Session Update: Week Nine

On Monday, March 9, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Nine of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. On Thursday, March 12, we reached Legislative Day 28, or “Cross Over Day.” Cross Over Day is a critical deadline in the General Assembly, as it is the last day a piece of legislation can pass out of its original chamber and remain eligible for consideration by the opposite legislative chamber. On Cross Over Day, my colleagues and I worked late into the night to pass several House bills, which will now be considered by the Senate.

An important announcement came during the ninth week of the session as Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan decided to suspend the 2020 legislative session until further notice due to the growing threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across the state and country. The suspension is out of an abundance of caution for public safety. We suspended the legislative session indefinitely after we adjourned for Legislative Day 29 on Friday, March 13.

Before we suspended the legislative session, the House passed the most critical piece of legislation of the session, House Bill 793, which is the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) budget. The FY 2021 budget is at a revenue estimate of $28.1 billion. HB 793 demonstrates the House’s ongoing support of expanded mental health care and crisis intervention services, access to quality health care, and restoring grants for county health departments and public libraries. It also includes the reinstatement of funds to ensure a fully-functioning criminal justice system, including adequate funding for public defenders, accountability courts, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime labs. 

This week, the House also passed House Bill 1114, which would allow the Department of Community Health (DCH) to pursue a Medicaid waiver to extend postpartum health care coverage for mothers for a period of up to six months following birth. Under the bill, the DCH could also submit a Medicaid waiver to provide coverage for lactation care and services for new mothers who are trying or struggling to breastfeed their babies. 

We also passed legislation this week to provide paid parental leave to all of Georgia’s state employees as their families grow. House Bill 1094 will provide approximately 246,000 state employees with three weeks, or 120 hours, of paid leave upon the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. The paid parental leave benefit would apply to state employees with six months of creditable service regardless of the employee’s gender. It would be limited to once in any 12 months, and this benefit will not impact the employee’s accrued leave or rights under any family medical leave policy.         

The House also passed legislation this week to reform and lower personal income taxes for Georgians. House Bill 949 will reduce Georgia’s personal income tax to a flat rate of 5.375 percent. The corporate tax rate, already a flat tax, would remain at 5.75 percent. HB 949 will also institute a new Georgia Income Tax Credit for working families to offset the flattening of the tax brackets.         

My colleagues and I also passed legislation to strengthen the state’s adoption laws to continue to place more foster children in their forever homes. House Bill 913 would reduce the statutory age at which a person is allowed to petition for adoption from 25 to 21 years old, enabling more families to adopt children in our state.. Additionally, HB 913 would allow adoptive parents to file a civil cause of action to address adoption scams when individuals deliberately misrepresent a pregnancy or intention to place a child for adoption when the individual is not pregnant or has no intention of placing a child for adoption.           

To address recent concerns over ethylene oxide leaks in some Georgia communities, we passed a bill this week that seeks to protect Georgia citizens from the dangers of being exposed to this known carcinogen. House Bill 927 would require any permittee of operation or facility that utilizes ethylene oxide in our state to report a spill or release of any amount of this gas to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) within 24-hours of discovery, and the EPD would be required to make this report available to the public on the division’s website.         

On Cross Over Day, we adopted a conference committee report that gave final passage to the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 budget, or House Bill 792. During the 2019 legislative session, the original Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) budget was set by a revenue estimate of $27.5 billion. When Gov. Kemp first released his budget recommendations at the beginning of the 2020 legislative session, he adjusted the state revenue estimate for Amended Fiscal Year 2020 (AFY 2020) down to $27.3 billion. The Conference Committee Report on the AFY 2020 budget includes several of the House’s funding priorities including:

Add $132.8 million for the midterm enrollment adjustment for education

Restore $1.3 million for our libraries and archives

Fund $4 million for our criminal justice reform

Add $8.2 million for new access to Georgians in need of a crisis with the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities 

Restore $6.4 million for public health grants to counties

Increase of $100 million from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve for the Governor’s Emergency Fund for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Add $5 million to rural hospitals to prepare for the spread of COVID-19

From Day One to now, I presented two bills that passed in the House and are now being considered in the Senate. The following bills include:

House Bill 854, which would require counties, municipalities and consolidated governments to treat fence detection systems, in all matters, as alarm systems

House Bill 1102, which would create the “Revised Homestead Option Sales and Use Tax Act of 2020” (RHOST) to allow voters of a county, where a homestead option sales and use tax (HOST) is already in place, to file a petition with the county election superintendent to replace the current HOST with an RHOST

Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the State of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Eight

On Monday, March 2, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Eight of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia.

