Policy Committee Meetings Provide Insights into the Legislative Session

February 1, 2024

GMA Convened Six Policy Committees During the Cities United Summit

During GMA’s 2024 Cities United Summit six policy committees convened to deliberate on a wide range of topics critical to the advancement and well-being of municipalities throughout Georgia. These sessions offered a platform for in-depth discussions with key legislators and leaders. Each session aimed to address current challenges and forward-looking strategies across various sectors that may be addressed in this current legislative session.

The following committees met:

Community Development Policy Committee

This committee focused on the legislative and policy aspects influencing housing, downtown development and economic growth, emphasizing the importance of solutions that enhance city living and address housing affordability and supply issues.

  • Facilitated by: Regina M. McDuffie, City Manager of Brunswick
  • Speakers Included: Andrea Wiggins from the Office of Senator Warnock; Representatives Matt Reeves, Dale Washburn and Spencer Frye

Revenue and Finance Policy Committee

Discussions revolved around balancing revenue sources for cities, the impact of the proposed income tax changes by Governor Kemp and the exploration of alternative revenue mechanisms to support city services and infrastructure.

  • Facilitated by: Mayor Skip Henderson of Columbus
  • Speakers Included: Senator Chuck Hufstetler, Representatives Debbie Buckner and Clint Crowe, Kyle Wingfield from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Leona Rittenhouse from GMA

Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee

The committee tackled issues related to environmental policy, air quality and wastewater treatment, underlining the municipal role in implementing and managing state and federal environmental programs.

  • Facilitated by: Janie Reid, Councilmember of Eatonton
  • Speakers Included: Representative Lynn Smith, Senator Sheikh Rahman, John Eunice from EPD and Kendall Daniels from GMA

Municipal Government Policy Committee

Key topics included the principles of Home Rule, the dynamics of City/County relations and planning and zoning practices, with a focus on maintaining local governance home rule and autonomy.

  • Facilitated by: Mayor Anthony Ford of Stockbridge
  • Speakers Included: Representatives Victor Anderson and Teri Anulewicz, GMA General Counsel Rusi Patel and Governmental Relations Director Jim Thornton

Transportation Policy Committee

The session addressed the future of transportation planning, roadway maintenance and the need for legislative support in funding and developing infrastructure to keep pace with Georgia's growth.

  • Facilitated by: Mayor Michael Chidester of Byron
  • Speakers Included: Representative Rick Jasperse, Senator Derek Mallow, Ann Purcell from the GDOT Board and Noah Roenitz from GMA

Public Safety Policy Committee

This committee delved into emergency management, local law enforcement, municipal jails and emerging threats like swatting, cybersecurity and public health crises, emphasizing collaborative approaches to enhance community safety.

  • Facilitated by: Mayor Eric Wilson of Forsyth
  • Speakers Included: Anna Adams from the Georgia Hospital Association, DJ Waller from GMA, Senators Sonya Halpern and Randy Robertson

The Cities United Summit policy discussions underscored GMA's commitment to address the issues that will have the most impact on Georgia’s cities. Throughout the legislative session, city leaders can learn more about policy developments at the legislature by reading the weekly Gold Dome Update and engage in policy discussions with GMA during the Friday Focus calls. Visit GMA’s Governmental Relations page to learn more about the legislative session and sign up for the Gold Dome Update. You can register for the Friday Focus calls here

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