Georgia House of Representatives
|Georgia House of Representatives|
|2014 session start:||January 13, 2014|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||David Ralston, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Larry O'Neal, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Stacey Abrams, (D)|
Democratic Party ( 60)
Republican Party ( 119)Independent (1)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Georgia Constitution|
|Salary:||$17,342/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (180 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (180 seats)|
|Redistricting:||The Legislative Committee on Reapportionment draws all boundaries|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Representatives
- 5 Standing committees
- 6 History
- 7 External links
- 8 References
As of April 2014, Georgia is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Section 4 of Article III of the Georgia Constitution establishes when the Georgia General Assembly, which the House is a part of, is to meet in regular session. The General Assembly must convene annually by the second Monday in January, and its sessions can last for only forty legislative days. Prefiling begins November 15 and runs until the start of the session.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 13 through March 21.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included moving up the state primary date to match the federal one, the state budget, and increases to K-12 education funding.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through March 29.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included juvenile-justice reform, regulation of coin-operated video games, ethics reform and a budget that was previously facing a $700 million deficit.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in regular session from January 9 through March 29.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in regular session from January 10 through April 14. Governor Nathan Deal called the legislature into special session for August 15 to consider congressional and legislative redistricting plans based on the 2010 census.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from January 11th to April 29th.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites, entitled Following the Money in April 2014, which measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. Georgia received the grade of C and a numerical score of 74, indicating Georgia was a Middling state in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Georgia was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives will consist of a primary election on May 20, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 7, 2014.
The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in those elections was June 29, 2012.
This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Georgia House held a solid majority and looked to obtain a supermajority.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Georgia House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 138||Mike Cheokas||1.3%||15,994||Kevin T. Brown|
|District 105||Joyce Chandler||2.7%||20,568||Renita Hamilton|
|District 12||Eddie Lumsden||2.9%||17,056||Barbara M. Reece|
|District 66||Kimberly Alexander||4.7%||22,572||Bob Snelling|
|District 111||Brian Strickland||5.9%||24,867||Bill Blackmon|
|District 132||Carl Von Epps||7.3%||17,949||Gene King|
|District 145||E. Culver Kidd||7.6%||18,541||Quentin T. Howell|
|District 96||Pedro Marin||10.3%||12,328||Mark Williams|
|District 81||Scott Holcomb||12.1%||15,562||Chris Boedeker|
|District 101||Valerie Clark||12.5%||18,648||Timothy Swiney|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 21, 2010, and the primary election day was July 20, 2010.
The partisan breakdown of the House before and after the election was as follows:
|Georgia House of Representatives|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in house campaigns was $12,388,358. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$153,700|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$147,129|
|Georgia Dental Association||$130,050|
|Ralston for Representative||$92,000|
|Georgia Medical Association||$84,950|
|Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals||$81,900|
|Associated General Contractors of Georgia||$81,500|
|Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia||$75,844|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$73,300|
|Friends of Jan Jones||$69,100|
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on July 15, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $12,277,303. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$168,900|
|Georgia Medical Association||$142,550|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$142,000|
|Georgia Dental Association||$121,050|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$117,531|
|Home Builders Association of Georgia||$115,750|
|Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals||$99,200|
|Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia||$88,759|
|Eric Johnson for Senate||$84,800|
|Georgia Optometric Association||$81,700|
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on July 19, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $15,007,813. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$176,500|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$155,25|
|Georgia Dental Association||$141,300|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$117,705|
|Georgia Medical Association||$104,000|
|Georgia Association of Educators||$100,900|
|Home Builders Association of Georgia||$98,000|
|Georgia Optometric Association||$88,000|
|Cmte of Automobile Retail Dealers of Georgia||$86,084|
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on July 20, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $15,667,776. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$275,250|
|Georgia Dental Association||$164,750|
|Georgia Association of Educators||$133,250|
|Morris, Gregory Adam||$125,000|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$111,975|
|Georgia Medical Association||$99,000|
|Mag Mutual Insurance Co||$91,050|
|Carter, Earl Leroy||$88,803|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$88,050|
|Georgia Highway Contractors Association||$83,975|
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 20, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $13,026,625. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Trial Lawyers Association||$187,937|
|Georgia Dental Association||$154,650|
|Georgia Medical Association||$130,350|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$106,125|
|Georgia Association of Educators||$85,300|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$80,000|
|Georgia House Democratic Caucus||$78,750|
|Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia||$76,350|
Elections for the office of Georgia House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on July 18, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $9,462,955. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Georgia House of Representatives|
|Georgia Medical Association||$129,850|
|Georgia Association of Realtors||$109,000|
|Georgia Optometric Association||$105,950|
|Georgia House Democratic Caucus||$99,300|
|House Republican Trust of Georgia||$87,900|
|Georgia Republican Party||$86,193|
|Georgia Dental Association||$83,250|
|Georgia Hospital Association||$77,475|
|Irle, Mark S||$64,200|
Paragraph 3 of Section 2 of Article 3 of the Georgia Constitution states, "At the time of their election, the members of the House of Representatives shall be citizens of the United States, shall be at least 21 years of age, shall have been citizens of this state for at least two years, and shall have been legal residents of the territory embraced within the district from which elected for at least one year."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election. The Governor must declare a special election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happened. The election must be held no less than 30 days and no later than 60 days after the Governor calls for the election. The counties representing the vacant district are responsible for conducting the election.
