Georgia House of Representatives

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Georgia House of Representatives
Georgia General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 10, 2011
David Ralston (R)
Since January 11, 2010
Jan Jones (R)
Since January 11, 2010
Majority Leader
Jon Burns (R)
Since November 9, 2010
Minority Leader
Stacey Abrams (D)
Since November 10, 2010
Seats 180
House of Representatives diagram 2014 State of Georgia.svg
Political groups
Governing Party


Length of term
2 years
Authority Article III, Georgia Constitution
Salary $17,342/year + per diem
Last election
November 4, 2014
(180 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2016
(180 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Georgia House of Representatives.jpg
House of Representatives Chamber
Georgia State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia House of Representatives

The Georgia House of Representatives is the lower house of the Georgia General Assembly (the state legislature) of the U.S. state of Georgia. There are currently 180 elected members.


The Georgia House of Representatives was created in 1777 during the American Revolution, making it older than the U.S. Congress. During its existence, its meeting place has moved multiple times, from Savannah to Augusta, to Louisville, to Milledgeville and finally to Atlanta in 1868.[1]

In 1867, the military governor of Georgia called for an assembly in Atlanta to discuss a constitutional convention. Atlanta officials moved to make the city Georgia's new state capital, donating the location of Atlanta's first city hall. The constitutional convention agreed and the people voted to ratify the decision on April 20, 1868. The Georgia General Assembly first presided in Atlanta on July 4, 1868.[1]

On October 26, 1884, construction began on a new state capitol and was first occupied on June 15, 1889.[1]

Powers and privileges

The state constitution gives the state legislature the power to make state laws, restrict land to protect and preserve the environment and natural resources, form a state militia under the command of the Governor of Georgia, expend public money, condemn property, zone property, participate in tourism, and control and regulate outdoor advertising.[2]

The state legislature cannot grant incorporation to private persons but may establish laws governing the incorporation process. It is also prohibited from authorizing contracts or agreements that may have the effect of or the intent of lessening competition or encouraging a monopoly.


Members of the Georgia House of Representatives maintain two privileges during their time in office. First, no member can be arrested during session or during committee meetings except in cases of treason, felony, or "breach of the peace". Second, members are not liable for anything they might say in session or committee meetings.


According to the state constitution of 1983, this body is to comprise no fewer than 180 members elected for two-year terms. Current state law provides for 180 members. Elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.

It is the third largest lower house in the United States (behind New Hampshire (400) and Pennsylvania (203)).[3]

As of 2011, attorneys account for about 16.1% of the membership of the Georgia House of Representatives, a relatively low figure.[4]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Ind Democratic Vacant
End of 149th General Assembly 106 0 74 180 0
Begin 105 0 75 180 0
End of 150th General Assembly 112 1 66 179 1
Start of 151st General Assembly[5] 114 1 63 178 2
End of 151st General Assembly 116 180 0
Beginning of 152nd General Assembly 119 1 60 180 0
End of 152nd General Assembly 180 0
Beginning of 153rd General Assembly[6] 119 1 60 180 0
May 12, 2015[7] 118 179 1
August 11, 2015[8] 61 180 0
Latest voting share 66.1% 33.9%


The House of Representatives elects its own Speaker as well as a Speaker Pro Tempore. The current speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives is David Ralston. The current Speaker Pro Tempore is Jan Jones.[9] The Speaker Pro Tempore becomes Speaker in case of the death, resignation, or permanent disability of the Speaker. The Speaker Pro Tempore serves until a new Speaker is elected. In addition there is a clerk of the House, who is charged with overseeing the flow of legislation through the body. The current clerk is William L. Reilly.[10]

List of committees

  • Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
  • Judiciary
  • Appropriations
  • Judiciary – Non-Civil
  • Banks and Banking
  • Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment
  • Children and Youth
  • Defense and Veterans Affairs
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Economic Development and Tourism
  • Natural Resources and Environment
  • Education
  • Public Safety
  • Ethics
  • Public Utilities and Telecommunications
  • Game, Fish, and Parks
  • Regulated Industries
  • Governmental Affairs
  • Retirement
  • Health and Human Services
  • Rules
  • Higher Education
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Relations and Aging
  • Special Rules
  • Industrial Relations
  • State Institutions and Property
  • Information and Audits
  • State Planning and Community Affairs
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Interstate Cooperation
  • Ways and Means
  • Intergovernmental Coordination

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Capitalization of Georgia, Georgia State Government. (accessed June 2, 2013)
  2. Article III Section VI, Georgia Constitution (accessed June 2, 2013)
  3. brenda erickson (October 11, 2007). "Population and Size of Legislature". Retrieved April 5, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Georgia House of Representatives". Georgia House of Representatives. Retrieved June 6, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Republican Tony Sellier (District 136) died November 30, 2010. Republican Mark Williams (District 178) appointed to incoming Gov. Deal's administration December 2010.
  6. "House Members List".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Republican Mike Jacobs (District 80) appointed to the DeKalb County State Court. [1]
  8. Democrat Taylor Bennett elected to succeed Jacobs [2]
  9. AJC: Live blogging from the Legislature: David Ralston elected House speaker
  10. [3]

External links