From funeral homes to helicopters and the courtroom: The other side of Georgia legislators

Ever wonder what a politician does when they’re not … well … politicking? So did we.

Georgia’s 236-member General Assembly is a part-time citizen Legislature whose members are paid a salary of $22,342, plus a daily allowance of $247, to work during a 40-day legislative session that runs from January to March. (The salary is in the bottom quartile of legislator compensation in the U.S.)

We wondered what kind of jobs or financial situations Georgia legislators have that enable them to take three months off each year and fit in all of the other meetings, calls and work that the position demands throughout the year.

State Affairs looked at the mostly self-reported information of the 180 House and 56 Senate members.

Topping the list of occupations? Lawyers.

Doctors, medical practitioners and those who are retired (or semi-retired) from a wide range of professions and careers also top the list. 

Some surprising findings: This year’s assembly includes a helicopter pilot, an auctioneer, a jewelry store owner and a pontoon boat maker.

— Jill Jordan Sieder

Georgia legislators and their occupations. The top six industries are: law, medicine/science, retired, real estate, agriculture and banking/finance.
Thirty-four of Georgia’s 236 legislators report being in the law sector, making it the most prolific occupation outside the Statehouse. (Design: Brittney Phan for State Affairs)
Full list of all 236 Georgia lawmakers and what they do for a living. The list includes their primary job(s) and industry sector.
(Design: Brittney Phan for State Affairs)

Have thoughts, tips or questions about the compensation or workload of state legislators?  Contact Jill Jordan Sieder on Twitter @JOURNALISTAJILL or at [email protected].


Header image: Lawmakers ready to head home on Sine Die at the Georgia House of Representatives in Atlanta. (Credit: Georgia House of Representatives)

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Rep. Karen Lupton is now retired.

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