Day 1 Recap 

Lawmakers started Day 1 of the legislative session on a somber note this morning at the Gold Dome in downtown Atlanta as they remembered three lives already lost this year.

Rep. Sandra Scott, from Rex in Clayton County, honored her cousin, who died in a shooting this year. She said that he passed away on his 11-year-old son’s birthday.

Scott used the occasion to urge lawmakers to pass gun safety laws this year.

"As a family member, I'm hurt," she said. "And as a lawmaker, I'm frustrated, angry. And just wanted Georgia to do something, come up with some type of common sense gun legislation, because we must have some."

Democrats introduced several pieces of gun legislation last year, including safe gun storage laws. Those bills can come back this session.

Representatives also honored Coweta County sheriff’s investigator Eric Minix. The 31-year-old officer was killed in a police chase and laid to rest on Monday.

Rep. Trey Kelley recognized Polk County Commissioner Scotty Tillery, who died this month after a battle with cancer. 

"Scotty wore many hats in our community," Kelley said. "He called himself just an old dumb plumber, but anybody who knew him knew he was much more than that, and his fingerprints are left all over Cedartown and Polk County."

Meanwhile, senators from both sides of the aisle called for unity and empathy for those who have been victims of recent 'swatting' pranks. Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabe Sterling, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and several state lawmakers were victims of hoax calls to emergency services.

Lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation aiming to add increased penalties for the crime. 

Ahead of the day's session, protesters gathered outside the capitol, pushing for cease fires in the Middle East and an end to electronic voting in Georgia.


Tonight on Lawmakers  

Join host Donna Lowry and capitol reporter Sarah Kallis tonight at 7 p.m. on GPB-TV for the premiere of the 54th season of GPB's Lawmakers. Guests include Republican state Sen. John F. Kennedy (District 18) and House Minority Leader Rep. James Beverly (House District 143).