Following Tuesday’s special election, Republicans have a supermajority in the state Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. Republicans now control 38 seats in the state Senate.
That means, they can pass constitutional amendments without needing any votes from Democratic Senators. Amendments require two-thirds’ majority of both chambers and the consent of voters to become law.
Sen. Steve Thompson is a Democratic from Marietta and one of the Senate’s longest-serving members. He said the moment is historic but he doesn’t think Republicans will take unfair advantage.
“Two-thirds is a very important measure and yes, they did pick up something that is important. But I for one am less worried about that this particular group than with the group that made everybody vote against their convictions and their constituencies,” said Thompson.
Thompson is referring to the recent leadership change among Republican senators. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has regained much of his authority in the Senate, after a coup that stripped him of his ability to make committee assignments.
While GOP leaders in the Senate are mum about their plans, they grasp the significance of the moment.
Sen. Ronnie Chance is a Tyrone Republican and the majority leader. He said it shows Georgians endorse the party’s conservative agenda.
“We have a responsibility to the citizens of Georgia to promote that conservative agenda, to focus on job creation, continuing to grow the economy, education, and commonsense conservative principles. And that’s what we intend to do with the supermajority,” said Chance.
In the state House, the GOP is one shy of a supermajority, with 119 seats. Independent Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville holds the 120th seat.