Lawmakers release proposed schedule on General Assembly’s first day
Jon Burns was elected 75th speaker; Jan Jones honored as first female speaker
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On a day when lawmakers were more focused on Monday night’s University of Georgia college football championship game than the people’s business, some productive work did get done on the Georgia General Assembly’s first day.
Lawmakers published a proposed schedule for the rest of the legislative session. Crossover day will be Monday, March 6, and the legislature will adjourn on Wednesday, March 29. Lawmakers will not be in session for any Fridays after this week.
As expected, state Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) was elected as the 75th Speaker of the Georgia House. Former House Speaker David Ralston died last year, allowing metro Atlanta lawmaker Jan Jones to become Georgia’s first female speaker; Jones had been serving as Speaker Pro Tempore.
However, in December, Burns was elected speaker and formally took office on Monday. Jones (R-Milton) was elected to continue serving as Speaker Pro-Tempore.
Jones was also honored Monday by the Women’s Legislative Caucus.
After Republicans yet again swept every statewide office this past November, Georgia House Democrats did their best to put forth a celebratory mood by announcing 25 new members, which the caucus said was a record. State Rep. James Beverly (D-Macon) is the House minority leader. State Rep. Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) is majority whip.
New Democratic members include state Rep. Ruwa Romman (D-Duluth), the first Muslim woman to serve in the state House and the first Palestinian to be elected to any Georgia public office.
The speaker serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and is responsible for determining the leadership and membership of House committees.
Burns also appointed a Committee on Assignments to determine committee assignments and leadership positions for the session: Jones; Majority Leader Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula); Majority Whip James Burchett (R-Waycross); Majority Caucus Chairman Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe); Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire); Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome); Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin); Rep. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan); and Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus).
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