• Legislative Update 2019 - Week #3

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    February 04, 2019

    Noteworthy Items:

    • The General Assembly met this week Monday-Wednesday for Legislative Days 5-7. However, due to anticipate winter weather, Governor Kemp closed state government for Tuesday, January 29, and that legislative day was abbreviated. The closure also impacted GEDA’s annual day at the Capitol, which was, unfortunately, also cancelled.
    • It was a relatively slow legislative week as committees had their first meetings and got organized. However, HB 22 and HB 23 did see movement as it was voted out of the House Economic Development Committee.  
    • Budget hearings continued last week with a focus on the AFY19 budget. Both the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Department of Economic Development presented on their AFY19 budgets to the House Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.
    • Early last week, Sen. Orrock introduced SR 55, a proposal to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Georgia. This is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that discrimination on the basis of gender would be prohibited. Congress approved this amendment to the constitution in 1972, and 38 states must ratify it for it to become effective. The deadline for ratification passed in 1982. However, 37 states have ratified the amendment (though some have since passed resolutions withdrawing their decisions to ratify). There is an effort to make Georgia the 38th state to ratify and then have Congress remove the expired ratification deadline. We expect this to be a topic of conversation in the General Assembly.
    • The General Assembly will be in session Tuesday-Friday this week for legislative days 8-11.

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

    House Bill Tracker

    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.
     
    HR 6 – Term Limits
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Caldwell
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19; referred to House Rules Committee
    Summary: Constitutional amendment to provide that no member of the Georgia House or Senate can serve more than 4 consecutive terms before being required to be out of office for a full term.
     
    HR 48 – GA Coastal Tourism
    Bill Sponsor:
     Re. Gilliard
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19; referred to Natural Resources Committee
    Summary: A resolution supporting GA’s coastal tourism and fisheries and opposing seismic testing and oil and gas drilling activities off of Georgia’s coast.

    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”)
     
    SB20 – 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.

    SR 55 – Equal Rights Amendment
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Orrock
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19. Referred to Judiciary Committee
    Bill Summary: Ratify 1972 Equal Rights Amendment as passed by Congress to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender.

     
     

    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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