ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - A new president being sworn into office later this month means big concerns and opportunities for the state's lawmakers as they start their session under the Gold Dome.
As the Georgia General Assembly convened for Day 1 of this year's session, some big topics are expected to be on the table.
Among those are casinos and an expected gun bill proposal.
Also, with the Opportunity School District amendment failing at the polls in November, lawmakers are now looking to see what can be done about the failing schools around the state.
This is a big issue that will definitely be talked about a lot throughout the session.
"You cannot have a state that's the number 1 place to do business and you don't have a really sound educational system," said Sen. Freddie Powell Sims of District 12.
"When the amendment was voted down, it did not solve the problem. We still have 65,000 students that are in failing schools right now," said Rep. Darrel Ealum of District 153.
The budget is expected to be a big topic.
This year, Albany lawmakers also look to push for funding for a huge project for Albany Technical College.
Last year, legislators from Albany focused on getting additional funding for Albany State University but this year they're setting their sights on Albany Tech.
Specifically, Phase II of the Carlton Center for Construction Sciences.
They're looking for $4.9 million to complete the project, saying it will greatly benefit the school and the city.
"We're so proud of our technical school there because it is recognized as one of the premiere technical schools and this will only enhance it. Certainly for job opportunities coming to south Georgia, that is something we really want to see happen," said Rep. Gerald Greene (R), District 151.
Now I'm told that these legislators are pushing to get that money in the state budget...they've already been meeting with the governor's office to push it forward.