Floyd County’s four local lawmakers are gearing up for the 2020 Georgia General Assembly session in January.
Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, took office this year in a special election. As a freshman legislator, he wasn’t assigned to a study committee over the break. But the retired probate court judge said he’s been preparing some bills.
“I’ve been working with the magistrate judges on a clean-up bill to tie their pay raises to the other courts, the constitutional officers,” Scoggins said.
Unlike most other judges, magistrates aren’t constitutional officers and they don’t get the automatic pay raises and cost of living adjustments other elected officials do when the Legislature enacts an increase.
“We just want to tie it in with other elected officials,” he said.
He’s also continuing to push for restraints on robocalls. His House Bill 480 didn’t make it out of committee this year, but Scoggins said he expects to back legislation Rep. Dick Williams, R-Milledgeville, is planning to drop.
“We’re trying to make (phone solicitors) identify themselves, make them at least use their real number,” Scoggins said. “I’ve even had calls that come up with my own number. It’s crazy.”
Meanwhile, Scoggins said he expects to remain on his three original House committees — Judiciary, Transportation and Fiscal Oversight — and he’s been keeping up with the issues.
The Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor link from U.S. 411 to I-75 is one of the transportation initiatives that stays on his radar. Scoggins said he’s been getting regular updates on the progress.
“I think by February they will be done with the environmental study and can start purchasing right of way,” he said. Then he laughed.
“That is, if they don’t change it again,” he said about the road that’s been on the books for more than 30 years. “It’s moving. Not fast enough, but more so than it ever has.”
Scoggins and the county’s other lawmakers — Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome; Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome; and Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee — are expected to meet with local officials in early December to discuss priorities for the coming year.
Hufstetler, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, is slated to present a fiscal outlook at his chamber’s pre-session caucus meeting.
He’s also wrapping up deliberations of the Senate Study Committee on Evaluating and Simplifying Physician Oversight of Physician Assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses that he chairs.
Dempsey is finalizing recommendations from the House Study Committee on Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Health that she chairs.
And Lumsden is closing out another year on the House Rural Development Council.
The study committees are scheduled to turn in reports by Dec. 1.