We kicked off the week by unanimously passing legislation to aid in the fight against human trafficking in Georgia. House Bill 823 would allow the Georgia Department of Driver Services to revoke a person’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) and impose a lifetime CDL ban in Georgia for those who are convicted and knowingly used a commercial vehicle in the commission of a human trafficking crime, which includes trafficking an individual for labor servitude or sexual servitude. Over 3,600 children are sold into sex trafficking in Georgia every year, and our largest city, Atlanta, was listed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of 14 U.S. cities with the most sex trafficking activity. 

My colleagues and I also passed two important pieces of legislation to protect our citizens from incurring unexpected medical costs. We passed House Bill 888, or the “Surprise Billing Consumer Act,” which would require insurance providers to pay for emergency medical services without need for any prior authorization and without any retrospective payment denial for medically necessary services, regardless of whether a health care provider giving emergency medical services is a participating provider or not. In addition to HB 888, we also passed the “Surprise Bill Transparency Act” to increase awareness and provide a resource regarding insurance coverage for hospital-based specialty groups. House Bill 789 would create a health benefit plan surprise bill rating system to determine if a patient’s benefit plan would apply to certain hospital-based specialty groups, including anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists and emergency medicine physicians.

We also passed House Bill 946 which creates transparency for prescription drug prices and allows the state to better oversee pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), who are third-party prescription drug administrators that pay for, reimburse and cover the cost of drugs, devices or pharmacy care on behalf of a health plan. Similarly, we also passed House Bill 918 to amend the “The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights” to place limitations on the size and frequency of pharmacy audits by PBMs, which PBMs currently use as a way to recapture money from pharmacists around the state. Additionally, the House passed House Bill 947 to require the Department of Community Health (DCH) to initiate an independent, third-party actuarial study to determine the potential savings associated with carving out prescription drug benefits from Medicaid care management organizations (CMOs) and providing those benefits through the DCH’s Medicaid fee-for-service program. 

The House also unanimously passed House Bill 914 to support our military families and veterans as they make our state their home. This bill would streamline and expedite the professional licensing process for military spouses, as well as service members who are transitioning into the private sector when they move to our state. HB 914 would require professional licensing boards to issue expedited licenses to those who hold a current license for their job and are in good standing with another state. Members of the military, along with their spouses and families, make immense sacrifices as they move from state to state to serve our country, but this legislation would help them quickly secure professional opportunities and would make Georgia a more military-friendly state.

We passed House Bill 855, which would require the Department of Education (DOE) to provide guidance to local school systems in order to assess whether a newly enrolled foster care child has been exposed to trauma which adversely impacted the student’s educational performance or behavior. The Department of Education would develop a protocol for schools to immediately assess foster children who are removed from their homes and are subsequently placed in a new schooling environment. 

Before we finished week eight, we passed legislation to expand and improve Georgia’s hemp farming laws. House Bill 847 would allow any college or university in Georgia to operate a pilot hemp research program, and it would permit colleges and universities to engage third parties to assist in these research programs. The bill would also allow a licensed provider to provide or sell hemp to a Georgia college or university or to another provider who is not licensed in Georgia but is located in a state with a hemp regulation plan that is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. HB 847 would increase the initial permit fee for a hemp processor from $25,000 to $50,000 to help keep Georgia’s hemp program sustainable and would revise background check requirements for licensees and permittees.

This week, I qualified to run for State House again. It has been an honor serving District 109, and I look forward to serving you again! 

My colleagues and I also passed the following bills and resolutions on the House floor this week:

House Bill 486, which would prohibit an individual from advertising that he or she is a journeyman plumber unless he or she has a valid license from the Division of Master Plumbers and Journeyman Plumbers

House Bill 576, which would change the distribution order of payments collected from driving under the influence and reckless driving fines by moving the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund up to the fifth on the list in order to receive payments

House Bill 830, which would allow eligible large retirement systems to invest up to 10 percent of assets in alternative investments

House Bill 885, which would grant district attorneys access to all information regarding a violent or sexual offender’s record, including confidential state secrets, when the offender is found guilty of serious violent felonies or dangerous sexual offenses and is eligible for parole

House Bill 957, which would allow teachers at Georgia charter schools to be eligible for state health insurance plans

House Resolution 962, which would amend the Georgia Constitution to authorize the General Assembly to allow local boards of education to call for local referenda to authorize an assessment of residential homestead property at 20 percent of fair market value

House Bill 1054, which would authorize the Department of Public Health to promulgate rules and regulations creating a newborn screening system for the prevention of serious illness, severe physical or developmental disability and death caused by inherited metabolic and genetic disorders

House Resolution 1094, which would authorize non-exclusive easements for the construction, operation and maintenance of facilities, utilities, roads and ingress and egress in, on, over, under, upon, across or through state property in the following Georgia counties: Barrow, Calhoun, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Crisp, Dougherty, Douglas, McIntosh, Muscogee, Paulding, Polk and Richmond

Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the State of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Seven

On Monday, February 24, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Seven of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. This week we convened with the Senate for a joint session to hear Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton deliver the annual State of the Judiciary address, and we conducted the people’s business in various meetings.

