2017 Legislative Update
Week 7 – February 21-24, 2017
The General Assembly completed Day 24 of the 2017 Legislative Session on Friday, February 24. The legislature re-convened on Monday, February 27 for Legislative Day 25. The legislature will be in session Monday through Wednesday, off Thursday, and reconvene on Friday, March 3 for Crossover Day. Crossover Day is the last day a bill can pass the chamber it originated in to still be eligible for passage this session.
Business & Industry
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. HB 199 passed the House on February 24 and is now in the Senate.
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 the House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee on February 21 and awaits action in House Rules Committee.
HB 372 sponsored by Rep. Don Parsons (R-Marietta) creates a sales tax exemption for certain equipment used in the deployment of broadband technology. The bill was heard in the Sales Tax Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on February 24.
SB 232 sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), the Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act aims to provide broadband service throughout the state through planning, deployment and incentives. SB 232 was introduced on February 22 and was referred to the Senate Regulated Industries & Utilities Committee where it will be heard on February 27.
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. SB 2 passed the Senate and was referred to the House Small Business Development Committee on February 21.
Education and Workforce Development
HB 338 sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R- Dawsonville), provides for a system of supports and assistance for low-performing schools identified as being in the greatest need of assistance. The bill also looks to provide for and create an Education Turnaround Advisory Council and a Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process. HB 338 passed the House Education Committee on February 23 and awaits action in the House Rules Committee.
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. SB 3 bill was read in the House on February 21 and assigned to the House Education Committee.
SB 8 sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) aims to help consumers against surprise billing by providers, hospitals and insurers for out-of-network services. Under this legislation, surprise bills for emergency services would be disputed through a resolution process within the Department of Insurance. It also requires that a database with usual and customary cost of services be created and maintained by the Department of Community Health. SB 8 passed the Senate on February 24 by a vote of 52-0.
SB 6 sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), would form the Georgia Regional Transit Council. The Council will work to create plans to reduce travel times, road congestion, improve access to highways and develop ideas for transportation innovations. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 48 - 0 on February 22 and has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.
HB 134 sponsored by Rep. Bubber Epps (R-Dry Branch) allows for greater flexibility in the administration of single county T-SPLOSTs and grants cities the authority to bond their T-SPLOST projects, which will aid local officials in developing a transportation network necessary to attract business growth and support their citizens’ needs. HB 134 passed the House on February 23 by a vote of 106-58.
For detailed information on specific legislation visit: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx
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