Two Georgia Legislators Will Influence How Reapportionment Affects Peach State Residents


Members of the Georgia General Assembly are preparing to discuss reapportionment, which involves redrawing district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2020 Census.

Members of the Georgia House Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee as well as members of the Georgia Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee will hold a joint virtual town hall hearing next week. The hearing will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15 on the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

“During this virtual town hall-style hearing, members of the committees will hear and receive input from residents regarding the state’s reapportionment process. Georgia residents may provide testimony via Zoom for this virtual hearing. Individual testimony will be between two to five minutes each,” according to an emailed press release.

“Time limits are subject to change depending on how many individuals sign up to speak. The public may also submit written comments, and the method for submission of written comments will be forthcoming. This virtual town hall hearing is a part of a series of joint town hall hearings across the state of Georgia. Additional details regarding the town hall hearing locations will be forthcoming.”

Georgia State Sen. John F. Kennedy (R-Macon) chairs the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee.

State Representative Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) chairs the House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee.

Georgia’s chamber of commerce interests have donated $4,250 to Rich since 2018, shortly before she took office.

Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) said in February that she suspected members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber worked behind the scenes to kill Byrd’s Voter ID legislation. Byrd said she believed Georgia Chamber members disliked her Voter ID legislation because it would try to stop non-citizens from voting. She said at the time that Rich worked to block Byrd’s legislation in a Special Committee on Election Integrity subcommittee.

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s website lists Rich’s donors.

The Georgia Chamber’s Political Affairs Council, for instance, donated $3,500 to Rich’s campaign efforts since 2018.

According to its website, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has a Governmental Affairs Council with 400 government affairs professionals representing various companies throughout the state. The Georgia Chamber’s Political Affairs Council, meanwhile, “provides an opportunity for Chamber investors and partners to play an active role in shaping the future of our state,” its website said.

The Political Action Committee for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has donated $750 to Rich since 2019, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s website.

Two former state legislators said in February that Georgia Chamber of Commerce members, not unexpectedly, have tremendous influence at the State Capitol. Those two former legislators also said the Chambers’ members sometimes work against political conservatives’ best interests.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Georgia Capitol” by Autiger. CC BY-SA 2.0.









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