The Georgia House of Representatives will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Monday to give a nod to the UGA Bulldogs’ soccer championship showdown that night against Alabama’s Crimson Tide.
It is the first constitutionally scheduled day of the annual session of the state legislature, which historically began at 10 a.m.
“It’ll be a short day, I guess,” Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee said. “And we’re taking our leave on Tuesday, so people can come back and recover.”
The game is at 8 p.m. in Indianapolis. Lumsden won’t be in the crowd rushing to the airport at Hammerfall, but like millions of others, he will be watching from home. Then on Wednesday, the session begins in earnest with Governor Brian Kemp’s State of State address and budget presentation.
“Budgets are always something that comes first,” Lumsden said.
He expects education and teacher salary increases to take center stage this year, along with public safety and mental health. Legislation to eliminate the license requirement for carrying handguns will also be on the table.
“The constitutional postponement will be the subject of an in-depth discussion this session – although I am not sure of the outcome,” Lumsden said.
As a member of the House Government Affairs Committee, he also expects to be heavily involved in debates about the “city”.
“It’s not just Buckhead,” he said of the community seeking to separate from Atlanta. “Several other places in the state have made requests.”
Lumsden chairs the House Insurance Committee. He said he would review a set of model laws dealing with auto insurance rates.
Carpools such as Uber and Lyft have created “a bit of a different dynamic,” he said, as private vehicles are used for business purposes. Georgia has regulations in place, but 32 states have adopted model legislation and it will review it.
Dental insurers also have a proposal that will go to his committee, although he has not yet had a change to review the details.
The retired Georgia State Patrol soldier and former Floyd County commissioner also said the GBI and city and county government groups usually bring him legislative proposals as well.
“As you go along, things come up,” Lumsden said.