Lawmakers lay out priorities as first day of 2022 General Assembly gets under way

ATLANTA — Day one of the Georgia General Assembly was marked by overwhelming bipartisan support for the one thing on which both sides of the political aisle can agree: Georgia defeating Alabama for the National College Football Championship Monday night.

“Welcome to National Championship Day,” House Speaker David Ralston, (R) Blue Ridge, proclaimed at the start of the first of 40 legislative days. “When the Georgia Bulldogs tonight, before midnight, will set everything right with the world.”

Both the House and Senate adjourned early Monday so lawmakers could get home to watch the game, or in some instances, travel to Indianapolis to watch it in person.

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They are not in session Tuesday as both sides hope to take the time to celebrate Georgia’s first national championship in 41 years. But when they return Wednesday, expect some tough partisan battles over issues such as Buckhead Cityhood, a proposal to abolish all absentee ballot drop boxes and a bill that would allow Georgians to carry firearms without permits.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, (R) Gillsville, is one the main proponents of what they call the Constitutional Carry bill.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced last week he fully supported the measure.

“He knew he had to come through with Constitutional Carry, because he ran on it,” Dunahoo said. “This gives the right to you to take care of the evil before the evil comes.”

House Minority Leader State Rep. James Beverly, (D) Macon, said Democrats will fight the measure as best they can.

“Enough is enough,” Beverly said. “Constitutional Carry in this day and age doesn’t make much sense whatsoever, and we’ll certainly fight it.”

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