House Passes Amended Budget
The House today passed HB 30, the FY 2019 Amended budget by a vote of 166-8. The amended budget totals $ 26.9 billion, an increase of $ 435.7 million over the budget originally adopted last year. Of the additional spending, a majority of the new revenue focuses on the safety and well-being of children with grants for school security and funding for mental health services in high schools.
HB 30, includes $69.4 million to provide school security grants of $30,000 each for 2,314 school facilities including charter schools, college and career academies, GNETS facilities, and the three state schools. The House agreed with the Governor to add $8.4 million to expand the Georgia Apex Program by providing support counselors for mental health services in high schools. The program currently serves more than 17,000 students in 418 schools. The House version of the budget also includes an infusion of $10 million to continue to meet the needs of Georgia farmers impacted by Hurricane Michael.
The FY 2019 amended budget recommendation of interest to the University System of Georgia (USG) included $9.9 million
for the pediatric and adult clinical radiation therapy renovation and expansion projects at the Augusta University Health System campus to promote treatment and accessibility for patients statewide. The House added to the Governor’s recommendation a $500,000 increase for Augusta University for recruitment to advance basic science and clinical translational research in women’s and childhood cancer. Funds in the amount of $326,859 are provided to the Georgia Public Library Service to promote early literacy through a statewide children’s digital library and $3.5 million to the Georgia Student Finance Commission for the Dual Enrollment program and $2.9 million in lottery funds for the HOPE Scholarship program to meet the projected need.
Campus Carry Repeal
HB 122, sponsored by Rep. Bob Trammell (D-Luthersville) and SB 50, sponsored by Sen. Salley Harrell (D-Atlanta), would repeal the authorization for the carrying and possession of handguns in certain manners by weapons carry license holders in certain buildings or on real property owned by or leased to public institutions of postsecondary education. Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Public Safety Committee.
SB 48, sponsored by Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville), would require that all pre-kindergarten students are screened for dyslexia and provide a framework to identify and address dyslexia in students between kindergarten and grade three. This bill was heard this week before the Senate Education and Youth Committee, but no vote was taken.
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
HB 25, would provide military service members civil relief concerning certain contractual obligations due to circumstances of active duty. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
SB 54, sponsored by Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus), the Georgia Lottery for Veterans Act, provides that the Georgia Lottery Corporation shall offer one or more games to benefit military veterans. SR 85, sponsored by Sen. Harrison, proposes an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide for the proceeds of one or more lottery games to benefit military veterans. Assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
HB 22, gives telephone cooperative non-profit corporations the ability to furnish, improve, and expand broadband services. The bill passed the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HB 23, authorizes electric membership corporations (EMCs) and their affiliates to provide broadband services, in addition to authorizing financing and partnerships. The bill passed the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
SB 17, sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), would authorize rural telephone cooperatives to furnish broadband services either directly or indirectly through an agreement or through a broadband affiliate. The bill was heard before the Senate Regulated Industries Committee, but no vote was taken.
HB 100, sponsored by Rep. Don Parsons (R- Marietta), would allow Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) to deploy broadband services throughout Georgia. Assigned to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
SB 66, sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), the “Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act”, would streamline the deployment of wireless broadband in the public rights of way. Assigned to the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.
Pari-Mutuel Betting on Horse Racing
SB 45, sponsored Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), would create the Georgia Horse Racing Commission and allow for pari-mutuel horse racing in the state at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers. SR 84, sponsored by Sen. Beach, proposes an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. Assigned to the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act
HB 39, the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act, would allow eligible physical therapists to practice across state lines. The bill passed the House Interstate Cooperation Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
HB 42, sponsored by Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs), would prevent professional licensing boards from refusing to issue a license or suspending or revoking a license of a person who is in default of an educational loan issued through the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation or through a federal agency. The bill was heard before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
SB 19, sponsored by Sen. Michael Rhett (D-Marietta), would authorize the Georgia Student Finance Authority to establish a “Public Safety Officer Higher Education Fund” to provide student aid to individuals who work in public service. The bill was heard before the Senate Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
HB 12, sponsored by Rep. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville), would require all public schools to post a sign containing the toll-free number operated by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services to receive reports of child abuse and/or neglect. Assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
HB 116, sponsored by Rep. Dewey McClain (D-Lawrenceville) and SB 46, sponsored by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta), would increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour. Assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee and Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.
SB 49, sponsored by Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), would prohibit employers from using salary history of an applicant to determine wages, benefits, or other compensation during the initial hiring process. This bill was referred to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.
HB 126, sponsored by Rep. Randy Nix (R-LaGrange), would authorize the Department of Labor to create the “GeorgiaBest” program, a workforce development program to develop employer-identified skills. Assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee.
Calendar Set-Thru Sine Die
The House and Senate adopted an adjournment resolution this week that will take them all the way to Sine Die. Day 28 also referred to as Crossover Day is set for March 7. Crossover Day is the last day a bill can cross over from one chamber of the General Assembly to the other in bill form. Sine Die or the last day of session is scheduled for April 2.
Intern Spotlight: Miriam Goodfriend
Senior philosophy major Miriam Goodfriend was curious about the inner workings of government and decided to apply to the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP), after encouragement from a professor. “I was interested in getting closer to the action,” says Miriam.
Ms. Goodfriend feels GLIP will allow her professional skills to develop “in a real time, fast paced, and intense work environment.” Moreover, she expects this experience to impact her understanding of state government and the legislative process.
The House Higher Education Committee is Miriam’s intern assignment. Her duties include handling constituent issues, answering the phones, as well as several other administrative duties as assigned.
Miriam’s off-campus activities include serving as the head Varsity volleyball coach at the Weber School in Sandy Springs. On Sundays, she is a teacher at the religious school held at The Temple in Atlanta.
After graduating from GSU, Ms. Goodfriend plans to pursue either a law degree or a masters degree in public policy. Her favorite book is “Dark Matter,” by Blake Crouch. Miriam’s most memorable quote is “everyone you will meet knows something you don’t,” by Bill Nye.
Information on legislative activities including bills and resolutions as well as a webcast of daily sessions in both Chambers and committee meetings are available via the General Assembly website at ** www.legis.ga.gov (http://www.legis.ga.gov)
Day 12: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Monday, February 11.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
Tom Lewis, Senior Advisor to the President
Julie Kerlin, Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs
Michael Parkerson, Director of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director for State Relations
Clelia Keen, Assistant Director for Community Affairs
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
Georgia State University
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Atlanta, Georgia 30302
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Visit Georgia State University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs:
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