Legislative session brings new lawmakers with new priorities

Among the hot-button issues expected to come up- abortion, sports betting, election law, and healthcare.
Georgia Capitol
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Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 9:17 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Among the hot-button issues expected to come up- abortion, sports betting, election law, and healthcare.

The 2023 legislative session began on Monday. It’s one of the most diverse in the General Assembly’s history.

Democrat Ruwa Romman is the first woman to hear a hijab in the House chambers.

“This house looks like Georgia, that’s the beauty of the situation. When you have a new set of voices, it like saying hey things are changing and we have to be able to address that change,” said Romman.

2023 Georgia legislature: Full coverage

The Press Office confirms, there are 43 new members in the house. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, the number of women in the house is historic. Democrat Esther Panich was one of the women elected. She said even on her first day, she’s focussing on the issues she plans to bring up.

“There is a very strong bipartisan spirit, we want to do right by Georgians. I want to see women’s rights protected, I want to see the 6-week abortion ban gone. I want reasonable gun control, I dont want it to be okay that someone wears full body armor and carries long guns into my shopping center and that’s perfectly fine,” said Panich.

She’ll face some opposition from the Republican Party that leads the house. The new Speaker of the House Jon Burns will act as the guide for the upcoming session.

“There are times we may disagree, but when we do disagree we must do so respectfully,” said Burns.

Lawmakers are taking a break from the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday because of the big Georgia football game.

They’ll be back on Wednesday morning at 11. Gov. Brian Kemp and additional Georgia constitutional officers will hold their inaugural ceremonies on Thursday.