The Georgia House unanimously approved House Bill 786 on Thursday, February 20, to create a fourth Superior Court judgeship in Henry County. The bill now awaits a committee hearing and vote in the state senate.
Discussion about adding a fourth judge has been ongoing for several years. The board of commissioners adopted a letter of support for its creation in February 2019.
In September, Superior Court Judge Brian Amero shared with the BOC that the Judicial Council of Georgia had prioritized the Flint circuit judgeship as the number two request across the state. Amero was optimistic about the judgeship being fulfilled by the Georgia General Assembly.
The bill has been updated since our original blog post. If signed into law, Governor Kemp would appoint the new judge to a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021. The seat would first stand for election in 2022 and every fourth year from then on.
Other General Assembly News
A proposed constitutional amendment by state rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) passed the house on Thursday. The amendment, if approved by voters, would allow residents to file lawsuits against the state challenging unconstitutional laws.
Similar legislation has been vetoed by both Governor Kemp and former Governor Deal in recent years. The constitutional amendment awaits a vote in the senate where a two-thirds majority is required to place it on the statewide ballot. Read More
Second, a new opportunity for supporters of gambling to rally behind was introduced last week by state senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson). Sports betting would become legal in Georgia without requiring a constitutional amendment if senate bill 415 is approved. Keep Reading
Finally, an effort to strengthen Georgia seat belt laws was forced to tap the brakes. Committee members raised questions about proposed increases to the fines levied for violations. More Info