At the start of every year, the state legislature kicks off the 40 day (non-consecutive) legislative session on the second Monday in January; this year’s session begins today, January 9, 2023!
The Georgia General Assembly is bicameral, or made up of 2 chambers, the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate. The Georgia House of Representatives is made up of 180 Representatives and the Georgia Senate is made up of 56 Senators. The state legislature’s role is threefold – 1) pass the state budget, 2) pass laws and resolutions, 3) hold hearings and other fact-finding activities.
During session, the House and Senate meet to introduce new legislation, discuss issues, and cast votes. Within the legislative session, there are 2 key dates that can decide a bill’s fate. Crossover Day (28th day) is the deadline for a bill to pass out of either of the legislative chambers. If it fails to do so, the bill can no longer be considered in the current session. Sine Die (40th day) is the final legislative day and the final date for a bill to be passed by both chambers.
If it passes, the bill is sent to the Governor’s desk where it awaits approval or veto. If requested, a bill may be sent to the Governor immediately after passage, or after Sine Die. The Governor may approve or veto a bill within six days after receipt while the General Assembly is in session. After Sine Die, he has 40 days to approve or veto a bill. If the Governor takes no action within that time, the bill becomes a law – this is also called a ‘pocket veto’. If the Governor vetoes the bill, the General Assembly can override the veto with a two-thirds vote by each House during the next session. An act becomes effective the following July 1, unless a different effective date is provided in the language of the act.
Sessions are held in two-year increments known as biennials, meaning legislation introduced in the first year that fails to pass through the chambers can be taken up the second year. All measures that don’t go the governor for his signature by the end of the second year are abandoned and must be refiled next session. The 2023 session is the first year of the Georgia General Assembly’s latest biennial.
9to5 Georgia is actively involved in legislative advocacy every year to fight for the well being of working women in Georgia. Take a look at the document below to find out what our legislative priorities are for this session and how you can be part of our work.