Credit: Riley Bunch, GPB News
Political Rewind: Biden's visit gets pushback; Legislative session 2022 begins; and 'Go Dawgs!'
Dr. Alan Abramowitz — Emeritus professor of political science, Emory University
Dr. Audrey Haynes — Professor of political science, University of Georgia
Dr. Tammy Greer — Professor of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University
Jim Galloway — Former political columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. Omicron cases continue to rise in Georgia
The omicron variant is leading Georgia’s highest-ever case count of COVID-19 infection among children.
Georgia is one of several states challenging the Biden administration vaccine mandate for businesses employing 100 or more workers. The Supreme Court heard arguments on the matter late last week.
- The Georgia Department of Public Health relaxed guidelines for school districts last week. Gov. Brian Kemp and DPH commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey issued this letter to educators and staff.
2. The legislative session starts today for lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly
- Among the issues expected to draw the most attention this session are constitutional carry, Buckhead cityhood, changes to state election laws, and more.
- This year's session could be especially contentious, as 2022's slate of important elections drive lawmakers to partisanship.
3. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to arrive in Atlanta tomorrow.
- The duo is set to promote voting rights legislation, as two federal voting rights bills sit stalled in Congress. Both bills passed the U.S. House, but face an uphill climb in a Senate split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
- Voting rights activists criticized the visit, calling it "an empty gesture."
- Clark Atlanta University's Dr. Tammy Greer weighed in on the impact of a visit from the White House.
4. David Perdue's campaign files lawsuit over fundraising law
- SB 221, signed into law by Gov. Kemp last May, allows the governor and a few other top lawmakers to create special committees that can raise unlimited contributions from donors, including during legislative sessions.
- Former Sen. David Perdue is now challenging that law, calling it an "unfair advantage" for the incumbent.
- Perdue is set to face Kemp in the 2022 gubernatorial Republican primary. He is barred from forming a leadership committee until after that primary showdown against Kemp in May.
5. Politics takes a back seat briefly, for the National College Football Championship.
- Kemp declared today "Hunker Down Day" ahead of the Georgia Bulldogs' match against Alabama tonight.
- As the legislative session began today at the state Capitol, the House kicked off the prematch hype with a video.
- University of Georgia's professor Dr. Audrey Haynes said she already received emails from her students about their absences in Tuesday classes.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tamar Hallerman joins our panel. Biden and Harris are scheduled to be in Atlanta.