Georgia law makers expected to discuss multitude of items during 2020 General Assembly

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened on Monday for the 2020 session and among the issues to be discussed this session include the budget, teacher pay raises, healthcare, and gambling, and tax cuts.

Speaking last week to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, House Speaker David Ralston said voters should decide whether they want to expand gambling.

Right now, the only gambling in Georgia is the Georgia lottery, but some lawmakers are for instituting casino gambling and horse racing as a way to raise additional revenue.

However, that would take a Constitutional amendment.

Governor Brian Kemp approved a teacher pay raise last year, but Ralston said given the tight budget proposed by the Governor this year, he doesn’t believe another raise will happen this year.

Also, on the list of issues to be discussed this session is tax cuts.

After the General Assembly cut the state’s top income tax rate from 6% to 5.75% in 2018, legislators were given the option to reduce tax rates again to 5.5% this year.

Ralston told the AJC he’s hopeful they will cut tax rates again this session.

Other issues on the table this session also include whether Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport should have state oversight, but Ralston said he doesn’t think it should be taken out of the hands of the Atlanta government.

And lawmakers may also be deciding whether to approve a limited expansion of Medicaid, but Ralston doesn’t believe that will see the light of day this year.