Lawmakers Day 1

Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, Jan Jones (R- Milton), was honored by the Georgia Women's Legislative Caucus on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023..

Credit: Tristan Smith

The Georgia Women’s Legislative Caucus honored Speaker Jan Jones (R - Milton) as the first female speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives on Monday morning. Jones became Speaker of the Georgia House in November 2022 after the death of former Speaker David Ralston.

Jones served as speaker until Jon Burns (R - Newington) was sworn in officially during Monday’s House of Representatives General Assembly session. She was elected to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House again.  

Women from both chambers and both parties showed up to honor Jones. They presented her with a plaque of a gavel and a bouquet of white roses, a symbol for women’s suffrage. Members of the women’s caucus wore a white rose boutonniere throughout the day.  

In her speech, Jones spoke about her hope for the future female leadership of Georgia.  

“The significance of this is that one day it will not be significant,” she said.  

Burns honored the late Ralston in his speech, calling the day a “bittersweet moment.” He also commended Jones for being the first female Speaker of the House.  

The new legislature is the most diverse group of lawmakers in Georgia history. 

Burns told the body that the business of the session would be approached “very respectfully and very deliberately.” Monday marked one of the few times the legislative calendar was set on the first day of the session.  

Sen. John F. Kennedy (R - Macon) was sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He will preside over the Senate until Lt. Gov.-elect Burt Jones is sworn in with Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.