At the beginning of the week, the House passed a bipartisan bill further to improve the quality of Georgia’s freight rail infrastructure. House Bill 820 would establish the Georgia Freight Railroad Program within the Department of Transportation (DOT). This innovative program would enhance the State’s investment in our freight rail system by delegating projects to three subprograms that specialize in different aspects of improving freight rail across the State: rail enhancement, rail preservation, and rail industries. This legislation would allow our State to take the necessary steps to move goods more safely and efficiently.

The House also passed House Bill 987 to reform senior care in Georgia protecting elderly individuals living in personal care homes and assisted living facilities in our State. It would update Georgia’s laws to enhance senior care in personal care homes with 25 beds or more and in assisted living facilities. Direct care staff would be required to have initial and annual training, and facilities would have to maintain one direct care staff person for every 15 residents during waking hours and one for every 20 residents during non-waking hours. Additionally, assisted living facilities would need to maintain at least two direct care staff at all times and a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) between eight and 40 hours each week. HB 987 would also require these facilities to provide timely notice to the Department of Community Health (DCH) and residents if bankruptcy impacts patient care, property eviction, or change in ownership.

Moreover, owners of these facilities would have to provide documentation to the DCH upon submission of application for licensure to prove that they can operate responsibly for at least two years. Furthermore, HB 987 would require memory care units to provide the following staff: one dementia trained staff person for every 12 residents; one licensed social worker or professional counselor for eight hours per month; one RN, LPN or certified medication aide at all times; at least two direct care staff at all times; at least one RN or LPN between eight and 40 hours on-site; and initial and annual dementia-specific training. Finally, HB 987 would impose and increase mandatory fines for any violation that causes the death or serious physical injury of a resident. This legislation would make necessary updates to our laws to make sure that there is better oversight of these facilities to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens.

We also passed House Bill 842, or Gracie’s law, which prohibits discrimination of individuals with physical and mental disabilities from receiving an organ transplant. Through this legislation, individuals who are candidates for an organ transplant would not be deemed ineligible or denied insurance coverage solely based on the individual’s physical or mental disability. HB 842 would also prohibit this type of discrimination for the following care regarding transplants: diagnostic or referral services, evaluation, surgery, counseling, and postoperative treatment and services. Federal law currently prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, but many Georgians still experience discrimination when they need a life-saving transplant. 

The House also unanimously passed legislation this week to increase access to dental care in our State. House Bill 521 would allow non-Georgia licensed dentists and dental hygienists who are licensed and are in good standing in other states to provide dental treatment and services to low-income Georgians on a volunteer basis. This bill would authorize temporary, limited licenses to dentists and dental hygienists to practice dentistry in Georgia under the direct supervision of a Georgia-licensed dentist, and the temporary license would be valid for five days every six months. 

My colleagues and I unanimously passed another bipartisan measure this week in honor of Georgia’s veterans. Under House Bill 819, Georgia residents who are U.S. citizens and veterans of the armed forces for countries that are allies of the U.S. during a time of war or conflict would qualify for a Georgia veteran’s license. Additionally, unmarried, surviving spouses of these veterans would qualify for an honorary veteran’s license. 

Also this week, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Herold D. Melton delivered his second annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday. During his address, Chief Justice Melton implored the General Assembly to continue to ensure that all Georgians, rich and poor, have access to justice. Our courts have seen a growing number of self-represented Georgians in court, and today, more than 1 million citizens in our State have represented themselves. To aid in this matter, Chief Justice Melton spoke about several initiatives around the State that offer new services and resources at our law libraries, such as self-help videos on specific legal matters that help litigants better navigate the complex legal process.

Chief Justice Melton has also formed an ad hoc committee to explore and promote best practices for transforming law libraries across the State to assist self-represented litigants. In addition to this ad hoc committee, our chief justice also established a cybersecurity committee to identify and mitigate against ransomware attacks on the State’s judicial networks. This committee is working to produce tools and solutions safeguarding the vital information entrusted to the judicial branch of government, and the committee will make specific recommendations shortly to protect our judicial branch.

He applauded Governor Brian Kemp and the General Assembly for creating the Behavioral Health Innovation and Reform Commission, which is working to identify the ways that behavioral health problems lead to entanglement with the criminal justice system. Chief Justice Melton also shared about the success of our State’s mental health courts that reduce recidivism rates, save taxpayer dollars, and provide alternative solutions for citizens struggling with mental illnesses. 

