01 Feb

Atlanta Mayor, Council Yet To Agree On Goals For Ga. Legislative Session

Usually in December, the Atlanta mayor presents a legislative package to the City Council that outlines Atlanta’s goals for the next General Assembly session. But with last year’s mayoral runoff, the city missed that step. So its lobbyists at the Capitol have been working only on behalf of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Credit Ian Palmer / WABE

A quarter of the way through Georgia’s legislative session, Atlanta’s City Council and mayor still haven’t agreed on what their Gold Dome priorities should be.

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Typically, Atlanta’s mayor presents a legislative package to the City Council in December. It outlines Atlanta’s goals for the next General Assembly session.

But last year, in the hurry of a mayoral runoff, the city missed that step. So its lobbyists at the Capitol have been working only on behalf of the mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said she didn’t expect the oversight would sink the city’s interests at the Capitol. Still, she said it highlights a broader issue.

“I found that even with our legislative package, the mayor’s office tends to have a slightly different agenda or priorities, and the council may or may not be aware of those things,” Moore said.

The council president said she thinks it’s time for the City Council to get its own lobbyists at the state Capitol.

A city spokesperson said the mayor was open to reviewing the process, but added, “We are confident that the City Council will continue to partner with the administration in developing a legislative agenda.”

The mayor’s office promised to get council members the legislative agenda for this year this week. The soonest the council could vote on the package is Feb. 5.

At a committee meeting last week, adviser Melissa Mullinax said the city’s lobbyists were already pursuing issues like affordable housing and re-authorization of the municipal option sales tax.

She said the city was also monitoring a proposed takeover of the Atlanta airport by the state and expected legislation that would create a regional transit authority.

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