The Georgia State House today elected Republican David Ralston as its new speaker. The pick ends two months of uncertainty and power struggles after former speaker Glenn Richardson resigned, after a scandal involving an alleged affair with a lobbyist.
Ralston told his colleagues that he wants to make sure state government belongs to the working families of Georgia and not to lobbyists and special interest.
He promised ethics reform legislation and changes to house rules that will allow for more debate.
The state budget, Ralston says, will be his top priority. State revenues have continued to decline as lawmakers are predicting a shortfall of $1.5 billion and have already made $3 billion in cuts.
He says public education is a core mission of state government.
Already teachers in Georgia are bracing for more cuts and Georgia’s budget continues to shrink.
Also, history was made today, when Representative Jan Jones of Milton became the first woman in Georgia to hold the position of Speaker Pro Tem.
State revenues have continued to decline as lawmakers are predicting a shortfall of $1.5 billion and have already made $3 billion in cuts.