The House of Representatives elects its own Speaker as well as a Speaker Pro Tempore. The Speaker Pro Tempore becomes Speaker in case of the death, resignation, or permanent disability of the Speaker. The Speaker Pro Tempore serves until a new Speaker is elected. In addition there is a clerk of the house who is charged with overseeing the flow of legislation through the body.
|Current Leadership, Georgia House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||David Ralston||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||Jan Jones||Republican|
|State House Majority Leader||Larry O'Neal||Republican|
|State House Majority Whip||Matthew Ramsey||Republican|
|State House Majority Caucus Leader||Matt Hatchett||Republican|
|State House Minority Leader||Stacey Abrams||Democratic|
|State House Minority Whip||Carolyn Hugley||Democratic|
|State House Minority Caucus Leader||Virgil Fludd||Democratic|
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of April 2014|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Georgia legislature are paid $17,342/year plus $173/day for per diem when in session.
When sworn in
Georgia legislators assume office the second Monday in January.
The Georgia House has 37 standing committees:
- Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee
- Appropriations Committee
- Banks and Banking Committee
- Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee
- Code Revision Committee
- Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee
- Economic Development and Tourism Committee
- Education Committee
- Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee
- Ethics Committee
- Game, Fish, and Parks Committee
- Governmental Affairs Committee
- Health and Human Services Committee
- Higher Education Committee
- Human Relations and Aging Committee
- Industry and Labor Committee
- Information and Audits Committee
- Insurance Committee
- Interstate Cooperation Committee
- Intragovernmental Coordination Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Judiciary - Non-Civil Committee
- Juvenile Justice Committee
- Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee
- Motor Vehicles Committee
- Natural Resources and Environment Committee
- Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee
- Regulated Industries Committee
- Retirement Committee
- Rules Committee
- Science and Technology Committee
- Small Business Development Committee
- Special Rules Committee
- State Planning and Community Affairs Committee
- State Properties Committee
- Transportation Committee
- Ways and Means Committee
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Georgia State House of Representatives for the first 13 years and the Republicans were the majority for the last nine years. During the final nine years of the study, Georgia was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
Georgia was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period.
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Georgia state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Georgia experienced two long periods of trifecta government, both Democratic and Republican, between the years 1992 and 2002 (Democratic) and again between the years 2002 and 2013 (Republican). The state’s lowest SQLI ranking occurred in 1992 (40th) under a Democratic trifecta, while its highest SQLI ranking occurred in 2007 (20th) under a Republican trifecta. Georgia experienced only two years of divided government, in 2003 and 2004, when the state house was under Democratic control. The state experienced its largest jump in the SQLI ranking between 2000 and 2001 (from 33rd to 27th) under a Democratic trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 33.27
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 22.75
- SQLI average with divided government: 27.00
- www.census.gov/, "Population in 2010 of the American states," accessed January 6, 2014
- Population in 2000 of the American states, Accessed November 27, 2013
- Georgia Constitution, Article III, Section 4
- onlineathens.com, "Budget, education among top Georgia legislative issues," January 12, 2014
- onlineathens.com, "Some win, some lose in Georgia legislative session," May 30, 2013
- Georgia General Assembly
- StateScape, Session updates, Aug. 12, 2011
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- Follow the Money: "Georgia House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Georgia 2008 Candidates," Accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Georgia 2006 Candidates," Accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Georgia 2004 Candidates," Accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Georgia 2002 Candidates," Accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Georgia 2000 Candidates," Accessed July 17, 2013
- Lexis Nexis, "The Code of Georgia," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute, 21-2-544, Search for 21-2-544 under Table of Contents)
- 2009-2010 Georgia House Leadership
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Georgia House committee pages
State of Georgia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | State Superintendent of Schools | Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Commission |