The Georgia General Assembly special session has another full week ahead, to include a focus on congressional district voting maps and action on remaking the Floyd County Board of Elections.

House Bills 8EX and 9EX would disband the current three-member elections board and create a five-member board — with four of the members drawn equally from lists submitted by the Floyd County Republican and Democratic parties. They are backed by the county’s full legislative delegation.

Several congressional district maps are on the table, although Republicans hold the majority needed to push their version through.

The House and Senate Democratic caucuses are proposing HB 5EX, which would put Floyd County into an 18-county district covering all of North Georgia. It also would include a northern slice of Polk County. Bartow and Cherokee counties would constitute a separate district.

A map to go with the Republicans’ HB 2EX is not linked to the legislation, but Senate Republicans posted a proposal in September. It would keep Floyd County’s Northwest Georgia essentially intact — substituting half of Bartow for the half of Pickens County currently included.

In other pending actions:

The bill creating the Chattooga County Public Facilities Authority passed the House unanimously last week and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee.

House Bill 6EX establishes a five-member board — to include the county’s sole commissioner — with separate powers to assist the county and cities “in providing facilities, equipment and services.”

It would operate as a public corporation and be able to issue and sell revenue bonds to finance a project. Taxpayers would not be obligated for the payback, which would come from the revenue stream of the specific project — for example, a water system upgrade. However, the cities and counties could voluntarily chip in to help fund the project.

Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, has called a meeting of the House Insurance Committee he chairs for 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The committee is slated to hear a presentation from Georgia Insurance Commissioner John F. King. They’ll also get a jump on the upcoming 2022 General Assembly session with a preview of the bills up for deliberation then.

As of Sunday, there were 14 bills still pending from the 2021 session. A number of them are housekeeping matters, dealing with definitions and updates. Several address mental health coverage — an issue legislative leaders have said will be a focus in 2022.

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, is also convening his Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, at 1:30 p.m. The agenda has not yet been announced.

The meeting are being held in person and also livestreamed on the General Assembly website.


Recommended for you