Hagan Reviews First Week at State Capitol
As newly-elected District 156 State House Representative Leesa Hagan arrived in Atlanta on November 3 to begin her duties, an exciting flurry of activity was taking place at the State Capitol.
State legislators had been called into a special session by Governor Brian Kemp to tackle the difficult issue of redistricting. It is an undertaking that occurs across the country every 10 years following the U.S. Census and reconfigures representation based on how the population has shifted.
Voting on the new maps that will redefine the bound- continued from page
aries of state House, Senate and Congressional districts is expected to occur imminently — perhaps even this week for the House and Senate maps. The intense work of map restructuring was being done in special legislative committees whose efforts followed hearings held across the state to gather public input. After being enacted into law, the redistricting changes will not be effective until January 2023.
Hagan is waiting to see how her own district might be impacted by the remapping. It is expected that Toombs and Montgomery will remain in her area of representation, but other counties, like Wheeler, might be added. Also, the current proposals eliminate Appling and Jeff Davis from her district. “But that could change,” Hagan said.
Hagan will qualify in March 2022 to run again for a seat in the State House. “We will be running for election in new districts although we will not be representing them until January 2023.” The Vidalia businesswoman was elected earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Greg Morris, who resigned to take a seat on the state Transportation Board. Last week, as the special committees met, Hagan, and other legislators who were not on these committees, had free time for networking and discussing plans for the 2022 session that begins in January. The freshman legislator is a member of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Natural Resources and the Environment, and Small Business Development Committees. “The committee chairs were encouraged to have committee meetings, but the one thing we cannot do is vote on anything until we are officially in session,” she said. “For me, it is a good time to just meet everybody, to get oriented.”
While getting acquainted at the State Capitol last week, Hagan learned that top issues for the new session will likely include a focus on mental health. “There has been a good bit of money set aside for this. It is a priority with the Speaker (of the House), and I agree that we have a lot of work to do in that area. We all care about that issue.”
Hagan plans to issue a weekly report on Legislative activity which will be published in The Advance. “I want to keep my constituents informed,” she said.