Chief Justice Melton also shared an innovative program that is helping to identify and curb gang activity by offering new pathways for juvenile offenders. Through Fulton County’s Level Up program, district attorneys and public defenders are working together with the juvenile court to identify 13 to 16-year-olds who have already committed three non-violent offenses, and the program seeks to intervene in their lives before they enter into the adult criminal justice system. The Level Up program strives to make a difference in our communities, keep vulnerable children out of gangs, and put them on a better path.

Finally, my colleagues and I honored the Turner family of Covington on the passing of Almond Turner with House Resolution 915. Turner was a police officer of the Covington Police Department. We continue to send our condolences to the family and Covington Community. 

The House also passed the following legislation during the seventh week of session:

House Bill 417, which would provide regulations for trauma scene cleanup services and would require those who offer professional trauma scene cleanup services to register with the Georgia Secretary of State;

House Bill 463, which would change the description of the type of three-wheeled motor vehicle that a driver with a Class C driver’s license is permitted to drive;

House Bill 555, which would add Division of Family and Children Services case managers to a list of officials for whom an evidentiary hearing is required before issuing an arrest warrant for offenses alleged to have been committed while in performance of their duties;

House Bill 583, which would create additional regulations for the travel insurance industry to establish uniform meanings of key terms and clarify sales practices and application of Georgia’s unfair trade practice laws;

House Bill 664, which would allow full-time employees of the Georgia General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Counsel, who are in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia, to become members of the Judicial Retirement System of Georgia (JRS); 

House Bill 752, which would require psychologists, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to submit a fingerprint record check report conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to receive a Georgia license;

House Bill 779, which would modify the distribution of proceeds for ad valorem taxes on motor vehicles to counties, municipalities and school districts;

House Bill 799, which would bring driving under the influence (DUI) of controlled substances and marijuana in line with alcohol DUIs by giving Georgia’s trial judges the discretion to reinstate a driving license early or allow for a limited driving permit;

House Bill 808, which would allow vehicles owned by a dealer to remain exempt from the Title Ad Valorem Tax for up to 45 days when the vehicle is used as a loaner vehicle;

House Bill 838, which would change the name of the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Public Safety Officer Support to the Office of Public Safety Support;

House Bill 846, which would create the direct pay reporting program to allow qualified taxpayers to accrue and pay sales and use taxes owed directly to the Department of Revenue;

House Bill 893, which would reduce the frequency of Special Insurance Fraud Fund assessments from quarterly to annually.

Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the State of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Six

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Six of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. I will update you weekly on what is happening at the Capitol.

On Wednesday, February 19, we passed one of the most important bills of the legislative session, House Bill 792, to amend the state budget for the current fiscal year. The House Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees have worked many long hours to finalize the AFY 2020 budget bill based on Gov. Kemp’s budget proposal and fulfill our constitutional obligation to pass a balanced budget. 

In addition to passing HB 792 this week, my colleagues and I unanimously passed House Bill 487, Robert Argo Disaster Volunteer Relief Act, to provide a greater opportunity for Georgia’s state employees to volunteer after declared natural disasters occur. In recent years, Georgia has experienced many natural disasters, and selfless Georgians, including state employees, volunteered their time and energy to rebuild our impacted communities. Under HB 487, state employees who are certified volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol United States Air Force Auxiliary would be granted paid leave for up to 15 workdays per year for volunteering after certain natural disasters in specialized emergency services operations. This legislation is named in honor of former Georgia Representative Robert Argo, who was active in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II.

This week I presented HB 854 to the Governmental Affairs Committee. This measure would set minimum standards for the alarm fencing industry to allow a seamless permitting process with local government bodies across the state. Currently, most city and county permitting offices in Georgia have no governing ordinances in place, which creates a lengthy delay for business owners who decide to protect their assets with the latest technology in alarm fencing. This legislation will only apply to businesses already located in commercial and industrial zoned properties. Also, this measure would give local governing bodies the ability to issue installation permits quickly which will, in turn, allow their community business owners to safely protect their investments.

I also signed onto HB 868 with Chairman Chuck Martin which will eliminate the sales tax on for-hire ground transportation companies like taxi cabs, Uber, and Lyft. Since this is a service and not a tangible product, we feel it’s worth a conversation to eliminate the sales tax.

