• Legislative Update 2019 - Week #2

    Noteworthy Items:

    The General Assembly was not in session this week but the House & Senate Appropriations Committee held joint budget hearings to review the amended fiscal year 2019  (AFY19) and fiscal year 2020 (FY20) budget proposals. Some highlights are as follows:

    • The total budget is $27.5 billion (not counting federal funds)
    • In his FY20 budget request, Governor Kemp asked for $418 million to provide teachers a $3,000 permanent pay raise. He termed this a down payment on the $5,000 pay raise he promised during his campaign. He also requested funding for a 2% merit increase for state employees ($120 million).
    • In the AFY19 budget, Governor Kemp requested $69 million in one-time funds for school safety grants, where each K-12 school in the state will receive a $30,000 grant to address school safety issues, as determined by the local districts.
    • In the AFY19 budget, Governor Kemp requested $8.4 million in additional funding for the APEX Program to focus on mental health in Georgia high schools. Mental health professionals will engage with struggling students and help provide the resources needed to prevent potential disruptive and aggressive behavior.
    • Governor Kemp requested $500,000 in initial funds to form a gang task force within the GBI. This group will work with local District Attorneys and law enforcement to stop and dismantle street gangs.
    • Governor Kemp included $1 million in the Department of Community Health’s budget to pursue state flexibility options for Georgia’s Medicaid program that increases choices, improves quality, encourages innovation, and grows access to affordable healthcare across GA.

    The General Assembly will be in session Monday-Wednesday next week for legislative days 5-7.

    GEDA looks forward to hosting it’s annual Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 29, from 9 am – 1 pm!

    If you become aware of legislation you would like Cornerstone to follow, please let us know!

    House Bill Tracker

    HR 40 – Woody Woodside Retirement Resolution
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Don Hogan
    Bill Status: Adopted
    Summary: Resolution honoring Woody Woodside and commending him on his retirement after many years of service to our state. Adopted.

    HB 2 – Constitutional Carry
    Bill Sponsor: Rep Matt Gurtler
    Bill Status: Introduced 11/16/18 (prefiled)
    Summary: A bill to allow anyone in Georgia who is legally allowed to own a gun to carry it without paying for a state-issued license. Currently, Georgia gun owners must pay to register with the state and pass a background check before being issued a license to carry a gun in public.

    HB 22 – Statutory Authority for Broadband: Telephone Cooperatives
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Penny Houston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Referred to Economic Development & Tourism Committee
    Summary: To specifically authorize telephone cooperatives & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)

    HB 23 – Statutory Authority for Broadband: EMCs
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Penny Houston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Referred to Economic Development & Tourism Committee
    Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)

    HB 24 – Governance of State & Local Boards, Authorities, & Commissions 
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Vernon Jones
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19
    Summary: To require that all members of state and local boards, authorities, commissions, and similar entities in this state shall be appointed by an elected official or officials of the state or a political subdivision of the state.

    HB 30 – Amended FY19 Appropriations 
    Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19;
    Summary: Amended FY2019 Appropriations

    HB 31 – FY20 Appropriations
    Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19
    Summary: FY2020 Appropriations
     
    HB 34 – Development Authority Board of Directors Requirements & Removal 
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Rhonda Burnough
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19
    Summary: To allow development authority boards of directors to be comprised of residents OR licensed business owners paying ad valorem taxes on real or personal property within the county or municipal corporation for which the authority is created (expanding it beyond current law requirement of taxpaying residents). It would also give the city or county governing authority the power to remove a director for cause (which would include but not be limited to, neglect of duties, incompetence, failure to meet residency requirements, or unethical/dishonorable conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public, county or municipality) or with 30 days written notice provided a public hearing is followed no less than 30 days from the date of written notice.
     
    HB 41 – Expanded Film/Gaming Production Tax Credit for Veterans Employed 
    Bill Sponsor:
     Rep. Pam Dickerson
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19
    Summary: To provide for an additional income tax credit for film, gaming, video, or digital production in Georgia for productions that employ veterans.

    Senate Bill Tracker

    SB 2 – EMC Broadband Statutory Authority
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Referred to Regulated Industries Committee
    Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)

    SB 17 – Telephone Cooperatives Broadband Statutory Authority
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Referred to Regulated Industries Committee
    Summary: To specifically authorize telephone cooperatives & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
     
    SB22 – Banking Improvement Zones
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Rhett
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19. Referred to Banking & Financial Institutions Committee
    Summary: A bill to establish “banking improvement zones” to encourage opening of banks in areas underserved by banks.

     
     

    Glossary of Terms:

    Effective - The bill has been signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect the date stated.
    Recommitted -  A parliamentary motion to reassign a bill which has been in one committee to the same or a different committee. 
    Second Read -  In the House, second reading occurs automatically on the legislative day following the bill's introduction. In the Senate, second reading occurs on the legislative day after a bill is reported from standing committee, except that after the 35th day of the session, second reading occurs on the day a bill is reported from committee.
    Conference Committee -  A special committee consisting of three members from each house appointed by the presiding officers to seek a compromise when the two houses have passed different versions of the same bill and insist on their respective positions.
    Pre-filed - A bill that is filed before the beginning of the legislative session
    Withdrawn - A bill is removed from consideration
    Referred - Placed into committee

    To find your law makers click here.
    To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2019 click here.

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