Dangerous Commissions Bill Undermines Will of GA voters

HB 1312 could add an extra two years to the six-year terms of commissioners on the all-Republican body

ATLANTA – The Georgia Legislature recently passed a harmful public commissions House Bill (HB) 1312 which disproportionately extends re-election terms for Georgia Public Service commissioners by an additional two years. Current commissioners already hold six-year terms and make up a majority of the all-Republican commision seats. 

HB 1312 would limit the number of times commissioners would face voters in a reelection over the span of several years. Georgia lawmakers are awaiting the results of a current lawsuit that would impact the bill’s provisions. 

The bill was passed last Thursday by the House and Senate. Now, it will head to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

In response, Anne-Gray Herring, policy analyst of Common Cause Georgia issued the following statement:

This bill clearly chills the voices of Georgia voters who deserve an opportunity to choose their elected officials in their respective districts. The people of Georgia will not be silenced by this last-minute tactic in the legislature to add this harmful provision to HB 1312.

“The implications of this bill could have major impacts to Georgia’s Public Service Commissions and the fight to protect their intended bi-partisan purpose, especially as these commission seats determine the permissions of companies like Georgia Power and its impact on everyday voters. 

“The Georgia legislature should be fighting to help build a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. Instead, they are preventing the democratic process of free and fair elections by setting a dangerous precedent by ratification of  two-year extensions.

“Common Cause Georgia will continue to protect the right of Georgians to choose their  representatives. We demand reflective democracy and policies for all our communities.

“We call on Governor Kemp to veto this dangerous bill that silences Georgia voters.”