2017 Capitol Update Week 1 – State of the State

The 2017 Session is underway
The 154th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly began on Monday, January 9, 2017 with all members of the Georgia House taking their oath of office. I thank you for allowing me to continue serving as your Representative at the state Capitol.


Rep. Brett Harrell with Speaker David Ralston
Brett with Speaker Ralston
Ralston re-elected Speaker

Our first order of business Monday was to elect our leaders. Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) were both re-elected to their respective positions.

Later in the week, Speaker Ralston and the Committee on Assignments announced appointments for the 2017-2018 Sessions. I am pleased to share with you that I have retained my committee positions including Vice Chair of Rules, Regulated Industries, and Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight. I will also continue to serve on the Transportation and Ways and Means Committees where I currently Chair Subcommittees.

House Committees listed here.


State of the State address

Governor Deal provided a joint session of the House and Senate as well as members of our Judiciary the State of the State address on Wednesday.

Highlights of the Governor’s address include:
  • State Reserve Fund (Rainy Day Fund) in excess of $2 billion
  • More than 575,000 new private sector jobs created over the past several years
  • Georgia named the No. 1 state for business four years in a row
  • A 20% pay raise for law enforcement
  • FY 2018 Budget proposal including numerous other enhancements. Budget here.

Budget Documents


Gwinnett gaining influence

I am so proud of my Gwinnett colleagues at the state Capitol. This week, Governor Deal chose Representative Chuck Efstration of Dacula and Senator P.K. Martin of Lawrenceville to serve as Administration Floor Leaders. This is a great honor and position of influence between the Governor’s office and Legislative branch. Congrats to you both!

As you may know, Gwinnett is well represented in the Senate by David Shafer of Duluth the President Pro Tem of the Senate and Renee Unterman of Buford, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.

In the House, Gwinnett’s Brooks Coleman Chairs the Education Committee and Buzz Brockway was just named Chair of the Code Revision Committee.

2017 House Committee Assignments


Let me hear from you
As always, I remain appreciative that you allow me to serve as your state Representative. I encourage you to contact me with any comments or questions you have about the legislation being considered at your state Capitol.

Please make note of my new office and phone number:
613-D Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
Thanks for allowing me to serve,
 Brett Harrell