Jan. 13, 2023   

General Assembly Convenes

The General Assembly’s 2023 session convened Monday, Jan. 9, for the first year of a two-year biennial. In an unusual move, legislators adopted a resolution outlining the schedule for the entire 40-day session. While circumstances could change their plans, the 2023 session is currently slated to end on March 29. Legislators will be in recess next week to recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and hold budget hearings the remainder of the week. Legislators will return for the 5th day of their 40-day session on Monday, Jan. 23.

Kemp, Jones, other Constitutional Officers Sworn In

It was a week full of celebration and tradition, in addition to the task of governing. In an impressive ceremony Thursday at the new Georgia State Convocation Center, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was sworn in for his second term and new Lt. Gov. Burt Jones took his oath, signaling a change in leadership in our state’s second-highest office. Other constitutional officers taking their oath for the first time after being elected statewide were Insurance Commissioner John King, Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper and Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson. Returning Constitutional Officers include Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Attorney General Chris Carr and School Superintendent Richard Wood. “Georgia has a great track record of producing strong leaders who work together to move our state forward. We look forward to working with them all,” said Elizabeth Chandler, GBA executive vice president, Government Relations and Advocacy.
Later on Thursday night, GBA’s advocacy team had the privilege of being at State Farm Arena as sponsors for Gov. Kemp’s Inaugural Gala. This fun and festive celebration was another excellent opportunity for GBA to network and advocate to our state’s leadership for the banking industry.

Jon Burns Elected 75th Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives

State Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) was elected Monday by acclamation without opposition as the 75th Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. Burns, the House majority leader since 2015, becomes the successor to the late Speaker David Ralston. The speaker serves as the presiding officer of the House and is responsible for determining the leadership and membership of House committees. While the House is in session, the speaker is charged with assigning legislation to committees, calling legislation for debate, and enforcing the rules of the House. We look forward to working with Speaker Burns throughout this session and many more to come.

Legislative Committees Being Appointed for 2023-2024

Serving on a committee is one of the best ways for legislators to take a deep dive into often complex ideas. Committees are relied upon to study and perfect legislation before reporting it for further consideration by a wider audience. We got our first look at the Senate Banking committee this week. The committee will be led by a new chairman, Sen. Carden Summers (R-Cordele). Senate President Pro Tem John Kennedy (R-Macon) will continue to serve as vice chair. The full Senate Banking Committee roster is below. The House is expected to announce their committee memberships next week.

Annual Wild Hog Supper is First Course for 2023 Legislative Session

Congratulations to the teams at Feeding Georgia and the Georgia Department of Agriculture for another successful Wild Hog Supper Jan. 8. We have been honored to sponsor this event that does so much good for fellow Georgians for many years. GBA team members Katina Prokos, David Oliver and Mary Frances Miller had a fun evening in support of our state's agriculture industry and members of the General Assembly.

Legislative Forum & Reception Recognizes General Assembly and State Elected Officials

With hundreds of Georgia bankers and guests, the 2023 GBA Legislative Forum & Reception was a big hit this week. The official hosts are our Board of Directors, Public Affairs Committee and BankPAC Board. The forum program was headlined by state Rep. Jon Burns (R-Newington) and Senate President Pro Tempore John Kennedy (R-Macon). Both Burns and Kennedy acknowledged the significant role Georgia’s banks and bankers have in keeping Georgia among the best states for business. GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler had a fascinating discussion with Patricia Murphy, one the Atlanta Journal-Constitution political insiders about the political landscape in Georgia and Washington, D.C., as the session begins. Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler shared an update about the state of the industry and briefed us about the department’s annual “housekeeping” bill. On the economic front, we heard from University of West Georgia Economist Joey Smith. GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, First American Bank & Trust Company and GBA Chairman-Elect Kim Davis Wilson, OneSouth Bank, served as hosts in leading the Forum. The day concluded with our annual Legislative Reception that attracted a big contingent of legislators and members of the executive and judicial branches of state government. It is always important for bankers to engage with and thank legislators for their service before asking them to consider our issues, and we believe our members did a good job of that this week.

Two Ways to Track Key Legislation

We’re geared up to help you keep track of all the news and key bills during this year’s legislative session. The Legislative Update will arrive in your inbox on Fridays and make sure to set a web browser bookmark for our State Issues page on the GBA website to track details about specific bills during the session. Check in frequently as we add bills as they are introduced and update status as they move through the process. As this is the first session of a 2-year legislative cycle, we don’t have any specific bills listed at this time. Any bills that don’t pass this session will carry over to the 2024 session.

GBA’s Advocacy Team at the Capitol

GBA will be represented throughout the session by Executive Vice President, Government Relations and Advocacy Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893; President and CEO Joe Brannen, 404.401.0274; Government Relations Consultant Steve Bridges, 404.420.2037, and Senior Vice President, Member Services and Advocacy Bo Brannen, 404.731.9886. Contact any of them with questions about legislation, information about your legislator's stance on a particular issue or to request any other information related to the Georgia General Assembly.