Georgia Rep. Shaw Blackmon

ATLANTA – The Georgia House of Representatives got some new committee chairmen Wednesday, as the chamber’s Committee on Assignments promoted some committee chairs to more prestigious chairmanships left vacant by departing members.

The Ways and Means Committee, which handles all tax legislation, will now be headed by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire. He will take over from former Rep. Brett Harrell, R-Snellville, who lost his bid for re-election last fall.

Blackmon’s former chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee will be assumed by Rep. Darlene Taylor, R-Thomasville.

Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, will move over from the House Education Committee to chair the Transportation Committee. Former Transportation Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, left the House last year in an unsuccessful run for Congress.

Rep. Matt Dubnik, R-Gainesville, will take over as the new Education Committee chairman.

With the retirement from the House of former Rep. Tom McCall, R-Elberton, Rep. Robert Dickey, R-Musella, will take the reins of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee.

Rep. James Burchett, R-Waycross, is the new chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. He’s replacing Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula, who is moving over from Judiciary Non-Civil to chair the other House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation related to civil law.

And in a rare move, a Democrat is going to chair a committee in the Republican-controlled House. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, will chair the committee that oversees MARTA.

Most House committee chairs for the 2021-22 term will remain unchanged, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn; Economic Development & Tourism Committee Chairman Ron Stephens, R-Savannah; Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee Chairman Don Parsons, R-Marietta; Health & Human Services Committee Chairman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta; Higher Education Committee Chairman Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta; Natural Resources & Environment Committee Chairman Lynn Smith, R-Newnan; Regulated Industries Committee Chairman Alan Powell, R-Hartwell; and Rules Committee Chairman Richard Smith, R-Columbus.

“We have a dynamic group of leaders joining the ranks of our committee chairmen this year,” said House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who chairs the Committee on Assignments. “I appreciate their willingness to serve this House and the citizens of our great state.”