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Georgia lawmakers seek amendment to allow remote meetings

June 23, 2020 GMT
Georgia House Majority leader Rep. Jon Burns, center, R-Newington, tells the speaker of the House that we wishes to adjourn the session in the House Chambers during the 29th day, Friday, March 13, 2020 in Atlanta. There were fewer than 10 members of the Georgia House of Representatives that showed up to the session. Out of caution and in relation to the coronavirus, the Georgia General General Assembly suspended the legislative session until further notice. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Georgia House Majority leader Rep. Jon Burns, center, R-Newington, tells the speaker of the House that we wishes to adjourn the session in the House Chambers during the 29th day, Friday, March 13, 2020 in Atlanta. There were fewer than 10 members of the Georgia House of Representatives that showed up to the session. Out of caution and in relation to the coronavirus, the Georgia General General Assembly suspended the legislative session until further notice. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers are advancing a proposed state constitutional amendment that would let members meet electronically or away from the state Capitol during a pandemic or disaster.

The House voted 151-6 on Tuesday for Senate Resolution 19. It goes back to the Senate for more debate.

The measure would require voters statewide to decide on the changes in a referendum.

The amendment would let the General Assembly choose another place or electronic means of meeting as long as lawmakers and the general public can see and hear any meetings.

It also requires that all lawmakers must be able to see the contents of legislation being considered and be able to submit proposed legislation or amendments through electronic means.

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House Majority Leader Jon Burns, a Newington Republican, told House members the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced lawmakers to meet under difficult conditions, has proved the need for more flexibility.

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