The Georgia House of Representatives is the lower house of the Georgia General Assembly (the state legislature) of the U.S. state of Georgia. There are currently 180 elected members. Republicans have had a majority in the chamber since 2005. The current House Speaker is David Ralston.
The Georgia House of Representatives was created in 1777 during the American Revolution, making it older than the U.S. Congress. During its existence, its meeting place has moved multiple times, from Savannah to Augusta, to Louisville, to Milledgeville and finally to Atlanta in 1868.In 1867, the military governor of Georgia called for an assembly in Atlanta to discuss a constitutional convention. Atlanta officials moved to make the city Georgia's new state capital, donating the location of Atlanta's first city hall. The constitutional convention agreed and the people voted to ratify the decision on April 20, 1868. The Georgia General Assembly first presided in Atlanta on July 4, 1868.On October 26, 1884, construction began on a new state capitol and was first occupied on June 15, 1889.
Powers and privileges
The state constitution gives the state legislature the power to make state laws, restrict land use to protect and preserve the environment and natural resources, form a state militia under the command of the Governor of Georgia, expend public money, condemn property, zone property, participate in tourism, and control and regulate outdoor advertising.The state legislature cannot grant incorporation to private persons but may establish laws governing the incorporation process. It is also prohibited from authorizing contracts or agreements that may have the effect of or the intent of lessening competition or encouraging a monopoly.
Members of the Georgia House of Representatives maintain two privileges during their time in office. First, no member can be arrested during session or during committee meetings except in cases of treason, felony, or "breach of the peace". Second, members are not liable for anything they might say in session or committee meetings.
According to the state constitution of 1983, this body is to comprise no fewer than 180 members elected for two-year terms. Current state law provides for 180 members. Elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.
It is the third-largest lower house of the 50 United States (behind New Hampshire (400) and Pennsylvania (203)). Republicans currently have a majority, though Democrats have gained seats in recent elections.
As of 2011, attorneys account for about 16.1% of the membership of the Georgia House of Representatives, a relatively low figure.
The House of Representatives elects its own Speaker as well as a Speaker Pro Tempore. The current speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives is David Ralston. The current Speaker Pro Tempore is Jan Jones. The Speaker Pro Tempore becomes Speaker in case of the death, resignation, or permanent disability of the Speaker. The Speaker Pro Tempore serves until a new Speaker is elected. In addition there is a clerk of the House, who is charged with overseeing the flow of legislation through the body. The current clerk is William L. Reilly.
List of current representatives
Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Banks and Banking
Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight
Defense and Veterans Affairs
Economic Development and Tourism
Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications
Game, Fish, and Parks
Health and Human Services
Human Relations and Aging
Industry and Labor
Information and Audits
Judiciary – Non-Civil
Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment
MARTOC- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee. Senate/House joint committee. Provides oversight of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
Natural Resources and Environment
Public Safety and Homeland Security
Science and Technology
Small Business Development
State Planning and Community Affairs
Ways and Means