Wild Hog Supper, other legislative events tee up state lawmakers’ 2022 return

By: - January 3, 2022 1:00 am

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston Sunday paid homage to the state’s agribusiness at the Wild Hog Supper. The annual event is typically the first of several pegged to the start of the Georgia Legislature. John McCosh/Georgia Recorder

This post was updated 10 p.m. Jan. 9 to add 2022 Wild Hog Supper photo.

The signature January events that usually mark the start of a new Georgia legislative session are set to return in 2022 with a mixture of in-person and virtual options.

This year, state leaders resumed hobnobbing over a smorgasbord of barbecue and other Southern fare to raise money for the Georgia Food Bank Association as the Wild Hog Supper returns. The legislative kick-off event was canceled in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Two other annual legislative briefings, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual breakfast and Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Health Care Unscrambled, also return with in-person options after virtual-only settings last year.

The series of events often provide a glimpse of what’s to come in the legislative session. 

Still, as the pandemic surges with the delta and omicron variants, some events are still offering people an opportunity to log in through their smartphones or other devices to find out what experts and state leaders have to say. 

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s in-depth discussion on how health care workers have been treated during the pandemic will only be available to watch online while Georgians for a Healthy Future requires in-person attendees to be vaccinated, but also offers people the opportunity to experience it virtually.

Calendar:

Jan. 9: The Georgia Food Bank Association’s largest fundraiser returns with another celebration of farming with its long-running pig-picking event to benefit the Farm to Food Bank program. The Wild Hog Supper brings together state lawmakers and agriculture leaders to mingle on the eve of the legislative session.

Jan. 10: The Georgia Assembly returns for the second year of its legislative session with a short day of haggling over the calendar. But expect election-year fireworks to quickly erupt following a contentious year in which election law legislation, redistricting and other significant issues dominated. 

Jan 11: Georgians for a Healthy Future will host its annual Health Care Unscrambled event, where the featured speaker is Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. The event offers people a chance to check in virtually, but if you attend in-person at the Georgia Freight Depot, you must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.

Jan. 12: About 2,500 business leaders, elected officials, lobbyists and VIPs typically pack the tables to hear legislative priorities at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues breakfast. After last year’s virtual-only meeting, the event is scheduled this year at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta.

Jan. 13: Gov. Brian Kemp will give his annual State of the State address at the state Capitol.

Jan. 20-21: The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute is hosting a free, online event over the course of two and a half days Insights 2022: Treating Care Workers as Essential, Not Invisible.

Jan. 27: The Georgia First Amendment Foundation hosts a free legislative breakfast online as an expert panel of lawyers, government officials and journalists discusses government transparency and other First Amendment topics expected to crop up during the legislative session.

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Stanley Dunlap
Stanley Dunlap

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.

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