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Lt. governor calls for respect among lawmakers
Casey Cagle
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle
By Andrea Washington
Coastal Courier (Hinesville, GA) Staff Writer

With the pomp and circumstance of the first week in session over, members of the Georgia General Assembly returned to work Monday.
Here are a few of the happenings from the first four days of the 149th General Assembly.  

Georgia Senate
Former senator Casey Cagle made history when he hammered his gavel for the first time as president of the upper chamber in the Senate on Jan. 9.
Georgia’s first Republican lieutenant governor, Cagle told Senate lawmakers he wants to see a return to respect and bipartisanship during his tenure.
“I want to set a standard by which we bring the Senate back to a place it once was-where we respect one another and we respect the body,” he said. “It is a great, great honor to serve in this Chamber and I want you to take the business of this Senate very seriously — and I know you will.”
Cagle reminded senators of their responsibility not only to serve Georgians of today, but also to create a better future for the Georgians of tomorrow.
“When we think about the impact of what we are doing in this body, and how it is going to impact future generations, we realize what an awesome responsibility we have,” he said. “I know you will join me in creating something that we can be proud of at the end of the day. We can say we did our best, we gave it our all and we had Georgia’s best interest at heart through every decision we made.”
Senator Eric Johnson was also elected to his third consecutive term as President Pro Tempore during the first week of the session.
“I love this Senate, this chamber and it’s tradition,” Johnson said shortly after his win. “With a unified cooperative Senate, we truly have become the Upper Chamber because we have conducted ourselves with integrity and we have legislated well.”
Johnson was first elected Senate President Pro Tempore in 2003, not long after Republicans took control of the Senate following the 2002 election. He is the 66th President Pro Tempore in the state’s history, but only the third to serve more than two terms.
The senator has served in the body since 1995 and was previously the Senate Minority Leader.

Georgia House
of Representatives

By a vote of 113 to 66, Rep. Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram) was re-elected to a second term as Speaker of the House over House Minority Leader Rep. Dubose Porter (D-Dublin).
Rep. Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta) was also re-elected as Speaker Pro Tempore.
With funding for the PeachCare for Kids health insurance program continuing to be a concern, representatives unanimously agreed to pass House Resolution 13.
The resolution urges Congress to act on the re-authorizing of the program and funding of its federal allocation.

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