• Legislative Update 2019 - Week #4

    Noteworthy Items:

    • The General Assembly met Tuesday through Friday last week for Legislative Days 8-11. The Super Bowl interrupted the flow but last week saw a number of bills starting to work through the committee process. HB 23, also known as the EMC Broadband bill, passed out of the House Rules Committee on Friday after having been sent back to the House Economic Development Committee for minor changes. HB 23 will be on the floor for a full vote in the House at the beginning of this week.
    • Last week the General Assembly passed its Adjournment Resolution for the 2019 Session, officially setting the remainder of the calendar for legislative days 12 – 40(see below). Notable dates include day 28, Crossover Day, which is the deadline for legislation to pass from one chamber to the other in order to be eligible for final passage in 2019 and day 40, also know as Sine Die, which will be on April 2nd
    • The FY ’19 amended budget, also known as the ‘little budget’, passed the House last week. The bill, HB 30, provides for changes in appropriations for the state government. Notable changes include $10 million allocated for loans for agri-businesses affected by Hurricane Michael, $8 million in insurance for damaged state assets, $54 million for Medicaid and the Indigent Care Trust Fund, $35 million for Forestland Protection Act grants, and $491,000 in initial funding for the Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority.
    • The House voted on HR 1 to name the new state judicial building after former Governor Nathan Deal. It will be called the Nathan Deal Judicial Center and will house the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Senate is next to consider the resolution.
    • The General Assembly with be in session Monday-Friday next week for legislative days 12-16.   

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    Legislative Calendar
    2019 regular calendar during the period of Monday, February 11, 2019 through simultaneous adjournment Sine Die on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
    Monday, February 11 – legislative day 12
    Tuesday, February 12 – legislative day 13
    Wednesday, February 13 – legislative day 14
    Thursday, February 14 – legislative day 15
    Friday, February 15 – legislative day 16
    Tuesday, February 19 – legislative day 17
    Wednesday, February 20 – legislative day 18
    Thursday, February 21 – legislative day 19
    Friday, February 22 – legislative day 20
    Monday, February 25 – legislative day 21
    Tuesday, February 26 – legislative day 22
    Wednesday, February 27 – legislative day 23
    Thursday, February 28 – legislative day 24
    Friday, March 1 – legislative day 25
    Monday, March 4 – legislative day 26
    Tuesday, March 5 – legislative day 27
    Thursday, March 7 – legislative day 28 (Crossover Day)
    Friday, March 8 – legislative day 29
    Monday, March 11 – legislative day 30
    Tuesday, March 12 – committee work day
    Wednesday, March 13 – legislative day 31
    Thursday, March 14 – legislative day 32
    Monday, March 18 – legislative day 33
    Tuesday, March 19 – committee work day
    Wednesday, March 20 – committee work day
    Thursday, March 21 – legislative day 34
    Friday, March 22 – legislative day 35
    Monday, March 25 – legislative day 36
    Tuesday, March 26 – legislative day 37
    Wednesday, March 27 – committee work day
    Thursday, March 28 – legislative day 38
    Friday, March 29 – legislative day 39
          (Sine Die)            
    Tuesday, April 2 – legislative day 40

    House Bill Tracker

    HB 2 – Constitutional Carry
    Bill Sponsor: Rep Matt Gurtler
    Bill Status: Introduced 11/16/18 (prefiled); Referred to Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee
    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; Passed out of Economic Development and Tourism 1/29/19
    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; Passed out of House Rules 2/8/19
    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 1/17/1; Referred to Government Affairs Committee
    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, Passed House 2/8/19
    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; House Committee on Government Affairs
    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: Referred Ways and Means Committee
    Summary: To provide for an additional income tax credit for film, gaming, video, or digital production in Georgia for productions that employ veterans.
    HB 53 – Freedom of Religious Speech in Public Schools 
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Carpenter
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/28/19. Referred to Education Committee
    Summary: Provides protections for students and faculty in using freedom of religious speech in public schools
    HB 105 – Income Tax Exemptions for Disaster Relief Participants
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Watson
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19. Referred to Ways and Means Committee
    Summary: Taxpayers who received payments from disaster relief or assistance programs would have these payments exempt from state income taxes
    HB 114 – State Sales Tax Exemptions for Qualified Job Training Organizations
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. H. Clark
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19.  Referred to Ways and Means Committee
    Summary: Removes the sunset provision for these exemptions
    HB 126 – Creation of the ‘GeorgiaBest’ Program
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Nix
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/5/19. Referred to Industry and Labor Committee
    Summary: Establishes the ‘GeorgiaBest’ program, a business employability skills training program intended to assist the state existing and emerging workforce in developing employer-identified skills needed to be successful in the workplace.
    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”)
    SB 20 – 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.
    SB 41 – Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Parent
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19. Referred to Finance Committee
    Summary: Provides for an earned income tax credit equal to 10 percent of the federal tax credit allowed under Section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code
    SB 45 – Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Beach
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/30/19
    Summary: Legalizes pari-mutuel horse racing in Georgia a limited number of licensed equestrian centers

    SB 66- Streamling Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/6/19. Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee
    Bill Summary: This legislation streamlines the process for the deployment of wireless broadband in the public right of way.
    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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