by Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder
January 2, 2024
Georgians who may be feeling the post-holiday blues will have a chance to perk up for some great food and an even better cause on the eve of the upcoming state legislative session.
The premier legislative kick-off event, Feeding Georgia’s Wild Hog Supper, is set to return on Sunday with guests able to devour tasty barbecue and all the assorted trimmings while mixing it up with state officials. The historic Georgia Freight Depot will again serve as the backdrop to the 61st annual fundraiser taking place in the evening before lawmakers resume their regular bill-passing business inside the state Capitol over the coming winter months.
The Wild Hog Supper is sponsored by the statewide food bank, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and state Senate and House agriculture committee members in order to raise funds for a program that has resulted in farmers donating millions of pounds of fresh produce annually to feed families in need across the state.
The annual gathering also marks the beginning of a series of legislative preview events planned in January that offer a glimpse into how the decision makers in state government influence everything from the economy to health care to Georgians’ ability to access public records.
The Georgia Recorder has compiled a list of the 2024 legislative preview events scheduled this month. For more information about the events, please click the links in the descriptions below.
Sunday, Jan. 7: Feeding Georgia’s largest fundraiser resumes with another celebration of farming with its long-running pig-picking function that benefits the Farm to Food Bank program. The Wild Hog Supper brings together state lawmakers, lobbyists and agriculture leaders to mingle on the eve of the legislative session.
Monday, Jan. 8: The Georgia Assembly returns for its 2024 legislative session with an expected short first day of housekeeping before the legislating picks up as lawmakers consider hundreds of bills in their race to the end of the session in early spring.
Jan. 10: About 2,500 business leaders, elected officials, lobbyists and VIPs pack the tables at the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast. This popular program will move from its longtime Georgia World Congress Center home to a larger venue this year with the Mercedes-Benz Stadium scheduled to hold the business networking event that is highlighted by discussions from key state leaders about the economy.
Jan 11: Georgians for a Healthy Future will host its annual Health Care Unscrambled policy conference with two nationally-recognized experts scheduled to lead panel discussions during the event held at the Georgia Freight Depot. The keynote speakers for 2024 are Joan Alker, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, and Alex Briscoe, principal of the California Children’s Trust, who will discuss the evolving landscape of health care coverage and how health insurance can be leveraged to benefit the well-being of Georgians.
Jan. 18: The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s Insight 2024 Public Dollars for Public Good forum begins by welcoming guests enjoying breakfast at the Loudermilk Conference Center in Atlanta. Attendees will be able to spend the morning digesting a healthy dose of expert commentary on the state budget, investing in early childhood care, public education and workforce training and other topics.
Jan. 23: The Georgia First Amendment Foundation and the Atlanta Press Club will host a free virtual legislative breakfast that will explore trends in government transparency with elected officials and open government advocates. The program will feature a Statehouse reporters’ roundtable about potential legislation that could be coming down the pike affecting the public’s right to access government documents and proceedings.
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