But that will be just one of Sam Olens' concerns, as he also works to broker a water deal and guide some ambitious legislation through the statehouse.
The Republican says he will sign off on a motion to join the legal challenge filed by Florida's top attorney after he takes office today. It's a policy shift from his predecessor, Democrat Thurbert Baker, who refused to sue because he said the state lacked a viable legal claim.
Although Georgia already had a foothold in the challenge — outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue bypassed Baker by appointing a special attorney to join the fight — Olens said putting the resources of his office behind the lawsuit that now includes multiple states is more than a symbolic move.
"It makes the lawsuit consistent with Georgia statutory law," said Olens. "And now it will have the full weight of the state behind it."
Olens has had plenty else on his plate since he defeated Democrat Ken Hodges in last year's election. It was Georgia's first wide-open race for the attorney general seat since the 1940s.
He wants to help the state deepen Savannah's harbor and support a transportation overhaul. And he plans to roll out proposals to tweak state sunshine laws, target foreclosure fraud and crack down on cyber bullying.
Perhaps his most pressing priority, though, is also the most daunting: Working out an agreement to end a decades-long water dispute between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
A federal judge has warned he will restrict Atlanta's use of its main water supply in 2012 unless leaders of the three states reach a deal to end more than 20 years of fighting. Georgia has been mired in negotiations with its counterparts for years, but the judge's warning has given leaders a new sense of urgency.
Olens said he hopes Georgia can soon negotiate a comprehensive agreement with both Florida and Alabama. But he did not rule out brokering a compromise with Alabama alone if Florida officials aren't willing to go along.
"I think that there has been much good will between Alabama and Georgia over the last year, and I'd like to see that come to fruition with a settlement," he said. Brokering such an agreement would create "myriad legal issues," but he said it's possible.
"You do the best you can," he said. "Clearly, it's in no one's interest not to settle this case. All three states have reasons to settle, and all three states have new leadership."
Meanwhile, Olens is readying a legislative package that would give him the authority to launch criminal investigations into foreclosure fraud, streamline the state's sunshine laws and beef up laws targeting sex traffickers and cyber bullies. He said he'll be ready to unveil specifics by the end of January.
He'll have a powerful ally. Olens has hired Nels Peterson, Perdue's former executive counsel, to handle the office's legislative agenda and coordinate the health care challenge and water litigation.
Olens also has an interest in transportation issues, building on his background as the leader of the Cobb County Commission and former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
He wants to help untangle the regulatory and legal headaches in the state's push to deepen the Savannah harbor, which would allow access to bigger cargo ships. And he plans to lay the legal groundwork for a transportation plan approved last year that could use a 1-percent sales tax to pay for new infrastructure projects.
But first things first: Making good on his campaign pledge to join the health care challenge.
Olens said Georgia needs to formally object to the expansion of Medicaid — which he said will cost Georgia $1.5 billion each year starting in 2014 -- and the overhaul's requirement that people purchase health insurance or face penalties.
"It's a huge unfunded mandate," he said. "And it's vital that we have that legal claim heard by the U.S. Supreme Court."