By Monroe Roark
With the 2014 session of the
Georgia General Assembly now in its second week, very little has
been discussed so far with regard to local legislation that would
directly affect Henry County or its cities.
The Board of Commissioners
was scheduled to discuss an item at its regular Tuesday night
meeting that would eventually require legislative action. The
current ordinance regarding the county’s election superintendent has
not had any provision for the removal or replacement of the person
who holds that office.
Janet Shellnutt, who has
overseen elections in Henry County for more than a decade, is
eligible to retire when her current term ends June 30 but has not
given any indication as to what she might do.
That is the only issue being
considered right now by county officials that would require local
legislation, interim county manager Michael Harris said last week.
When contacted to ask what
might be coming from the cities, officials in Hampton and Locust
Grove said nothing was forthcoming, while no one from McDonough or
Stockbridge responded to the Times’ e-mail request.
There is still time for that
to change, however.
“If a local group wishes to
petition the delegation, we ask them to have their request to us in
writing by Day 20 of the session, which is the halfway point,” said
state Rep. Andy Welch (R-110), who is the chairman of the delegation
for the current two-year term. “Then we can consider it and work on
the language if it needs any work, and hold any hearings we might
need to have before we render a decision.”
The Henry County legislative
delegation typically meets at the beginning of the session and at
other times when deemed necessary. The group met Jan. 13, which was
the first day of this year’s session, to discuss a request from
Clayton State University for funding assistance, Welch said.
Seven members of the Georgia
House of Representatives serve at least a portion of Henry County:
Demetrius Douglas, David Knight, Dale Rutledge, Sandra Scott, Brian
Strickland, Andy Welch and John Yates. Douglas and Scott are
Democrats; the rest are Republicans.
Henry County is represented
in the Georgia State Senate by Republican Rick Jeffares and Democrat
Emanuel Jones. Each district includes about half the county.
www.georgia.gov to see more
detailed information on each member of the county’s legislative
Legislators in Georgia took
one day off for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday but went right
back to work yesterday. In past years, the session would usually
convene for its first week and take off the entire week that
followed to get organized for the work that was coming up. This
schedule indicates that the session will move quickly this year,
As far as the members of the
Henry County delegation are concerned, this year’s overall
priorities include the budget and such issues as education funding
(specifically the E-SPLOST), property rights, environmental matters
and foster care reform, among other things.
Most legislators send weekly e-mails to
constituents with updates on specific legislation they are working
on. Some of them – such as Jeffares, Rutledge, Strickland and Welch
– also post links to these weekly reports on Facebook.