Lawmakers through paper in the air at the end of session.
Caption
Lawmakers throw torn papers into the air at the end of the 2021 legislative session in the General Assembly just after midnight on April 1, 2021.
Credit: Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Thursday on Political Rewind: As legislators brought the 2021 General Assembly session to an end late last night, they faced an onslaught of harsh criticism from corporate leaders over the controversial election measures now law in Georgia. Activists opposing the bills are asking why business executives from Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and Microsoft waited to speak until after the laws were passed.

Yesterday, Gov. Brian Kemp defended the new law. He insisted the measures expands opportunities to vote in Georgia and is being intentionally misrepresented by critics.

Also: a review of high-profile bills in the last hours of the session. Georgia lawmakers passed reforms of the state's Civil War-era citizen's arrest law. Advocates say the changes make Georgia the first state in the nation to change its citizen's arrest laws in the nation.

GPB's Stephen Fowler said the slate of bills considered in the past year reveal the unique political climate in Georgia.

"The same state that can pass the a hate crimes law and a citizen's arrest statute can, in the same stroke, enact voter restrictions and consider legislation expanding gun rights after a mass shooting," Fowler said.

Panelists:

Donna Lowry — Host, GPB’s Lawmakers

Stephen Fowler — Politics Reporter, GPB News

Dr. Amy Steigerwalt — Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University

Kevin Riley — Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution