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ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - Gun rights, school instruction and tax cuts are expected to be big issues during Georgia’s legislative session that starts Monday, Jan. 10. Republicans are in the majority at the state Capitol and have signaled they intend to push legislation on those topics ahead of November’s election for governor and other offices.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is pinning one of his legislative goals for the new year on what he says is a rise in crime nationwide. The governor announced a plan last week to loosen handgun requirements in the state. The plan would do away with the need to get a license to carry a handgun in public. It’s a pitch he hopes to get before the General Assembly this year. If it passes, Georgia would join the more than 20 other states that allow concealed weapons in public without a permit.
There are several other efforts statewide and locally that our representatives are hoping to finalize in this upcoming session. We expect to hear a lot about the expansion of Medicaid and the Livable Wage Act, which would move the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. Voting should also be big on the agenda.
For some local representatives, Jesse Petrea says one thing he hopes to get done this session is eliminating state income tax on military retirement income, and for Representative Carl Gilliard, he says one of his goals is to work on getting braille into early education classrooms.
“Just trying to hope that we as a state do smart legislation that is going to help the people. We have got to start playing into these different bases and focus on the people, and Medicaid expansion is a big part of that,” said Rep. Carl Gilliard, (D) Garden City.
“I think our job is to continue to do everything in our power to make Georgia a land of opportunity for people, where people can come here and find opportunity to work and raise their families and do so and make sure they are safe. Public safety has been a hallmark of my service,” said Rep. Jesse Petrea, (R) Savannah.
Locally, we are keeping an eye on finalizing redistricting for Chatham County and the school district, the Tybee Island License Plate Project, public transportation needs of Chatham County as a whole, and the possible rail service between Savannah and Atlanta.
The 2022 legislative session will adjourn on March 31.
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