Thu., April 14, 2011 7:49pm (EDT)

Deal Will Determine Special Session Agenda
By Jeanne Bonner
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Lawmakers are finishing up this year’s legislative session. But they will be back at the Capitol this summer for a special session on redistricting. Gov. Nathan Deal will decide what else is on the agenda.

State lawmakers won’t have the option of taking the summer off since every ten years, they must redraw the legislative maps based on new census data.

Gov. Deal told legislators Thursday evening that the session will take place around August 15th. But it remains unclear what it will include, other than redistricting.

House Speaker David Ralston has said he hopes lawmakers could also reconsider tax reform during the special session.

Deal, however, says that depends.

“Unless there is some fairly good agreement in advance as to the parameters of any tax reform package, you would not want to see a special session extended unduly," he said in comments Wednesday. "And that will be one of the considerations in whether or not to include that in a potential call.”

Republican leaders were unable to complete a tax overhaul because of disagreements about whether it would cut taxes for most residents. A spokesman for Deal said taking up tax reform will also depend on state revenues at the end of June, when the fiscal year ends.

Lawmakers have already begun meeting about redistricting. Indeed, there's been controversy because Republican leaders established an reapportionment office that will take the lead on redistricting. Previously, an independent institute at the University of Georgia was in charge of redrawing legislative maps.