In preparation for the new legislative session beginning just over a month from now, most of Georgia’s State Representatives and Senators are attending a three day workshop offered by the University of Georgia formally known as the Biennial Institute. While the event provides a valuable introduction to what to expect under the Gold Dome for freshmen, it’s also a chance for more senior lawmakers to catch up and get a sense of what’s important.
Sunday was a day of training, budget updates, and welcoming new members, as Walter Jones of Morris News describes. But, a look at the agenda shows that today, lawmakers get down to business with sessions on how Georgia’s ports and logistics industry along with our film and digital entertainment business are bright spots on the economic horizon. After lunch, attendees will hear about how the state’s technical schools and universities are working with the state’s Department of Economic Development.
Tuesday morning, in addition to a panel on ethics requirements and compliance, there will be a session covering health care, with a special focus on rural hospitals and certificates of need.
Perhaps the biggest news coming out of Athens, though, will be in the area of transportation. Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden is set to address legislators this afternoon, along with Jay Roberts and Steve Gooch, Chairmen of the House and Senate Transportation Committees. The two were co-chairmen of a Joint Transportation Study Committee that met regularly over the summer, and is expected to announce its findings and recommendations shortly.
That could come at a separate session sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies – Georgia, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Transportation Alliance and GDOT on Tuesday. It features both Roberts and Gooch as speakers, along with Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.