Notice of Proposed Amendment to an Act Creating the Board of Commissioners of Cobb County
The Cobb County Board of Commissioners (“the Board”) is notifying the public that at its next two regular meetings on October 11, 2022, at 9:00 am and October 25, 2022, at 7:00 pm, the Board will consider and vote on whether to approve a proposed resolution to amend an Act creating the Board of Commissioners of Cobb County pursuant to the Board’s Home Rule authority under the Georgia Constitution. The Georgia Constitution empowers county governing authorities to amend or repeal local laws, provided the local legislation does not address certain subject matters where home rule authority is preempted.
What is "home rule?"
The Georgia Constitution directly provides Georgia counties with certain powers that are called “home rule” powers. Because Georgia counties obtain this authority directly from the state constitution and not from the General Assembly, this type of power is known as “constitutional home rule.” (In contrast, municipalities in Georgia derive their home rule powers from the General Assembly, which is known as “legislative home rule.”)
The Home Rule provision in the Georgia Constitution empowers counties to take two kinds of legislative actions: 1) a county can adopt reasonable ordinances, resolutions, or regulations relating to the county’s property, affairs, and local government for which no provision has been made by general law and which is not inconsistent with the Georgia Constitution or local law; and 2) a county can amend or repeal a “local law” (i.e., a law that applies only to the county, as opposed to a “general law” that applies uniformly throughout the State) that applies to the local governing authority. This second type of authority is more extensive than the former because it gives local governments the legal authority to change state law.
The Constitution prohibits local governments from exercising home rule authority (either type) over eight specific matters set forth in the Constitution. In addition, local governments may not exercise home rule authority on areas where the General Assembly has, by statute, preempted local government from taking legislative action over a certain subject matter. Establishing local electoral boundary districts does not fall within any of the eight areas set forth in the Georgia Constitution, nor has the legislature by statute made local redistricting a subject solely within the State’s exclusive control.