Legislative rules committees generally oversee the process of creating and voting on bills. That can include ultimately deciding which bills should forward to be voted on by the legislative body.

The most recent chairman of the Georgia House of Representatives Rules Committee was Jay Powell. Not to be confused with the chairman of the Federal Reserve, who often goes by the same name. But Powell's time as the Rules Committee chair was tragically brief.

Died suddenly while on a retreat

Powell died on November 25th, though reports have differed as to the exact time.

He was at a resort in Young Harris, Georgia at the time when he suddenly collapsed. A retreat for legislative leaders was taking place.

An announcement has not been made as to the cause of death. Since then, according to MSN, the Sheriff's Office of Towns County, Georgia has brought in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Often called the GBI, the agency is comparable to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the national level. A GBI spokesperson indicated more information would be released following an autopsy.

Powell was a native of Quitman, Georgia. He eventually graduated from the University of Florida. Later, Powell became a practicing attorney in Camilla, Georgia. For over a decade, Powell was mayor of Camilla. A Republican, he was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2008. Powell represented the 171st District. The district includes portions of Mitchell, Colquitt, and Decatur counties. Powell's home city of Camilla is located in Mitchell County in southeast Georgia.

Expressions of condolences quickly came pouring out from other high-profile lawmakers.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and state Speaker of the House David Ralston, both Republicans, were among them. Democratic state legislator Scott Holcomb called the loss of Powell "crushing for the House." Republican U.S. Representative Doug Collins called Powell his "dear friend & brother." Collins and Powell had previously served together in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Second Rules chair to die in just over a year

Almost a year to the die, Powell's predecessor as the Rule Committee chairman, John Meadows III, also died.

Meadows was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. In addition, he was an alum of West Georgia College and worked in insurance. He had also been a city councilman and mayor of Calhoun, Georgia. Meadows had represented the 5th District of the Georgia House of Representatives. It includes Gordon County and Murray County, according to Heavy.com. Meadows' native Calhoun is in Gordon County in northeast Georgia.

The cause of death for Meadows didn't appear to be a mystery. He had reportedly been battling cancer.

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