A Senate committee with a Republican majority voted 4-3 to send a bill to expand the Gwinnett County Commission from five members to nine and make the chairperson a non-voting member. 

The Senate Committee on State and Local Governmental Operations hearing became contentious, with critics calling the measure an attempt to change the racial makeup of the commission, which is currently represented by minorities. 

Republican Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett) said he introduced the bill in the county, which has more than 950,000 residents, to “drop the constituents that they (commissioners) represent from 250,000 to 100,000.” 

In the House, Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) will carry the bill.

“There is an extensive history that is bipartisan of requesting an expanding commission in Gwinnett County,” Efstration told the committee.

Yesterday, the same Senate committee advanced another of Dixon’s bills that would make the Gwinnett County School board nonpartisan.

“There’s no business for anybody in our school dealing with CRT (Critical Race Theory) and all the issues that we are dealing with in Gwinnett,” said Dixon. 

The House took the day off in observance of Veterans Day. The Senate held a couple of committee hearings, including a final hearing by the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee, which voted along party lines to send the House legislative redistricting bill to the full Senate.