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Crossover Day 2013

March 7, 2013
The gold dome of the Georgia Capitol stands in contrast to the blue sky.

This is an important week for the Georgia General Assembly, as all legislation filed for the 2013 legislative session is up against a substantial deadline. The Georgia legislative session is only 40 days in length, and today, Day 30—or Crossover Day—holds significance for several reasons. 

Crossover Day is the last day for legislation to pass the chamber in which it was introduced and transfer to the other chamber for consideration. Senate bills must pass the Senate, and House bills must pass the House.  Any bill that does not receive a vote in its initial chamber by Day 30 cannot move on in the legislative process and must be re-introduced the following year.

In 2012, more than 30 bills passed out of the Senate on Crossover Day. This number does not count those bills that came back from the House with an amendment or substitute and therefore needed the Senate’s acceptance of the different version.

The time spent in the Senate Chamber on Crossover Day requires a close listening ear, eager reading eyes and a whole lot of patience. The State Capitol is full of people well past 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.—and many will remain in the halls until late in the evening. It’s not unusual for the Senate and the House to adjourn past 10 p.m., and many years the time of adjournment has been closer to midnight. Surprisingly, the atmosphere in the State Capitol remains energetic and upbeat even in the late hours—although that may be due to the many cups of coffee consumed by legislators and staff members throughout the day.

The work of the Georgia General Assembly does not slow down after Crossover Day. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The Senate and House must still work through many bills that have transferred from the other chamber in the days before Sine Die, the 40th and traditionally last day of the legislative session.

About the Author

Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director, Georgia State Senate Press OfficeJennifer Yarber is the Interim Director of the Georgia State Senate Press Office. She is a graduate of The University of Iowa (B.A. English) and Kennesaw State University (M.A. Professional Writing). Before joining the Senate Press Office, Jennifer worked as the Director of Communications at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and as the Communications Manager for the Construction Suppliers Association.