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18 February 2010

Census Committee Says Georgia Could Pick Up Two More Seats In Congress

In testimony before the House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee February 3rd, the co-chairs of Georgia's Complete Count Committee said that the state could see as many as two additional seats in Congress after the 2010 Census is completed.

Mike Beatty, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and Debra Lyons, Director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development, serve as co-chairs of a panel appointed by Gov. Perdue to "educate and coordinate community awareness and action for the upcoming 2010 federal census."

Debra Lyons told state legislators that Georgia has seen 15.5% growth in population.

"We think that really speaks well for us in terms of where we will be in the census," Lyons said. "We think we could have as many as two congressional seats. We feel for certain one. We may get as many as two."

After her presentation to the committee, Lyons took questions from members including one from state Rep. Bob Bryant (D - Garden City) on whether prison inmates would be counted in the census. Lyons answered that prisoners, the homeless as well as college students --regardless of whether they call Georgia their permanent home-- would be included in the state's population. According to Census Bureau officials in attendance at the hearing, a person is counted based on where they reside April 1st.

Other concerns from lawmakers centered around getting an accurate count from the rural parts of the state.

The entire February 3rd Legislative & Reapportionment Committee hearing has been archived online for public viewing. Click here to see the meeting.