John Walraven, President of Georgia Governmental Affairs, LLC, has extensive, in-depth policy experience with myriad issues including transportation, transportation finance, healthcare, Medicaid, water supply, ethics, taxation, state and local government and more from his diverse career including positions such as Speaker’s Counsel for the Georgia House of Representatives, private sector governmental affairs and as a legislative aide.
Mr. Walraven earned a Bachelor of Business Administration—Finance from Georgia Southern University and a JD at Georgia State University College of Law. He has over twenty years of experience spanning both the public and private sector in diverse roles including being a political consultant, a lobbyist, a legislative aide and counsel to the several committees in the Georgia House. Before opening Georgia Governmental Affairs in 2011, Mr. Walraven served Speaker David Ralston as counsel in his first session with the gavel. Speaker Ralston called on Mr. Walraven to draft and serve as lead negotiator for his office on transportation policy and funding bills and for his signature Ethics legislation. Prior to serving Speaker Ralston, Mr. Walraven served in the same role to Speaker Glenn Richardson beginning in 2007 and also as Majority Caucus Counsel in 2005.
In each year as counsel to the Speaker, Mr. Walraven advised on almost all matters presented to the General Assembly and managed a process that provided a written legal opinion of every bill that was considered by the House. This exposed him to practically every issue that came before the General Assembly during the Session. Other legislation Mr. Walraven managed included Georgia’s Statewide Water Plan, adopted in the 2008 Session and the “reservoir bill,” which empowered local governments to seek funding from the state for water supply projects.
On the health care front, Mr. Walraven’s position as a legislative associate to the Medical Association of Georgia during the 2003-2004 Session exposed him to hundreds of issues surrounding patient care, Medicaid, trauma care, hospitals and more. Mr. Walraven was appointed committee counsel to the House Health and Human Services Committee in 2005 and later was lead negotiator for the Speaker on the revision to the Certificate of Need (CON) code. Mr. Walraven now proudly represents the Joseph M. Still Burn Centers in his hometown of Augusta where the Medical Director, Fred Mullins, MD, was appointed by Governor Deal to the Georgia Trauma Commission in 2011 and re-appointed in 2015.
Between his two tenures in the Speaker’s office, Mr. Walraven served as in-house counsel and lobbyist to LogistiCare Solutions, LLC a Georgia based Medicaid Transportation Company. During this time, he managed government affairs in 26 states and immersed himself in laws governing Medicaid, focusing on mental health, eligibility and transportation. On the federal level, Mr. Walraven was instrumental in eliminating a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) waiver that State Medicaid Agencies were previously required to obtain in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
During law school, Mr. Walraven was selected from applicants in all 50 states to serve as the sole legal intern for the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Legislative Affairs. While serving in this role, he participated in preparing Attorney General Ashcroft for the House Judiciary Committee Re-Authorization Act hearing–the first Attorney General to personally testify before the committee on this legislation in twenty years. Being in a new administration, Walraven was called upon to assist several administration nominees to the Justice Department to prepare for confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate. Walraven also examined the constitutionality of the administration’s “faith-based” initiatives, provided written analysis of The House Department of Justice Re-authorization Act and researched competency of court-appointed counsel in capital cases.
Mr. Walraven is a native of Augusta and resides in Smyrna with his son, Jack.