The House also passed several other measures during the sixth week of session, including:

House Bill 195, which would increase the death benefit for members of the Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund from $5,000 to $10,000

House Bill 292, which would repeal the requirement for an accrued liability to be paid to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia on behalf of participating Regent’s Optional Retirement Plan members and the normal contribution rate resulting from employees who cease to be members of TRS

House Bill 538, which would require courts and the Georgia Tax Tribunal to decide all questions of law regarding the proper interpretation of revenue and taxation-related statutes or regulations without deference to the Department of Revenue’s interpretation of the statute or regulation in dispute

House Bill 716, which would require any carrier that issues a health benefit plan in Georgia through an agent to pay a commission to that agent and file their proposed commission rates with the Department of Insurance

House Bill 758, which would allow motor carriers to implement, require or deploy a motor carrier safety improvement program for individuals without affecting the individual’s status as an employee or independent contractor

House Bill 759, which would authorize the annual drug update to comply with federal regulations and would capture new synthetic drugs, such as spice and bath salts

House Bill 765, which would increase the minimum salary and compensation of magistrates and clerks by providing a cost-of-living adjustment and a five percent raise

House Bill 777, which would require the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to review the tall mass timber provisions in the 2021 International Building Code and consider whether amendments should be made to the minimum standard codes

House Bill 780, which would allow the State Properties Commission to use a written appraisal of value for the conveyance of property that solely and directly benefits the state

House Bill 781, which is the annual legislation brought by the Department of Banking that would update and modernize Georgia’s banking code

House Bill 786, which would allow for an additional superior court judge in the Flint Judicial Circuit

House Resolution 1023, which would provide for a constitutional amendment that would allow Georgia citizens and corporations domiciled in Georgia to seek declaratory relief

Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Five

Week five of the 2020 session was postponed to allow us more time to scrutinize the budget cuts Governor Kemp has recommended. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia and numerous other days go toward committee meetings and constituent work. 

Governor Kemp instructed state agencies to reduce spending by four percent in AFY 2020 and six percent in FY 2021 budgets. Many of you may have read reports regarding our Speaker and Governor Kemp not agreeing on many of the issues surrounding the cuts. I agree with Speaker Ralston, and we will not be in a hurry to allocate $28 billion of your tax dollars. I also understand Governor Kemp’s position on tightening the budget. There is no better time to save money than when times are good. We are in a much better position to save now rather than waiting for bad economic times. We all know the government can always cut spending. I am confident my colleagues and I will be able to accomplish both savings and cuts when we start back on Tuesday, February 18th.

Some good news from Washington as President Trump’s proposed budget includes $93.6 million for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. These funds will help the project stay on track for completion by 2022. Georgia Ports Authority announced the Port of Savannah was awarded $34.6 million through the Port Infrastructure Development Grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Do not hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I have listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Four

On Monday, February 3, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Four of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. I will update you weekly on what is happening at the Capitol.

    On Wednesday, the House adopted House Resolution 935, a bipartisan measure that reauthorizes the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for the 2020 calendar year. The commission, created in 2019, would continue its work to develop unique and specific solutions for trucking, rail and air cargo, including reducing the driving risks for truck drivers and other motorists, expanding dedicated lanes for moving freight, and reducing traffic impacts in and out of the ports and around key metropolitan areas.

By the end of the year, the commission would submit a comprehensive report detailing a legislative framework for funding and policy development ahead of the 2021 legislative session. HR 935 is in the State Senate. If it is adopted, the commission will continue its necessary work to identify ways to support the state’s freight and logistics industries and allow Georgia to maintain its competitive advantage in these industries.

    Over the last few years, the House has spearheaded legislation to develop the new Georgia State-wide Business Court, which launched in January 2020 and will begin taking cases in August 2020. Georgia voters approved the specialized courts, which are to provide expedited resolution of cases for complex commercial lawsuits. This week, the House passed House Bill 663 to allow judges, employed full-time and are in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia, of the recently created state-wide court to become members of the Judicial Retirement System of Georgia (JRS). Instead of remaining as members of the state’s Employee Retirement System (ERS), these judges could receive service credit in JRS equal to the amount of service they earned while a member of ERS. The Georgia State-wide Business Court system is to enhance Georgia’s position as the number one state to do business.

    This week, the House also adopted House Resolution 326 in honor of Mr. Roger Dill, who worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation for 23 years. Mr. Dill contributed to several notable transportation projects in Tift County and across the state, including the construction of Interstate 75. To honor his many years of service, House Resolution 326 dedicates a newly-constructed Department of Transportation building in Tift County as the Roger C. Dill District Office. His community has long recognized Mr. Dill for the vital role that he has played in Tift County, and this resolution formally acknowledges Mr. Dill for his commitment to the betterment of Georgia and his contributions to the state’s transportation infrastructure.

