gun accessory.
Join us this Wednesday for our live broadcast and special reports from the Georgia Capitol. If you want to contact your legislator or keep track of bills you’re interested in, visit the Georgia General Assembly website.