For the next two-and-a-half weeks, we’ll be caught up in the season’s Christmas parties, but we also expect to see a flurry of last-minute fundraisers as the 2014 Session nears.

Elected state officials, which includes Governor Deal, the two members of the Public Service Commisison who are seeking reelection, and all state legislators, are prohibited from accepting or soliciting campaign contributions during the session. However, up until the first bell rings them into session on January 14, they’ll be raising money at a fever pitch.

The reason for more alacrity than normal is that next year’s elecitons will be held earlier than they have been during my career in politics. The federal elections are almost certain to be held May 20th and the state legislature is expected to change state elections to match the date.

That means that the usual late-March or early April date for Sine Day, the last day of the legislative session would leave a very short period for lawmakers seeking reelection. And qualifying for office is expected to take place in March, so that whatever warchests can be compiled before Session starts will determine how formidable a state legislators seeking reelection looks while potential foes decide whether to run.

And that’s part of the reason we expect a short legislative session for 2014.

And aside from changing election dates, here’s what we can expect to see this year.

The AJC’s Political Insider writes today that Governor Deal is discouraging legislators from tinkering with tax reform this year.

Gov. Nathan Deal has a message for GOP lawmakers who might be tempted to showboat: When it comes to tax proposals, stick to what’s already been done. 

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