Three Henry County bills filed at State Capitol

Following the passage of senate bill 22 earlier this month, three new bills have been filed by Senator Emanuel Jones at the state capitol. The latest senate bill was introduced after the board of commissioners declined to select an interim commissioner.

Senate Bills 285 & 286

Senate Bills 285 and 286 provide the county commission chair with a board appointee to the Henry County Water Authority and Development Authority, respectively. Presently, the boards consist of five members appointed one each by the district commissioners.

Senator Jones introduced both bills on Monday, March 8. SB 286, concerning the development authority, passed the state senate on Thursday, March 18. SB 285 for the water authority has not yet received a vote.

Senate Bill 22 provided the county commission chair with an appointee to all county boards; however, it did not apply to either authority. Since state acts established the authorities, SB 285 and 286 amend the acts to include a chair appointee.

The last day of the 2021 legislative session is Wednesday, March 31. If the bills do not pass this year, then state lawmakers can consider them again next year.

Senate Bill 306

On Tuesday, March 16, a majority of the county commissioners declined to name an interim commissioner. The district III seat is vacant following Commissioner Gary Barham’s passing. On Thursday, March 18, Senator Jones filed SB 306. The bill adds new language to fill board vacancies.

Senate Bill 306 proposes to add the following:

In the event that a majority of the board does not vote to appoint a person to fill a vacancy within the time provided for in this subsection, the chairperson shall then immediately appoint a qualified person from the list of nominations provided pursuant to this subsection to fill such vacancy.

The referenced subsection allows 14 days for the BOC to appoint an interim commissioner. Because Commissioner Barham passed away on March 2, the board meeting on March 16 was the fourteenth day.

The next board meeting is April 6. The BOC may reconsider the nominees for district III. A special election will take place in June.

Featured image shows Georgia State Capitol. Credit to Wikimedia Commons.

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