    Before we adjourned for the week, the House adopted Senate Resolution 712, which is a second adjournment resolution. Adjournment resolutions determine our legislative session calendar for the coming weeks. This adjournment resolution allows the General Assembly to remain in recess until February 18, Legislative Session Day 13, so we can focus our time and energy on the Amended FY 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 budgets. My colleagues and I will use this time to craft balanced budgets that invest wisely and move our state forward. 

    Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Three

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the General Assembly began Week Three of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. I will update you weekly on what is happening at the Capitol.

After the 2019 legislative session, my colleagues and I spent time studying several important issues that impact our state to prepare for the 2020 session. House Resolution 37 was adopted last session and established the Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics for the 2019 calendar year. The commission was authorized to analyze and recommend a comprehensive public policy that would support our freight and logistics industries. Over the course of several meetings, the commission heard from industry experts and worked to identify ways to move freight more efficiently to spur economic growth and job creation in our state. We also adopted House Resolution 214 that reauthorized the House Rural Development Council, and over the last year, the council continued its work to find solutions to improve economic opportunities in rural areas of the state. Finally, House Resolution 589 was adopted in 2019 to create the House Study Committee on Maternal Mortality to study the state’s high maternal mortality rate and issues that impact maternal health. Each of these groups issued in-depth final reports that included policy recommendations, which will guide us as we craft sound and effective legislation this session. 

The Joint House and Senate Transportation Committee approved the Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics’ final report and legislative recommendations. The commission’s proposal seeks to address top issues that were identified last year, such as workforce development, truck parking, freight rail investment, and funding gaps. Additionally, the commission recommended that their work be extended through 2020 to continue to develop solutions for some of these key issues. As a result, the House Transportation Committee approved House Resolution 935 this week, which would reauthorize the commission for the 2020 calendar year. If this resolution is adopted by the House and Senate, the commission would spend the next year further exploring the challenges and opportunities for change for Georgia’s freight movement and mobility. 

The House Transportation Committee approved another important legislative measure this week that was a recommendation of the Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics. House Bill 820 would establish the Georgia Freight Railroad Program within the Department of Transportation (DOT), and this vital program would enhance the state’s investment in our freight rail system, which handles approximately 27 percent of all freight in Georgia. The program would be comprised of three subprograms that specialize in different aspects of improving our freight rail systems across the state: Rail Enhancement Plan, Rail Preservation Plan, and the Rail Industrial Plan. 

The House Rural Development Council submitted several legislative recommendations that continue to support communities and businesses in rural Georgia. The council’s recommendations include supporting our agriculture industry, which is one of our state’s largest industries, as well as expanding funding for rural broadband deployment and addressing mapping issues that currently overestimate the amount of broadband coverage across the state. The council also proposed solutions for providing adequate health care by creating tax incentives for rural physicians and developing a state-funded residency program to bring health care workers to rural areas. Since its inception in 2017, the council has passed a number of bills to help rural Georgia and provided incredible insight on how to best support our rural communities, and it will continue to do so through the 2020 calendar year.

Members of the House Study Committee on Maternal Mortality spent several months last year developing ideas and strategies to decrease and prevent maternal deaths in Georgia. The study committee’s final report includes several of these strategies, such as extending Georgia’s Medicaid coverage for pregnant and postpartum women and introducing legislation that would mandate a postmortem examination for any maternal death. The study committee also seeks to increase accessibility to health care for pregnant and postpartum women through telehealth services. Members of the study committee encouraged the state to continue to fund vital programs that support mothers and babies, as well as support various university research initiatives that collect important data on maternal deaths and pregnancy and postpartum related health issues in the state. 

This week, my colleagues and I also observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday, January 27, 2020, which marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This powerful day commemorates the catastrophic genocide that resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and 11 million others. To honor the lives that were lost during the Holocaust, the General Assembly passed legislation during the 2019 session to create a memorial in the State Capitol. Members of the General Assembly, along with Israel Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon, joined together to unveil the new memorial this week. This tribute in the State Capitol will serve as an important reminder that we should never forget the events of the Holocaust, and it will educate Georgia citizens to help ensure that such atrocities are never committed again. 

The House adopted House Resolution 961 this week to dedicate the House Ways & Means Committee’s conference room to our friend and colleague, Jay Powell. The late State Representative Jay Powell served as the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, which serves as the chief committee for tax-writing legislation. This conference room will now be known as the Alfred Jackson “Jay” Powell Jr. conference room.

Governor Brian. Kemp signed the first major piece of legislation of the 2020 session on Thursday, January 30. House Bill 276 was passed via a conference committee report during the first week of session and allows the state to collect taxable revenue from marketplace facilitators whose online platforms or apps are used to sell goods or services. The new revenue will be collected from marketplace facilitators who collect in excess of $100,000 or more annually. This new law will go into effect on April 1 and will help level the playing field for small brick-and-mortar businesses that currently have sales tax charged to their products.

Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week Two

On Tuesday, January 21at, the General Assembly began Week Two of the 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to work for the betterment of Georgia. I will update you weekly on what is happening at the Capitol.

Week Two is commonly referred to as “budget week.” This week, we began the state budget process, which is one of the most important responsibilities we have during the legislative session as we are constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget each year. The House and Senate Appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings, and Governor Brian Kemp presented his recommendations and priorities for the amended budget and upcoming 2021 fiscal year budget, which is set at $28.1 billion in total funding. 

Governor Kemp presented his comprehensive budget proposals for the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 (AFY 2020) budget, which adjusts the current fiscal year’s budget to account for needed changes. The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) budget, which is the budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends June 30 of the next calendar year is also set. Last fall, the Governor instructed state agencies to identify opportunities to streamline operations and consolidate duplicative programs to reduce spending. The Governor’s proposals seek to accomplish those objectives. Governor Kemp reflected on our state’s economy and commended us for creating a rock-solid foundation for businesses and families to thrive in Georgia. Governor Kemp encouraged us to continue to build upon our state’s success by prioritizing our current financial resources and reducing unnecessary costs, while still delivering excellent service to our citizens. 

The Governor’s budget recommendations include investing in Georgia’s teachers through a $2,000 permanent base salary increase in the AFY 2020 budget to retain and attract the best educators for our schools. This $2000 salary increase coupled with last year gives a total of $5000 to teachers full-time salaries. In the FY 2021 budget, he recommends adding $81 million to the University and Technical College Systems to fully fund enrollment growth, as well as alleviate the need for student tuition increases. Gov. Kemp also includes an appropriation of nearly $56 million in additional lottery funds for the HOPE scholarship and grant programs. 

To ensure that businesses can quickly and reliably move goods through the state, Governor Kemp proposes 

  • $51 million in FY 2021 to the Georgia Department of Transportation for roadway improvement and development, 
  • $50 million in obligation bonds to repair and replace bridges and 
  • $1.8 million for motor carrier officers to maintain safety on Georgia highways and protect our ports corridor along the coast. 

Georgia has been the top state to do business for seven straight years and investing in our state’s transportation systems will keep Georgia a business-friendly state.

Governor Kemp’s budget proposals reflect his ongoing commitment to protecting the safety of Georgia’s citizens and communities. These gangs are responsible for increased drug activity, human trafficking, and violence. Governor Kemp seeks to combat this crisis by including a total of nearly $2 million in the AFY 2020 and FY 2021 budgets for seven new positions within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Gang Task Force, as well as resources to implement the statewide gang database. These new positions and the gang database will serve as a great resource for our law enforcement to better track, stop and dismantle gangs across the state.

The Governor’s FY 2021 budget allocates nearly $90 million to continue our efforts to increase access to affordable, quality health care for Georgians. Governor Kemp’s AFY 2020 budget includes $23 million for a state match for Disproportionate Share Hospital payments to ensure certain hospitals that serve low-income patients can benefit from this program. 

After hearing the governor’s comprehensive proposals, we also had the opportunity to hear from several state agencies and departments regarding their respective budgetary needs, as well as the state fiscal economist who shared the state’s economic forecast for the current and upcoming fiscal years. It is important to hear directly from our state agencies and departments during this process in order to adequately determine spending for each state agency. We will continue to work together as we prepare the final versions of the AFY 2020 and FY 2021 budget bills. 

The House Appropriations subcommittees will hold hearings to review these proposals and delve even further into the Governor’s recommendations. These subcommittees will eventually pass portions of the state budget in their respective subcommittees, and those portions of the budget will then go before the full House Appropriations Committee, which will review and pass balanced budgets for AFY 2020 and FY 2021. From there, the budget bills will be considered by the House Rules Committee and scheduled for a vote on the House floor. Once the budget bills make their way to the House floor, members will have the chance to ask questions about the budget before voting. Once passed, the House will transmit each bill to our counterparts in the Senate, where they will review and pass both budget bills. 

We are currently working through the second week of the session. Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones

Session Update: Week One

On Monday, January 13th, the General Assembly began this year’s 2020 Legislative Session. Every year, my colleagues and I meet for 40 days to pass bills for the betterment of Georgia. I will update you weekly on what is happening at the Capitol building and what you can expect from your representatives. 

This week, the House convened for four legislative days in the House chamber, and one of our first orders of business was to adopt an adjournment resolution, which set our calendar for the first few weeks of the session. House committees also hit the ground running, Governor Brian Kemp delivered his second annual State of the State address and we voted on legislation on the House floor.

