Research Universities Day at the Capitol
Georgia State University joined with The University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Augusta University to celebrate the second annual Research Universities Day at the Capitol. Students from each institution were on hand to greet legislators, be recognized in the House and Senate galleries and participate in a student convocation program with alumni from each University working in different areas of state government.
Georgia State University President Mark Becker, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead, Georgia Institute of Technology President Bud Peterson and Augusta University President Brooks Keel were invited to the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate and were presented resolutions commending each Institution for their contributions to higher education. To read the resolution in its entirety please click the following link. SR 700 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/SR/700) , by Sen. Fran Millar, Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and HR 1202 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HR/1202) , by Rep. Rick Jasperse, Chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.
Campus Free Speech Advances
The Senate Higher Education Committee met this week and passed out of committee, SB 339, which would require the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to develop and adopt a policy of free expression. East Georgia State College President Robert Boehmer, Savanah State University President Cheryl Dozier and Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College President David Bridges gave testimony in opposition of the proposed legislation. The bill is scheduled to be considered on the Senate floor next Monday.
State Tax Code Overhaul
Governor Nathan Deal, along with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston, unveiled the latest amendments this week to HB 918, which updates the 2018 Internal Revenue Code. The bill addresses the state revenue projections resulting from the Federal Tax Act while mirroring its 10-year timeframe. The legislation would double the standard deduction for Georgia taxpayers for all filing statuses, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The bill would also reduce the income tax rate for individuals and businesses from 6 percent to 5.75 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019 and then lower it again to 5.5 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020. The bill passed the House by a vote of 134-36 and was immediately transferred to the Senate. The bill passed today the Senate Finance Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
Integrated Public Health Data Project
SB 184, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), establishes the Integrated Public Health Data Project, referred to the iPHD Project. With the support of the Georgia Health Policy Center, the iPHD Project will receive, maintain, and transmit healthcare-related data from publicly supported programs. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 54-0 and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
K-12 School Safety SB 457, would require every public school and private school to conduct drills on the execution of school safety plans based upon guidance from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. The bill passed the Senate Education and Youth Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 470, sponsored by Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), would require the commissioner of public safety to assign at least one member of the Georgia State Patrol for each public school in this state. Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee.
HB 743, requires the Department of Education to develop and publish guidelines relating to cardiac arrest. Students and parents are required to sign a form at the beginning of the school year prior to athletic participation stating they have received and reviewed cardiac arrest symptoms and warning signs material. If a student exhibits any of the warning signs for cardiac arrest, that student may be removed immediately and not allowed to return to play without a written release from a health care provider. The bill passed the House by a vote of 165-2 and now crosses over to the Senate for consideration.
House Rural Development Council
HB 769, implements recommendations from the House Rural Development Council relating to health care issues. The bill revises provisions relative to pharmacy practices, as well as provisions relative to credentialing and billing. It provides for the establishment of the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability and the establishment of micro-hospitals. The legislation provides for a grant program for insurance premium assistance for physicians practicing in medically underserved rural areas of the state and increases the value of the tax credit to 100 percent related to contributions to rural hospital organizations. The bill passed the House by a vote of 173-1 and has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
HB 702, authorizes Georgia Student Finance Authority to establish and administer a loan forgiveness program for University System of Georgia students that obtain a degree in science, technology, engineering, and math and agree to work as a civil service employee at a defense installation in the state of Georgia. An individual is eligible to receive up to $5,000 each year for up to five years employed as a civil service employee in order to repay an education loan. Funding for this program is subject to appropriation. The bill passed the House Higher Education Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HB 840, provides an exemption to the penalties relating to unpaid special, occupation, or sales taxes and license, regulatory, or administrative fees for members of the military serving in a combat zone, who upon return from duty, make full payment of taxes and fees that are received within 60 days. The bill passed the House by a vote of 166-0 and now crosses over to the Senate for consideration.
HB 718, would allow schools to grant excused absences, up to five per year for a maximum of two years, to students whose parent or guardian currently or previously served in the armed forces or reserves who attend a military affairs sponsored event. The student must provide documentation to the school system prior to the absence. The bill passed the House Education Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Other Legislation Being Considered
SB 405, would create grants up to $1500 per semester for non-HOPE students, whose family income does not exceed $48,000 and is enrolled in an institution of the University System of Georgia. The student must also be receiving a Pell scholarship, achieved certain academic criteria, and is employed at least 15 hours per week during the semester. Student athletes will be excluded from the work requirement for the semester in which their sport is participating. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 44-5 and cross over to the House for consideration.
HB 928, extends the period of time a student is eligible to receive a HOPE scholarship after they graduate from high school from seven years to fifteen years. The bill passed the House Higher Education Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HB 664, sponsored by Rep. Same Teasley (R-Marietta), relating to the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan, would increase the limit for single filers to $4,000 per year and for joint filers to $8,000 per year. The bill passed the House by a vote of 111-51 and now crosses over to the Senate for consideration.
HB 955, sponsored by Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens), would provide that HOPE grants cover the full cost of tuition. Assigned to the House Higher Education Committee.
SB 456, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chicamagua), prohibits high schools receiving QBE funding from participating in or sponsoring interscholastic sports events conducted by any athletic association unless the association has separate regions and playoffs for private schools and public schools with enrollments of 640 students or less. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 351, increases the number of nurses that a physician can supervise under a protocol agreement to 8. It also allows APRNs to order x-rays in non-life threatening situations. The bill passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 364, will authorize a higher supervisory ratio for physician assistants who have completed a board approved anesthesiologist assistant program. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 51-0 and has been assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Intern Spotlight: Kacie Gartner
Junior political science major Kacie Gartner decided to apply to the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) because she wanted to learn about the ‘behind the scenes’ of state government. “GLIP has challenged me, as well as pushed me to think differently than I normally would,” states Ms. Gartner. Learning to work harder, networking and gaining insight into how our government operates are just a few of the many benefits of the program says Kacie.
Kacie’s legislative assignment includes House Motor Vehicles, Special Rules, State Planning and Community Affairs and Intergovernmental Coordination. Her many duties as intern include answering phones, sending out meeting notices, and assisting around the office.
In her spare time, Ms. Gartner volunteers with the Covington 4H Club, Relay for Life, and Keep Covington Newton Beautiful. Last year, Kacie started a community garden to grow and donate food for those in need.
After she graduates from GSU, Kacie will work towards her career goal of becoming a politician. Her favorite quote is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” by Eleanor Roosevelt. Her favorite book is The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meetings are available via the General Assembly website at www.legis.ga.gov
Day 27: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Monday, February 26.
Day 28: Crossover Day – Wednesday, February 28. Crossover Day is the last day a bill can cross over from one chamber of the General Assembly to the other in bill form.
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
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3999
Atlanta, Georgia 30302
404-413-2030 (office) • 404-413-1410 (fax)
Visit Georgia State University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs:
** ga.gsu.edu (http://ga.gsu.edu)
Copyright © 2018 Georgia State University, All rights reserved.