Last week, Governor Kemp issued the long-awaited “call” for the upcoming Special Session for the Georgia legislature.
Under Georgia law and our state’s Constitution, a special session can only be called when either the Governor issues a “call” for a special session or when three-fifths of both houses of the Georgia General Assembly agree to call a special session themselves.
The Governor’s call means that the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene at the State Capitol on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, for the Special Session.
The Governor’s call included five specific provisions that the General Assembly can choose to consider.
The Georgia Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from enacting any legislation during Special Session that does not “relate to the purposes stated in the proclamation.” The Governor’s call asked the General Assembly to pass legislation that establishes the boundaries for (1) United States Congressional Districts, (2) Georgia State Senate Districts, and (3) Georgia State House of Representatives Districts.
The General Assembly will redraw these districts based on the population changes across our state that were recorded in the 2020 Census.
The Governor also authorized the General Assembly to consider amending Georgia tax law that may have been affected by federal tax legislation that passed this year on or before March 11.
The Governor authorized the General Assembly to pass, change, or repeal local laws if the General Assembly believes the new laws or changes are necessary to avoid unreasonable hardship or undue impairment of public functions.
In Georgia, local laws are laws that are passed that apply only to certain areas of Georgia.
The call for Special Session also allows the General Assembly to ratify portions of some of Governor Kemp’s executive orders related to a state of emergency due to a shortage of petroleum products in the state.
These executive orders suspended the collection of motor fuel and diesel fuel taxes to ensure a consistent supply of motor and diesel fuel for Georgians.
Lastly, Governor Kemp authorized the Georgia State Senate to consider and confirm appointments that the Governor has made since the conclusion of the Session earlier this year.
As we move closer to Special Session this November and our regular Session next January, I look forward to hearing from you all and hearing your thoughts on proposed legislation or legislation that is already being considered.
As always, if you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404) 656-5052, email, or engage on Facebook.
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Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.