Proposals To Lower Age Requirement To Serve In Georgia General Assembly

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, the Georgia General Assembly begins its 2015 session today. Two pieces of legislation will be filed in order to lower the age requirement to serve in Georgia’s legislative body: Senate from 25 to 21, House: from 21 to 18.

Senator Josh McKoon describes his bill at a Capitol press conference this morning, accompanied by members of Young Georgians in Government.
Senator Josh McKoon describes his bill at a Capitol press conference this morning,
accompanied by members of Young Georgians in Government. Photo: Jon Richards

The proposals are being filed in their respective chambers by Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) and Representative Ben Harbin (R-Evans). The bills are inspired by news from around the nation of younger folks winning elections. From the AJC:

“Twenty-one is the age of majority — we’ve asked them to serve in the military, we’ve asked them to serve on juries…I don’t think there’s any reason to throw up artificial barriers,” McKoon said. “I think this is common sense.”

I believe it’s a fair proposal and hopefully will make it to the floor for debate. You see more and more Millennials participating in party politics, but may not be able to run for public office due to age restrictions. I’d be interested to see how many 18 to 21 year olds will toss their hats into the ring if this passes.

If the proposals do make it through the legislative process, the changes would be a constitutional amendment to be voted on by Georgia voters.

13 comments

  1. Noway says:

    While they’re at it, lower the drinking age back to 18. Never, ever should it have been raised to 21 to begin with. Highway funds or other federal enticements be damned.

  2. TheEiger says:

    Ah, who care either way? I would prefer to see a kid in college or right out of college do something in the real world before running for office. There are few good young ones down in the general assembly that show that you can be young and be a good representative. There are others who got elected young and did absolutely nothing other than be an elected official.

    • TheEiger says:

      Didn’t finish my post.

      But the same could be said for anyone in the general assembly. There are a lot of them that aren’t worth the seat they are sitting in. Old and young. Age doesn’t really matter.

  3. Three Jack says:

    How about lowering the requirements to gain ballot access for everybody, that would be news.

    This only serves to lower the age to a number that matches the mental capacity of many who serve.

    • John Konop says:

      ………….How about lowering the requirements to gain ballot access for everybody, that would be news….

      I agree, that would be meaningful reform….this is more pandering by Josh McKoon….First he wants legislation to go after gays…..yet backfires by giving Muslims more rights…..now this….who voted for this guy?

      • Josh McKoon says:

        I will say again — the RFRA bill is about protecting the religious freedom of Georgians of all faiths. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation, your fixation to the contrary notwithstanding. Does your other comment mean you are opposed to Muslims having the same protection of their religious freedom as Georgians of other faiths?

        • John Konop says:

          Very interesting question….it all depends. Zelots of any Relgion are very dangerous….in the name of religious freedom people have blown up abortion clinics, genocide 6 million Jews, thrown people into lions dens, you did see the news in France…….I am all for people having the freedom to believe what they want….the moments it takes away the rights of other people I am against it no matter the religion….If a black jewish guy married to white wasp girl is denied water for thier baby at a gas station based on religious reasons I would say no.

  4. Will Durant says:

    I recently commented to Sen. McKoon in this forum that I could use every letter in the alphabet for needed legislation with priority over his RFRA bill. I would give that bill attention over this one. It’s not that I’m opposed so much as just apathetic. I would also prefer that we removed the hypocrisy from the drinking age laws and I would submit if you gave the choice of bills to the kids they would prefer the latter as well.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Ridiculous. This is a leadership role in public policy and spending.
    Some like to compare it to a private in the services, following orders, also ridiculous.
    The idea reflects the public s low regard for the responsibility.

  6. Michael Silver says:

    Per OCGA 39-1-1 , the age of majority is 18.

    With that said, we should move the drinking age and carry license age back to 18 years old. Both were changed for no other reason than someone wanted the age raised. 18 year olds are adults and it is darn well time that we treat them like it.

    In the case of the carry license change, that was made by Gov. Maddox with a goal of disarming black men.

  7. Andrew C. Pope says:

    Why not go lower? I’ve met plenty of fifth graders with a better grasp of the issues and the concept of common decency than some of the good ole boys waddling around the state house.

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