Happy Belated Valentine's Day... See What Bills our General Assembly Loved in Week Six of the Session and the Bills That Still Have a Chance!
The General Assembly completed Day 20 of the 2017 Legislative Session on Friday, February 17. The legislature will be in recess on Monday and will re-convene on Tuesday, February 21 for Legislative Day 21. The legislature will be in session Tuesday through Friday of next week and crossover day remains scheduled for March 3.
The Governor signed the supplemental budget, HB43 on Wednesday, February 15, a link to his press release can be found here. The 2018 Budget, HB44, was voted out of the House today with a 167-1 vote.
Business & Industry
HB 61 sponsored by Rep. Jay Powell (R- Camilla), allows the state to collect sales tax on online purchases through either direct collection by the retailer or by notification of the tax amount to the consumer and the state. The bill passed the House today and moves to the Senate.
HB 192 sponsored by Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta), aims to return Georgia to an environment that facilitates reasonable decisions by corporate directors and officers. It also encourages companies to incorporate in Georgia, thereby creating opportunities for further economic growth. HB 192 will be heard in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Monday, Friday 20.
HB 199 sponsored by Rep. Trey Rhodes (R- Greensboro), is an income tax credit incentive to entertainment companies such as video game and postproduction. The bill is intended to jumpstart emerging companies by making capital more readily available when they may need it most. The bill passed out of the Ways and Means Income Tax Subcommittee on Thursday and will be heard on Tuesday, February 21 in full committee.
SB 85 sponsored by Sen. Rick Jeffares (R – McDonough) is a compromise reached between the Georgia Beer Wholesalers and the craft beer industry which will allow breweries in Georgia to make limited direct sales of their product to their customers. The bill caps the total amount of direct sales by each brewer to 3000 barrels per year and allows a customer to purchase a case of beer per day directly from the brewery for take-out from the premises. On-site sales of beer are allowed as well. This effort is designed to help the craft beer industry to continue to grow in Georgia and should be beneficial to both the wholesalers and brewers. The bill passed out of the full House Regulated Industries Committee on Tuesday and awaits action in the House Rules Committee.
HB 336 sponsored by Rep. Don Parsons (R- Marietta), known as the Broadband Strategy for All of Georgia Act, creates broadband deployment incentives to expand internet access in rural Georgia. The bill passed out of subcommittee and will be heard in the full Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee on Tuesday.
SB 2 sponsored by Sen. Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton), the FAST Act - Fairness, Accountability, Simplification and Transparency - empowering our small businesses to succeed, aims to reduce regulations and licensing requirements on small businesses. The bill unanimously passed in the Senate today.
SB 116 sponsored by Sen. Frank Ginn (R- Danielsville) relates to provisions applicable to counties and municipal corporations prohibiting the assessment of storm-water utility fees on water-neutral properties. The bill awaits a hearing in the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
Education and Workforce Development
HB 338 sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R- Dawsonville) provides for a system of support and assistance for low-performing schools identified as in the greatest need of assistance. The bill looks to provide for and create an Education Turnaround Advisory Council and a Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process. The bill also looks to assist all charter schools throughout the state. The bill was introduced this week and heard in the House Education Committee on Thursday, where it awaits further action.
SB 3 sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R- Marietta), known as the CONNECT Act, expands credentialing for vocational and skilled labor education in secondary schools. The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate on Friday, February 17.
SB 70 sponsored by Sen. Butch Miller (R – Gainesville), would renew the Hospital Provider Payment Program also known as the hospital Medicaid financing program that provides for the continuation of a charge by hospitals statewide which will be pooled to assist in drawing down federal Medicaid matching funds. The current program is set to sunset on June 30, 2017 so this bill extends the program until June 30, 2020. The Governor signed SB 70 on Tuesday, February 14. A link to his press release can be found here.
HB 160 sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R – Dawsonville), creates the Georgia Commission on Transit Governance and Funding to study and address the needs of mass transportation. The bill passed out of the House on Thursday, February 16.
For detailed information on specific legislation visit: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx
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