The dawn of a new year gives us a chance to look back at a busy 2017 in Georgia politics – and a peek ahead to what’s in store.
Let’s start here: An analysis of the top questions in Georgia politics we’ll be watching in the coming year. The two biggest: Who will emerge from the crowded field to win the governor’s race? And what will President Donald Trump do for an encore?
And while you’re at it, check out our answers to last year’s questions here.
The legislative session begins next week – though the college football championship blows a hole in the opening schedule – and it’s shaping up to be an intriguing one. Read here about how election-year politics could shape Georgia’s legislative session.
It’s a safe bet that rural issues will dominate the coming year. One of the more provocative ideas involves a legislative proposal that would pay people to move to rural Georgia. And the rural incentives could wind up helping residents of some big Georgia cities.
Amazon’s decision of where to plant a second headquarters – a $5 billion bonanza that would bring 50,000 jobs – will loom over much of the year. Metro Atlanta is considered a top contender, and political leaders see the hunt for the tech giant as another Olympics-like endeavor.
And lawmakers will also have their hands debating a state budget that tops $25 billion. Already, uncertainty about the federal tax overhaul clouds has clouded that process.
First, though, Georgia will face a big test early: A showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 over the water wars feud between Georgia and Florida. It could be the final arguments in this phase of an expensive fight that has consumed officials from the Chattahoochee River to Capitol Hill for years.
It is shaping up to be a captivating year in state politics. Thank you for following our coverage and stay tuned for plenty more in 2018.