On Thursday, January 16th, the House and Senate convened in the House chamber for a joint session to hear Governor Kemp’s State of the State address. This annual address provides a unique opportunity for our Governor to present his assessment on the current condition of our state government, as well as his priorities for the year ahead. He commended the legislature for its hard work to accomplish those goals over the last year. Governor Kemp reminded us of the great successes that we have experienced in Georgia recently, including reaching the lowest unemployment rate in the state’s history at 3.3 percent, creating 64,000 new private-sector jobs and being named the number one state to do business for the seventh straight year. 

Governor Kemp vowed to fully fund our public school education again, while also accounting for enrollment growth and additional resources needed to properly educate Georgia students. The Governor stated that he will continue to dismantle the ineffective Common Core curriculum and reduce the number of required tests that weigh down our education system. He announced his budget includes an additional $2,000 pay raise for all public school teachers. By investing in our educators, this proposed pay increase would allow the state to boost retention rates, improve recruitment efforts and ensure better educational outcomes for students across the state. 

Governor Kemp went on to urge the General Assembly to focus our legislative efforts on improving access to quality health care across Georgia and promoting better health outcomes for Georgians. After passing the Patients First Act in 2019, Governor Kemp worked to introduce two innovative programs, Georgia Access and Georgia Pathways, to help lower health care costs and expand access to health insurance. This session, the House and Senate will work with Governor Kemp, as well as patients, providers and the private sector, to carefully craft legislation that will address the practice of surprise medical billing and create transparency within this system.

Another one of the Governor’s priorities is to continue to enhance public safety across our state. After first taking office, Governor Kemp established the Anti-Gang Task Force at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which partners with local law enforcement and prosecutors to help fight the threat of gang activity in Georgia. Furthermore, the governor vowed to continue to fight human trafficking and advocate for those who have suffered from this deplorable crime. Spearheaded by First Lady Marty Kemp, the GRACE Commission spent the last year coordinating efforts among local law enforcement, non-profit organizations, and survivors of human trafficking to help end this modern-day form of slavery. 

Before Governor Kemp took office, the General Assembly and former Governor Nathan Deal made tremendous strides in updating Georgia’s adoption laws. He shared his goals to build upon that work to help encourage and increase adoption in Georgia. This year, Governor Kemp will launch the Families First Commission to overhaul our state’s foster care system, which serves Georgia’s most vulnerable population. He also plans to increase the adoption tax credit from $2,000 to $6,000 and lower the adoption age from 25 years old to 21 years old. 

Governor Kemp commended former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson on his recent retirement after serving as one of our state’s boldest advocates in Washington D.C. for the last 15 years. In Senator Isakson’s honor, the governor announced the University of Georgia will create the Johnny Isakson Professorship for Parkinson’s Research, which will use technology and innovation to break new ground on treatments and medicine for patients. More than 20,000 Georgians are living with Parkinson’s disease, and with this new research opportunity, our state will be able to create a better quality of life for patients like Senator Isakson.

After Governor Kemp’s State of the State address, the House passed House Bill 276, which requires online retailers that facilitate online sales in excess of $100,000 annually to collect sales tax. We also adopted House Resolution 882, which urges the American people to support President Donald J. Trump, the U.S. Armed Forces, and intelligence agencies on a recent military operation that resulted in the death of Qasem Soleimani.

This week we also took time on the first day of the session to honor our dear friend and colleague, Jay Powell, who recently passed away before the 2020 session. Jay Powell served as the Chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, which acts as a gatekeeper in deciding which bills go before the full House for a vote. Chairman Powell was full of integrity and wisdom, he respected his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and his presence will be missed terribly at the State Capitol.

Your representatives are currently working through the second week of the session. Each week, you can return to my blog to read updates on what the General Assembly is working on for the state of Georgia. You are always welcome to come and visit me at my capitol office located at 601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334. You can view my committee assignments for the legislative term here. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 404.656.0254, or by email at dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out throughout the legislative session with any opinions or questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

Below, I’ve listed out leaders from both chambers. You can click through each of their names to find more information about them.

House:

Speaker of the House: David Ralston

Speaker Pro Tempore: Jan Jones

Majority Leader: Jon Burns

Majority Whip: Trey Kelley

Majority Caucus Chair: Matt Hatchett

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Micah Gravley

Minority Leader: Robert Trammell

Minority Whip: William Boddie

Minority Caucus Chair: James Beverly

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Erica Thomas

Senate:

President Pro Tempore: Butch Miller

Majority Leader: Mike Dugan

Majority Whip: Steve Gooch

Majority Caucus Chair: John Kennedy

Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Larry Walker

Minority Leader: Steve Henson

Minority Whip: Harold Jones

Minority Caucus Chair: Gloria Butler

Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Emanuel Jones