Georgia Legislative Report | House District 160
January 20, 2015

The 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly convened Jan. 12, the first of 40 legislative days for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to address the major issues facing our state. It is a great privilege to begin my fifth year of legislative service to the wonderful citizens in House District 160. 


It was also an honor for me to have been selected for the Committee of Escorts to accompany Rep. David Ralston into the House chamber following his re-election as Speaker of the House on the opening day of the session (which happened to be my birthday!).


On Jan. 20, I will join my fellow members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for hearings and initial work on the proposed budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2015 and the annual budget for fiscal year 2016. The full General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene Jan. 26 for the fifth legislative day of the session.  


Please feel free to contact me throughout the session with your thoughts on pending issues, or whenever I can be of service. My legislative office is located at 401-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334; phone 404-656-7855 or email [email protected].


Jan Tankersley
State Representative

2015 Legislative Session gets under way

Rep. Jan Tankersley with husband Hughie after she was sworn in for the 2015-2016 term of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Tankersley reviews legislation with fellow Rep. Barbara Sims on Jan. 14.

Governor outlines priorities for 2015 legislative session

Georgia State Capitol 

The first week of the 2015 legislative session was highlighted by the State of the State Address delivered Jan. 14 by Gov. Nathan Deal to a joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate.   


"Now, our economy is seeing positive growth with thousands of new jobs added every month," Gov. Deal said. "We're seeing the tell-tale signs of cranes and bulldozers humming on newly cleared land. We're seeing home values recover and Georgia families rebuild their savings. And Georgia has been named the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business by several major rating agencies and has repeated that designation by one of them already. In short, I'm here to report to you today that the state of our state is strong, and getting stronger every day."


The Governor spoke in favor of an additional financial investment to improve the state's transportation infrastructure, as recommended by a special study committee. The study committee had estimated the need for an addition of $1 billion to $1.5 billion annually to maintain the current road system.


"We must maintain and improve our roads and bridges; we must provide congestion relief; and we must prepare for more freight and more businesses," the Governor said. "We can debate how much it will cost to do something; but let us not forget how much it will cost to do nothing."

On education, Gov. Deal asked lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment to establish an "Opportunity School District," in which the state would take over the operation of individual failing schools. He has also appointed an Education Reform Commission for the purpose of overhauling the state's Quality Basic Education funding formula for local school systems.


"If we want our young people to have hope, let's give them the greatest beacon of hope we can confer on them - a quality education that leads to a good job, a stable family and the stairway to the future," Gov. Deal said.  


The Governor continued his call for criminal justice reforms and proposed combining the supervision functions of three state agencies - the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Corrections - into a new Department of Community Supervision.

Gov. Deal expressed support for decriminalizing and controlling the use of cannabis oil for the medical treatment of certain conditions, including childhood seizures. He said he does not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use and opposes allowing marijuana to be grown or sold in the state.


Committee on Assignments: Members of the House of Representatives received committee assignments for the 2015-2016 legislative term last week. I am honored and pleased to continue to serve as the chair of the House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee, which handles all local legislation primarily affecting one political subdivision, such as a city or a county, as well as other issues related to local governments. I will also be serving on the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Economic Development, the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee and the Natural Resources & Environment Committee.   


Rep. Tankersley Re-elected as Rural Caucus Secretary: During this first week I was honored to have been re-elected as the secretary of the Georgia Legislative Rural Caucus for another two years.  The Rural Caucus, the second largest caucus in the Georgia General Assembly, is a bipartisan group organized for the purpose of taking a leading role in issues and legislation that impact agriculture, natural resources and the needs of the state's rural communities. I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow rural legislators from around the state to ensure a strong future for Georgia's rural economy and way of life.


Solar Financing Plan: Legislation aimed at assisting homeowners and small businesses with generating their own energy from solar panels has been approved by a subcommittee of the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee. HB 57, which would allow residents and business owners to lease solar panel systems for their property, has the support of the Georgia Solar Energy Association. The bill now goes to the full committee for its consideration.

Rep. Tankersley's Legislation
Recent action on legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Rep. Jan Tankersley:

HR 21 Wagner, Jonathan Sinclair; commend (adopted by House)

HR 22 Griffin, Gunther James Read; commend (adopted by House)

Click here for all of Rep. Tankersley's 2015-2016 legislation.

Contact Rep. Tankersley
At the Capitol: 401-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

In the District:
P.O. Box 187, Brooklet, GA 30415