The current issue of the Georgia General Assembly began its annual trek on Monday morning. While Monday was filled with largely ceremonial issues, Tuesday saw a joint meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees.  The joint meeting is an annual event but I do not recall it ever happening on the second day of the session—there is an urgency to deal with what the Governor will put forth.  On Tuesday morning Governor deal spoke at the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues Forum.  A full discussion of his Eggs and Issues speech and the State of the State will be in next week’s Flyer.  The legislature will not be in session next week, January 16-20 but will probably hold budget hearings Tuesday through Thursday.

Perhaps the two most significant developments thus far are that on Friday of last week the Governor told a group of reporters that he will NOT put the education finance reform package up for consideration this year.  Whow!  No news yet on whether other aspects of the Governor’s Reform Commission recommendations will be considered.  The second development has to do with Senate Rules.  For many years, Crossover Day was Legislative Day 30—bills had to exit their original chamber by that day or were considered dead.  Senate Rules were changed on Monday to make Crossover Day the 28th Legislative Day.

It should make things are little better during the last two weeks of the session.

Finally, the list of committee chair appoints came out Tuesday morning and absent from the list of chairs is Sen. Josh McKoon, the outspoken Columbus legislator who has angered the Governor on numerous occasions and now must face the music.  It is the way they do things under the Gold Dome.