March 20, 2014 Atlanta: Sen. Renee Unterman celebrates the passage of HB 885. The bill allows limited use of medical marijuana in Georgia and also includes amended language that mandates insurance companies cover autism treatments for kids. The amended bill now must go back to the House for approval. BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

I have had the privilege and honor to serve on a number of important Committees during my time in office. As Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, I have had the opportunity to help pass sound public policy on many issues during my elected terms. 

Committees within the Georgia General Assembly play an essential role to our legislative process. The committee does what the Senate and the House of Representatives could not do as well by functioning as a whole.  Therefore, each member of the General Assembly sits on numerous committees. Once a bill is brought forth by a legislator, the bill is assigned to a committee for further review. The committee is responsible for completing the initial groundwork of what the legislation is intended to do. Committee members often call experts in the respective subject area to testify on behalf or against the proposed legislation. Once in committee the bill may have a hearing where the committee votes to move the bill forward or not. Want to learn more about Georgia’s legislative process?


Committee Service

Chairing HHS Committee

Health and Human Services – Chairman

 The Committee on Health & Human Services has general jurisdiction over legislation that relates to health care and social services. This committee also addresses areas related to the licensing and regulation of health care professionals. The Health and Human Services committee examines all legislation and budget issues related to the healthcare infrastructure delivery system, including but not limited to- clinics, telemedicine, public health, hospitals, pharmacies, universities and technical institutions.

Administrative Affairs – Member

 The Committee on Administrative Affairs shall have the responsibility of employing, supervising, disciplining, and setting the compensation of all aides, secretaries and other personnel for the Senate, including the Senate Budget and Evaluation, Senate Press and Senate Research offices. The Committee shall supervise the purchase and allotment of supplies for the Senate. This Committee shall also supervise and approve all out-of-state travel of members of the Senate and staff. Pursuant to Senate Rule 2-1.2, this committee shall be composed of the President of the Senate, the President Pro Tempore, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, the Secretary of the Senate, and three members appointed by the President of the Senate. The Committee shall be chaired by the President Pro Tempore or his or her designee. Senator Unterman is currently serving in her second term on this very important committee.

Appropriations – Vice Chairman

 The Appropriations Committee has broad jurisdiction over legislation involving the expenditure of state and federal funds. The committee is responsible for developing the state’s budget with specific appropriations to the various government agencies, departments, and organizations on an annual basis. The committee has fourteen (14) standing subcommittees. Unlike the Federal Budget, Georgia requires that the state’s budget be balanced each fiscal year. Senator Unterman also serves on the following appropriation sub-committees: Community Health, Human Dev. & Public Health, and Higher Education.

Assignments – Member

 The Committee on Assignments shall have such duties as the President of the Senate may assign to it at his or her discretion. Pursuant to Senate Rule 2-1.1 this Committee shall be composed of the President of the Senate, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader and two Senators appointed by the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate or his designee shall serve as Chair of the committee. This committee is especially important as Senator Unterman works daily, during session, with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in order to set the Senate’s legislative agenda.

Finance – Ex-Officio

 The Committee on Finance has general jurisdiction over the state’s taxing authority and revenue collections. It also deals with the financial services industry, including the securities and housing industries.

Insurance and Labor – Member

 The Committee on Insurance & Labor has general jurisdiction over insurance, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation. Committee jurisdiction also includes child labor, convict labor, labor standards, and labor disputes.

Regulated Industries and Utilities – Ex-Officio

 The Committee on Regulated Industries & Utilities has general jurisdiction over legislation related to utilities such as gas, electricity and telecommunications. It also may consider legislation related to some regulate and licensed professionals as well as legislation related to regulated products such as alcoholic beverages.

Rules – Member

 The Committee on Rules has jurisdiction over the Rules of the senate and its order of business, including the setting of Senate calendars for consideration of bills and resolutions on the floor of the Senate.

Exec.Appointments Tag

Giving back is the main reason that I continue to serve our great state through public service. Whether it be through legislation, volunteer work or appointment, I am proud to lend a helping hand where ever I can be of service. Throughout my time in public service, I have been honored to serve on a number of committees through executive appointments from Georgia leadership.

Family Council Swearing in

Georgia World Congress Center Commission

Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis

Georgia Athletics Overview Commission

Alzheimer & Related Dementia Planning Commission

National Conference of State Legislators National Hunger Partnership- Co-Founder

Governors Office for Children & Family Advisory Board