Day 1: And Here We Go
by Angela Palm on 1/11/2010

As always, the first day of the General Assembly was mainly spent on preliminary procedures that will allow them to get down to business. The House attracted most of the attention as the Speaker's gavel passed from Speaker Mark Burkhalter, who served for 10 days, to Speaker David Ralston.  As expected, Rep. Jan Jones was elected Speaker Pro Tem.  Democrats put up their own candidates but not even all Democrats voted for them.  

Speaker Ralston has promised to lead much differently and to make some much needed rules changes.  He needs no Hawks to rule his House, nor does he see a need for amendments to be limited to the Rules Committee.  To his credit, he wanted to make these changes last year.  There was certainly a different atmosphere today -- in spite of the difficult budget decisions to be made this year, there were a lot of smiling faces under the Gold Dome.  Here's hoping it lasts.  


New Members In Both Chambers

Both chambers had new members due to resignations -- two new Senators and six new Representatives.  The House will have at least one more new member as Speaker Mark Burkhalter announced that former Speaker Glenn Richardson resigned from his seat this morning.  The Senate has one seat still to be determined in a runoff.  If the U.S. Senate confirms Sen. David Adelman as Ambassador to Singapore during the session, another seat will be open.


Budget Advisory Committee Formed

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced the formation of an advisory group to the Senate on the budget.  Business leaders have been tapped to make recommendations on how to adjust the budget.  There are estimates now that it will be 2015 before the revenue returns to customary levels.  The committee is expected to make their recommendations in early February.




Tuesday, January 12

General Assembly will be in session

House Ways and Means will meet at 1 PM in 606 CLOB to hear from Department of Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham

House Education will meet at 2 PM in 506 CLOB to discuss this year's legislation


Wednesday, January 13

The General Assembly will be in session

Governor Perdue will make his final State of the State and Budget Address at 11 AM to a joint session of the legislature