What Does a State Representative Do When the Legislature is Not in Session?

I get asked this question a lot. First, let me remind you that being a state representative is a part-time job. With a salary of just over $17,000, almost every representative must have a full-time job in addition to their public service. Consequently, when the legislature is not in session, I am focused on fulfilling my duties as the young adult pastor at Woodstock Baptist.

When people ask me to describe my job as a state representative, I tell them that it is basically a fulltime job from the second Monday in January until the end of session, which is typically around April 1st (about three months). The rest of the year it is a part-time job. I typically spend about eight hours a week fulfilling my duties as your state representative during off-session time. What do these duties entail?

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595 Hits

How Does a Bill Become Law in the Georgia Legislature?

The process of how a bill becomes a law is both simple and complex, and it can be very political. It begins with an idea. The idea can come from a variety of sources (the legislator, a constituent, an industry representative, a lobbyist or even a relative). In my three sessions, I’ve passed four bills, all with different sources. As long as the idea is one that I believe in, I’m not concerned about its source.

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623 Hits

The Art of Reconsideration

I used to play a lot of golf. One of the traditions my friends and I shared on the first tee was the so-called “mulligan.” A “mulligan” is the opportunity to redo your tee shot if you’re displeased with your first effort. As children, we called it a “do over.” When I was elected Ga State Representative, I was unaware that the House of Representatives also has “mulligans,” called “reconsideration.”

When a bill fails to get at least 91 votes, the author of the bill will often make a motion for reconsideration. If the member receives at least 91 votes for his motion to reconsider, then the bill can be brought back up for a vote. It’s a time-honored tradition to vote in favor of reconsideration, even if you voted against the bill. This is done out of courtesy to your colleague in order to allow them the opportunity to persuade people to change their vote. I’m not sure that this is a wise tradition.

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The Positive Side of Compromise — Firefighter Edition

Compromise is a complicated word. When it comes to religious beliefs, honesty or core values, compromise has a negative connotation. It indicates that a person lacks courage, backbone or resolve. However, when it comes to building a consensus to move forward towards a solution, compromise can be very positive. Such is the case with House Bill 146 — this year’s version of the Firefighter Bill.

You may recall the Firefighter Bill of last year. It was a hard-fought bill that saw hundreds of firefighters crowd the capitol and cheer legislators on, as we passed the bill with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, only to have the bill vetoed by the governor a few weeks later.

This is where the positive side of compromise comes in to play.

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Get to Know Your Representative

By population, Georgia is the eighth largest state in America. Like our federal counterpart, we have three branches in our state government: the Executive Branch (our Governor), the Judicial Branch (our Supreme Court) and the Legislative Branch (our General Assembly — the House of Representatives and the Senate). Georgia has 180 representatives and 56 senators. Each representative has approximately 55,000 constituents. Each senator has approximately 180,000 constituents.I am honored to serve as your representative for House District (HD) 22. HD 22 covers east Cherokee County (parts of Woodstock, Canton, Holly Springs and all of Ball Ground, Hickory Flat, Nelson and Macedonia). The district also extends into part of Forsyth and Fulton counties. Overall, HD 22 is 80% in Cherokee, 15% in Forsyth and 5% in Fulton.

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Would Casino & Horse Race Gambling Be Good for Georgia? Don’t Bet On It!

Last year, there was a bold move at the Capitol to bring casinos and pari-mutuel betting to Georgia. Here are 5 reasons you should be opposed to this:

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936 Hits