Georgia State Students Commended
Several Georgia State University students were commended this week with resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate. To read the resolutions in their entirety please click the following links.
SR 279 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SR/279) , sponsored by Sen. Curt Thompson (D-Atlanta), commending Georgia State University student-athlete Ronald Jordan “R.J.” Hunter for setting the school’s all-time men’s basketball scoring record. R.J. is a junior from Indianapolis, Indiana. Read and Adopted.
SR 285 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/SR/285) , sponsored by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta), commending Georgia State University student-athlete Ryann Austin Green for being selected as a candidate for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award. Ryann is a senior from College Park, Georgia. Read and Adopted.
HR 446 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HR/446) , sponsored by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), commending Georgia State University student-athlete Hannah Patricia Stefanoff on being named Sun Belt Champion and Runner of the Year in 2014. Hannah is a senior from Dayton, Ohio. Read and Adopted.
HR 366 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/HR/366) , sponsored by Rep. Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville), commending University System of Georgia Outstanding Scholar Fernando Mattos of Georgia State University on Academic Recognition Day for 2015. Fernando is a senior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read and Adopted.
Transportation Bill Advances
The House Transportation Committee this week approved legislation with changes that would increase state spending for roads and bridges. The approved bill removes the former provision allowing counties to levy a 6-cent fuel excise tax. Instead, local sales taxes will remain on gasoline, with the requirement that they be used for transportation purposes only.
The bill, in its current form would also eliminate the $5,000 tax credit the state now gives for the purchase of electric vehicles and levy an annual fee on electric, propane and natural gas powered vehicles of $300 for commercial vehicles and $200 for non-commercial vehicles.
Remaining unchanged would be to replace the combination of excise and sales tax on motor fuel with a single excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon for gasoline and 33 cents per gallon diesel fuel. The bill is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee and is still subject to be amended before it reaches the House floor.
Future of AP History Debated
The House and Senate Education Committee’s this week held a joint hearing over the future of the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam. SR 80, sponsored by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick), demands revision by the College Board of Advanced Placement U.S. History. If it doesn’t, the legislation requires the Board of Education to pull all state funding for material aligned with the program.
The committee heard testimony from a College Board official, a current and a retired Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher, as well as a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The author, Sen. William Ligon says, College Board guidelines minimize America’s best ideas and focus on negative episodes in history. There was no vote taken on the legislation and the bill remains in the Senate Education Committee.
Supplemental Budget sent to Governor
The House voted 167-0 to approve the $21.1 billion midyear budget and the Senate followed with a 50-1 vote on Thursday.
An additional $132,275 in funds were added to the already $515,600 to establish the Georgia Film Academy through the cooperative partnership between the University System and the Technical College System. The spending plan has been sent to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature. Once signed, the bill goes into effect immediately.
Appropriations hearings will continue next week on the proposed $21.8 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Firearms Legislation Heard
HB 186, excludes firearms from the prohibited list of weapons and expands current law regarding where a license carry permit holder can bring a weapon. The bill was heard before the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, but no vote was taken.
HB 315, sponsored by Rep. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear), changes the name of the Technical College System of Georgia to the Georgia Career College System and the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to the State Board of the Georgia Career College System. The bill was heard before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
SB 18, would require the Technical College System of Georgia to establish policies for granting academic credit to students for college level learning acquired prior to enrollment from military service, work experience, service in the community or independent study. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 53-0 and has been assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
SB 58, provides that each member of the General Assembly, the Governor, and the Lieutenant Governor may select an eligible student annually for public designation as a Georgia Leadership and Service Scholar and offer a written recommendation for such eligible student for use in the admissions process at an institution of the university system. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 54-0 and has been assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
HR 304, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), encourages Georgia’s technical schools, colleges, and universities to expand gerontology and dementia education and training throughout their academic curriculum in order to address the growing economic, social, and healthcare needs created by an aging population. The bill passed the House Higher Education Committee and is eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HB 107, provides for in-state tuition at units of the University System of Georgia and branches of the Technical College System of Georgia for youth who are from foster care or homeless situations. The bill was heard before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
HB 212, sponsored by Rep Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold), adds Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to the current pain management clinic listing of professionals who must be present at such clinic for it to remain operational. The bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HR 307, sponsored by Rep. Dexter Sharper (D-Valdosta), encourages the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to require the completion of a personal finance course as a graduation requirement for undergraduate students. Assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
Intern Spotlight: Tamara Moon
The Georgia Legislative Internship program “will not only be a great experience to put on my resume but it will teach me about government, law and professionalism,” says Tamara Moon, a junior political science major from Greenville, South Carolina. Tamara feels serving as an intern will give her a better understanding of the legislative process, as well as allow her to gain lifelong skills that she can carry over to any career path.
Ms. Moon’s legislative assignment is with senate staffing and intern coordinator, Stacy Peery. Her many duties include greeting guests and administrative work such as answering the phones. In addition to working as an intern, Tamara works at Panera Bread on the weekends.
After graduating from Georgia State University, Tamara plans to travel for a year, and then attend law school. Her career goal is to become a corporate attorney.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meeting are available via the General Assembly website at ** www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
Day 20: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Monday, February 23.
Legislators are scheduled to work Monday through Thursday of next week.
House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee Meeting – Tuesday, February 24 at 7:00 am
House Appropriations Full Committee Meeting – Wednesday, February 25 at 8:00 am
Government Affairs Team
Tom Lewis, Senior Advisor to the President
Julie Kerlin, Director of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director of Government & Community Affairs
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director