House Passes Amended FY 2022 Budget
Today the House passed HB 910, the FY2022 Amended budget by a vote of 152-4.The amended budget totals $29.9 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion, or 9.7 percent over the budget originally adopted last year. Of the additional spending, a majority of the new revenue would provide $5,000 raises for state and university employees and a $2,000 salary supplement for teachers and $1,000 for other school employees, including nurses, bus drivers, school nutrition workers, and custodians.
Also included in the Amended FY 2022 budget is, $5 million in funds to design the new Research Tower at Georgia State University. The increased collections present an opportunity to address other one-time funding needs for infrastructure. The House version of HB 910 provides more than $900 million in one-time capital expenses including: $32.3 million to replace 789 vehicles, vans, and buses for state agencies; $193 million for school systems to replace 1,747 school buses and fund safety features; $86.9 million for equipment and technology replacement; $106.6 million for maintenance, repairs, infrastructure, and design for state facilities; and $481.3 million for property transformation projects. The bill now crosses over to the
Campus Free Speech
HB 1, sponsored by Rep. Josh Bonner
(R-Fayetteville), would prevent the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education. It would also prohibit public institutions of higher education from denying benefits to, or otherwise discriminating against, a student organization on the basis of the student organization’s religious, political, or ideological positions. The bill passed the House Higher Education Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Critical Race Theory
SB 377, sponsored by Sen. Bo Hatchett
(R-Clarkesville), seeks to prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts” within the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, local boards of education and local school systems.
Any postsecondary institution found in violation shall be subject to the withholding of state funding or state administered federal funding. This may also include funding for scholarships, loans and grants. The bill was heard before the Senate Education and Youth Committee, but no vote was taken.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
HB 430, sponsored by Rep. Alan Powell
(R-Hartwell), which would create a separate category of license for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Currently, APRNs practice under the same type of license as registered nurses but with a separate authorization for advanced practice. It would also, authorize the Board of Nursing to collect workforce data during licensure issuances and renewals. The bill passed the House by a vote of 162-0 and now crosses over to the Senate.
Georgia Data Analytic Center
SB 374, sponsored by Sen. Blake Tillery
(R-Vidallia), would take the Georgia Data Analytics Center and make it apart of all executive state agencies for the purpose of sharing government information. The bill passed the Senate Science and Technology Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 461, sponsored by Sen. Clint Dixon
(R-Buford), would specify that only a Superior Court of Georgia can set a bond for a human trafficking offense. The bill passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
City of East Cobb
HB 841, sponsored by Rep. Matt Dollar
(R-Marietta), authorizes a local referendum for the creation of the city of East Cobb. The referendum, by call of the Cobb County election superintendent, will be on the ballot in a special election on the date of the 2022 General Primary. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 31-18 and now goes back to the House to agree or disagree to the Senate changes.
Parents Bill of Rights
HB1158, sponsored by Rep. John Carson
(R-Marietta), would increase parental access in the K-12 education system and is better known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights.” This would give parents and guardians more open access to the child’s “health, well-being, and education.” The bill includes a number of provisions that would require parental permission for things such as biometric scans, usage of DNA, and audio or visual recording of students. Assigned to the House Education Committee.
Stalking and Bullying
SB 316, sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte
(R-Dallas), provides that a person 18 years old or older who commits the offense of stalking against a minor shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor. The bill also requires local boards of education to provide notice to students and parents of students that some acts of bullying and cyberbullying can constitute criminal violations. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate Rules Committee.
Military and Veterans Affairs
HB 1064, sponsored by Rep. Jesse Petrea
(R-Savannah), would create a tax exemption for military income retirement. This legislation would exempt up to $17,500 in military retirement income from state income taxes for retired service members under 62 years old. If a military retiree continues to work and earns up to $17,500, the retiree would be eligible for an additional exemption up to $17,500 in state income taxes for a total exemption of $35,000. Assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.
SB 87, sponsored by Sen. Michael Rhett
(D-Marietta), the ‘Senator Jack Hill Veterans’ Act,’ would provide Georgia taxpayers with the option to make a contribution or donation on their annual income tax return. The Department of Revenue shall transmit all funds received to the Technical College System of Georgia Foundation. The funds received by the foundation shall be used exclusively to award scholarships to veterans with service-connected disabilities. The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee and is now eligible for consideration in the House Rules Committee.
Fostering Success Act
SB 370, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White), would create a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit that generates funds for youth who have recently aged out of the foster system. With an initial annual cap of $20 million, donations received through the program will go directly to services that provide guidance and support for un-adopted youth transitioning into adulthood. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 55-0 and has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.
SB 352, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White), would provide expedited professional licensure for spouses of firefighters, health care providers, and law enforcement officers who relocate to Georgia. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 50-0 and now transfers over to the House.
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 16: The Senate will convene on Monday, February 14, 2022 at 10:00am and the House at 1:00pm.
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