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What Should the State Legislature Do in 2013?

The Georgia General Assembly will convene on Jan. 14, 2013, and Patch wants to know what you think lawmakers should discuss.

Lawmakers, lobbyists, activist groups, the media and concerned citizens are all set to converge on the state capitol on Jan. 14, when the Georgia General Assembly returns to downtown Atlanta.

Already, lawmakers have been meeting with their constituents at town halls and public forums throughout metro Atlanta, talking about the issues that may come before the state House and Senate.

On Saturday, Republican members of the Cobb legislative delegation had a preview breakfast at the Cobb GOP headquarters in Marietta.

Among the Cobb GOP lawmakers' concerns, according to The Marietta Daily Journal, are how to balance the state budget.

State Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-West Cobb), whose district includes Acworth and Kennesaw, told the newspaper that federal health care obligations and unemployment funding "continues to pull away the majority of the funding for the state."

Some issues have already started to surface elsewhere. Some DeKalb lawmakers are advocating the formation of yet another city, this one carved out of the North Druid Hills and Briarcliff communities. There's also been talk of creating a new county composed just of Buckhead, with some lawmakers stressing the need to work within our current governments and not forming new ones.

The Atlanta Falcons are seeking approval for a new stadium, and the issue of completely overhauling MARTA or adding more government oversight may come up as well.

State Rep. Sheila Jones, who represents part of Cascade, has prefiled a bill requiring all public and private schools to install carbon monoxide detectors. This comes after 43 southwest Atlanta elementary students were hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning last month.

The topic of stricter gun control legislation could also be at the forefront of any legislative discussions. Four bills have been prefiled in the state House that would loosen restrictions on carrying firearms on school property, state parks and other public places.

DeKalb County's delegation to the Georgia House of Representatives has already held several hall meetings, and has scheduled two more before the session convenes.

Patch wants to know: what do you think will be the most important issue facing this year's General Assembly? What would you like to see your lawmakers address or take action on? Take our Patch poll and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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