Georgia lawmakers kick off another legislative session on Monday facing big questions about a state budget that should push a record $26 billion, new mass transit spending, a wave of new healthcare decisions and age-old debates about socially conservative legislation.
Politics will dominate the session. Just about every state office is up for grabs, and a host of lawmakers are competing for governor, lieutenant governor and other top spots. The Senate alone is a hotbed of political activity.
The only thing lawmakers are constitutionally required to do over the 40 days of session is to decide how Georgians will spend the billions of dollars taxpayers funnel to the state treasury each year. And those decisions shape just about every facet of our lives. It’s time for Georgians to tune in.
State lawmakers will confront a range of divisive issues, including the return of tense fights over religious liberty, Confederate monuments and gun control. It won’t be easy to navigate these contentious issues in an uncertain election year.