Governor Kemp signs Amended FY 19 Budget
This week at North Atlanta High School, Governor Brian P. Kemp signed the amended fiscal year 2019 budget, for the State of Georgia. Accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, House Speaker David Ralston, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, Principal Curtis Douglass, and legislative leaders, Governor Kemp outlined Georgia’s budget priorities to strengthen school security, invest in healthcare and public safety, and spur job growth in every corner of the state.
“Budgets are reflections of your values – your priorities for today and vision for tomorrow,” said Governor Kemp. “In Georgia, we value education, healthcare, public safety, and economic development. We have a heart for safer schools, better healthcare options, safer communities, and more jobs for hardworking Georgians. I am proud to sign the amended budget for fiscal year 2019 and have confidence these investments will yield big dividends for Georgians, young and old. Together, we will continue to ensure that Georgia’s best days are ahead.”
The Senate Appropriations Higher Education Sub-Committee met this week to begin reviewing the House changes to the FY 2020 budget. Once approved, the budget moves to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration before sending it to the Senate floor for a vote.
HB 444, renames the “Move on When Ready Act” to the “Dual Enrollment Act.” It will permit an eligible high school student in 11th or 12th grade the ability to take a maximum of 30 hours of covered dual credit courses (delivered on-site or on-line) at a University System of Georgia Institution. It permits a student to take
non-covered dual credit courses (those after 30 hours at their own expense or using lottery funds). The bill also requires academic advising prior to entering into the dual enrollment program, after taking 15 credit hours, and when the student reaches 30 credit hours. The bill was heard before the Senate Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
Georgia Hemp Farming Act
HB 213, the “Georgia Hemp Farming Act” would authorize colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia to conduct research on hemp grown in Georgia, including the development of new hemp varieties, seed development, and consumer uses. The bill also outlines the process to receive a hemp growers license. The bill was heard before the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, but no vote was taken.
HB 218, would extend the time that students have to use the HOPE Scholarship from seven to ten years after high school. If the student serves in the military during that 10-year period, their active duty service will not count towards the 10 years. The bill was heard before the Senate Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
SB 161, would allow for weighted scores for AP, Dual Enrollment, and International Baccalaureate courses adjusting the GPA for HOPE Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship eligibility. The bill was heard before the House Higher Education Committee, but no vote was taken.
Military Affairs & Veterans Legislation
HB 621, by Rep. Gloria Frazier (D-Hephzibah), would declare June 12 of each year as Women’s Veterans Day. Assigned to the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act
HB 481, would prohibit an abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been determined by a doctor, which is typically detected at about 6 weeks. Current law allows abortions up to 20 weeks. The bill was heard before the Senate Science and Technology Committee, but no vote was taken.
Special Election Results
James Burchett (R-Waycross), will represent House District 176, replacing Rep. Jason Shaw who was appointed to the Georgia Public Service Commission. Burchett is owner of J.D. Burchett Law, and co-owner of The Burchett Company, a utility pole supplier. District 176 represents parts of Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Ware counties.
K-12, School Safety & Security Legislation
SB 67, would allow school systems with buildings that are at least 20 years old and have been mostly destroyed by natural disaster or fire to receive regular funding to repair or replace damaged buildings. The bill passed the House Appropriations Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
SR 266, by Sen. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), encourages the Georgia High School Association to perform a thorough assessment of its operations and practices. The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 50-0 and was adopted.
Georgia Data Analytic Center
HB 197, creates the Georgia Data Analytic Center (GDAC Project), which is to be established and overseen by the Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) by September 1, 2019. Any state agency or department that creates, receives, or maintains publicly supported program, fiscal, or health data must transmit or allow access to its data as is deemed necessary to the GDAC Project, as long as sharing the data does not violate state or federal law. The bill passed the Senate Science and Technology Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
Statewide Election Voting System
HB 316, would establish a new statewide election voting system and enable the use of an electronic ballot marking device that would print a paper ballot for voters to review and verify before submitting. The bill would also outline procedures and voting requirements, including expanding access for disabled individuals, citizens in jail, and allowing for an updated review process for provisional ballots. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-21 and is now headed to Governor Brian Kemp for his consideration.
SB 17, would authorize rural telephone cooperatives to furnish broadband services either directly or indirectly through an agreement or through a broadband affiliate. The bill passed the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
SB 66, the “Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act”, would streamline the deployment of wireless broadband in the public rights of way. The bill passed the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
February Revenues Increase
Revenue collections for the month of February totaled $1.3 billion, for an increase of $67.6 million, or 5.5 percent compared to the revenue collected in February 2018. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $15.37 billion for an increase of $270.5 million, or 1.8 percent compared to the same point last year.
Intern Spotlight: Jasmine Barnett
The Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) “was something I had dreamed of doing and thankfully I was approached with the opportunity to take part in this experience,” says senior public policy major Jasmine Barnett. After being introduced to GLIP by her professor, Jasmine became hopeful of gaining long lasting connections, and powerful learning skills about local state government through the program.
As an intern for the House Appropriations Committee, Jasmine does whatever needs to be done. Her many duties include making copies, answering the phone, assisting with research and working on bills.
After she graduates from GSU, Jasmine will take a year off and later apply to the Master’s program in public policy. Ms. Barnett’s favorite quote is “The best way to learn is by doing.” Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Gill is among her most liked books.
Intern Spotlight: Asna Ashfaq
The Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP) “has been an interesting experience. So far I’ve been able to engage with policymakers and hear their thoughts on issues,” says Asna Ashfaq, a political science major from Milton.
Assigned to the Minority Office, Ms. Ashfaq’s many duties include handling constituent issues, answering the phones, organizing events, assisting in committee meetings, and tracking legislation.
When she is not interning at the Capitol, Asna is involved in the Model United Nations team. She also works in the GSU Office of International Initiatives. After graduating from GSU, Asna plans to pursue a Master’s in international affairs and public policy.
Ms. Ashfaq is inspired by the quote “Government should be a place where people come together, where no one gets left behind. No one gets left behind,” by Toby Ziegler. Her favorite book is The Nix by Nathan Hill.
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 33: The House and Senate will convene at 10:00 am on Monday, March 18.
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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