Lawyers head eight Georgia Senate panels
1:22 pm, January 15th, 2013
Lawyer-lawmakers have been tapped to lead eight of the Georgia Senate’s 27 legislative committees.
The Senate voted Monday to split its judiciary committee into civil and non-civil, in a similar fashion to the House.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, which will analyze bills pertaining to the state’s criminal code, is Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro. Stone is a partner at Merrill & Stone in Swainsboro. He also was mayor of Waynesboro from 2003 to 2007 and is the former chairman of the State Bar of Georgia’s Agricultural Law Section. Stone earned his law degree from the University of Georgia and was admitted to the bar in 1982.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider bills pertaining to the civil code, courts, judges and constitutional amendments, will be chaired by Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus. McKoon, a sophomore state lawmaker, maintains a general practice as of counsel at Day Crowley and partner with McKoon & Associates. He earned his law degree from the University of Alabama and was admitted to the bar in 2004. McKoon has garnered recent media attention for advocating for a $100 cap on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, which the Senate passed on Monday.
Other senators who are both lawyers and committee chairman include retired Tift Superior Court Judge John Crosby, R-Tifton, chairman of Banking and Financial Institutions; former assistant federal prosecutor Judson Hill, R-Marietta, chairman of Finance; civil defense attorney Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, chairman of Higher Education; labor lawyer Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, chairman of Special Judiciary; solo practitioner William Ligon Jr., R-Brunswick, chairman of State and Local Government Operations; and former Stone Mountain Municipal Court Judge Ronald Ramsey Sr., D-Decatur, chairman of Urban Affairs.