Legislature Adjourns Sine Die
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned sine die just after midnight on Tuesday, April 5 after a session that saw many twists and turns on key legislation. In these 40 days, lawmakers approved budgets for the remainder of FY 2022 and FY 2023, as well as legislation that addressed mental health, constitutional carry, income tax revisions, and education, among other issues. Governor Kemp now has 40 days to sign or veto legislation or to allow such measures to become law without his signature.
FY 2023 Budget Agreed Upon
The House and Senate this week came to an agreement on the $30.2 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. The proposed budget for FY 2023, is an increase of 10.8% over the original FY 2022 budget. New revenues, went to areas such as improving mental health care, aiding crime prevention, enhancing schools and public health care programs.
The budget recommendations of interest to the University System of Georgia (USG) and Georgia State University included $65.9 million for major repairs and renovations across the university system. The FY2023 budget includes annualization of the $5,000 raises for state and university employees received in the FY2022 amended budget to be built into future years salary.
The House and Senate agreed with including $1.2 million to expand capacity for nursing students across the university system. The $6 million investment over five years will increase the number of nursing graduates by 500. The budget will now head to Governor Brian Kemp for final approval and his signature.
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 Senate by a vote of 33-18 and now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for final consideration.
State Income Tax Revisions
HB 1437, sponsored by Rep, Shaw Blackmon
(R-Bonaire), would gradually lower the state income tax from 5.75% to 4.99%. Starting in 2024, the first $20,000 of income earned by a Georgia couple would be taxed at the lower 4.99%. Personal exemptions would also be increased. The House has agreed to the Senate changes and now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for final consideration.
Film Tax Credit
HB 1053, sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens
(R-Savannah), extends the sunset on the tax credit for the ‘Georgia Entertainment Industry Postproduction Investment Act’ by four years from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2027. The bill also requires each company that claims the post-production tax credit or film tax credit to be subject to Georgia income tax for income that is derived from residual payments due to employment, trade, business, profession, or other activity performed within Georgia with respect to a state-certified production. The House has agreed to the Senate changes and now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for final consideration.
Georgia Data Analytic Center
SB 374, sponsored by Sen. Blake Tillery
(R-Vidallia), would take the Georgia Data Analytics Center and make it a part of all executive state agencies for the purpose of sharing government information. The bill passed the House by a vote of 163-0 and now go back to the Senate to agree or disagree to changes. Time ran out before an agreement was reached.
Needs Based Financial Aid
HB 1435, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Martin
(R-Alpharetta), would provide for needs- based financial aid programs for students, part-time and full-time undergraduates, with a financial aid gap. A “financial aid gap” is defined in the bill as the monetary amount remaining after other funding for the cost of attendance certified by a qualified institution. The bill clarifies the maximum award amount to be $2,500 in total per each eligible student. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 53-1 and now goes to Governor Brian Kemp for final consideration.
Georgia State University Commended
HR 815 and SR 418, commending the Georgia State University men’s soccer team on its outstanding performance and appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
HR 790 and SR 500, commending Georgia State University College of Law on its 40th anniversary.
HR 888 and SR 579, commending the Honors College at Georgia State University on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.
HR 835 and SR 451, commending the Georgia State University Panther Band for participation in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Study Committees Adopted
SR 383, Senate Study Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness.
SR 477, Joint Georgia Music Heritage Study Committee.
SR 741, Senate Study Committee on on the Creation of a Georgia Cybersecurity Force.
SR 802, Joint Study Committee on Transparency in High School Athletic Associations.
HR 650, House Study Committee on Literacy Instruction.
HR 1082, House Study Committee on State and Local Law Enforcement Salaries.
Georgia Legislative Intern Program
Come join us at the Capitol for the 2023 Georgia Legislative session! The Georgia Legislative Internship Program is open to currently enrolled juniors and seniors at any Georgia college or university. GLIP interns work full-time at the Georgia General Assembly for the entire session and receive both course credit and a weekly stipend.
We will be hosting an information session at the Capitol later this summer; more details will be forthcoming in the coming months.
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)
GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM
Michael Parkerson, Vice President of Government & Community Affairs
Jason Thomas, Assistant Director for State Relations
Debbie Jones, Associate to the Director
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