ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) - Tuesday is Sine Die Day at the Georgia State Capitol. That means it’s the final day for Georgia’s 2019 legislative session.
Several proposals have already been passed and sent to Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, but there are a few bills that could be considered Tuesday. That includes a bill that could bring broadband internet to rural areas and opening Georgia to medical marijuana.
Day 40 under the Capitol Dome can remind you of a March Madness basketball game where teams strategize and call timeouts to make the most of the time on the clock.
Lawmakers from both chambers and both parties have spent the day so far voting on amendments to bills and trying to reach resolutions on the remaining bills. Some bills won’t get out of their committee debates and could be brought back up next January.
The remaining bills range from medical marijuana, rural broadband, taxation on rideshares like Uber drivers, and a unified authority over airports in Georgia. The later it gets in the evening, the more last-minute revisions can get thrown into a bill that has already been debated.
“You have to be very careful because you don’t get any advance notice. When they land on your desk, you’d better read them pretty thoroughly, pretty quickly, to make sure you’re voting for something you think is right.”
They are expected to work late into the night to find compromises where they can and get bills passed.
“We’ve got 11 million Georgians we’re trying to please. We’re not going to be able to please them all but we’re trying to please as many as we can,” said Senator Blake Tillery, Toombs County. “There will be groups that aren’t happy with certain items.”
Governor Kemp sat down with WTOC’s Wright Gazaway last week to discuss how that first legislative session went.
“Is it what you expected?" Gazaway asked. "Were you surprised, and is there anything that went well, or didn’t work?”
Kemp highlights passage of the Heartbeat bill and the teacher pay raises as two campaign promises delivered. He says they also focused on school security and healthcare in this session.
“It’s been great," responded Kemp. "Georgians can be proud to know I campaigned on certain things, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in office. I think that’s what voters and citizens of our state are looking for after an election. They want people to put the election behind you and do what you told people you’d do. That’s what I’m doing.”
Kemp has at least 3 more legislative sessions as governor. He says they’re already working on priorities for next year, including what will be a big budget proposal.