The state Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee and the state House of Representatives Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee will hold a joint public hearing in Dalton on June 20.
“We don’t have a time or location picked yet,” said Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, who sits on the Senate committee.
The General Assembly will redraw state legislative districts and congressional districts later this year in a special session to account for new population numbers gathered by the latest census. Georgia will pick up one more seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a result of its population gains over the past 10 years.
“The governor has not issued the legal call for a special session yet, but he has indicated to be expecting it around Aug. 15,” said Bethel.
The two committees will spearhead those efforts, and they are currently putting together a list of cities that will host public hearings.
“Our list has about a dozen cities on it so far, ranging from Savannah, Albany and Valdosta to Dalton, Gainesville and, I think, Athens,” Bethel said.
He said citizens should have a chance to have their say at these hearings.
“It will be up to the chairmen. But it’s my understanding that when this has been done in the past they have provided a portion of time for public comment,” he said. “Now, whether that will be limited in time or whether they will ask for those comments to be submitted in writing I can’t say at this point. But the reason you have a hearing is to allow people to express their views.”