In some ways, the Georgia legislative session is a lot like a sports season. It is a short period of time that will be analyzed and criticized for the remainder of the year. The same way people dissect Georgia’s 2019 season, others will do the same for the rest of 2020 over what happens in the legislature’s 40-day work session.
Of course like sports, the legislature does work year-round. It puts in prep work when not in session with things like committee meetings, town halls and the like throughout the year. That helps set up the agenda for the next work session.
Our request for all the state representatives and senators who will gather in Atlanta starting today is to remember one thing — who you are supposed work for. It’s not some lobbying arm, big corporation or special interest group. You work for the citizens of your district.
Whatever issue you plan to tackle, we ask that you think about what’s best for Georgia’s citizens when you vote yes or no. We feel like this is a simple request, but one that is not always fulfilled.
We are not naive enough to pretend that lobbying groups and firms that throw around money don’t influence the proceedings. These firms wouldn’t exist if their means of peddling influence weren’t successful. And while their methods could be construed as unsavory by some, they may have a legit point to make.
Of course, it helps all of us when the legislature practices what it preaches on transparency. Last year, there was a bad habit of not broadcasting meetings that were held in rooms specifically designed to do so.
If the on switch is actually flipped for live streaming of meetings, we hope you get a chance to check them out. It may not be as exciting as a football game, but what happens in those meetings will no doubt affect the future of all of Georgia’s citizens. With issues like the state budget and taxes expected to be hot topics, we know there will be a lot of people who want to know how the state plans to spend your tax dollars.
If you don’t like the way your representative or legislator is voting, let them know. They are there to serve in your best interests. If they serve someone else’s, you have the power to solve it in the next election.