State Representative Jon Burns (R-District 159), of Newington in Effingham County, is not new to the State House, having joined the body in 2005, nor is he new to leadership, having served as the GOP House majority leader since 2015. But he is new to the Office of Speaker, arguably the second most powerful elected position in state government, and he will be bringing a slightly new approach to wielding that big gavel.

Burns was a close friend and confidante of the prior speaker, David Ralston, and will be retaining much of his office staff, demeanor and decorum in the well of running the chamber with an eye towards bettering the lives of all Georgians. This helps explain his selection as speaker by a unanimous vote of acclamation on the first day of this legislative session, while our speaker in the U.S. Congress squeaked into office by one vote on the 15th ballot.

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Bill Crane is a syndicated columnist based in Decatur. He has worked in politics for Democrats and Republicans, respects the process and will try and give you some things to think about. Your thoughts and responses to his opinions are also welcome,

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