2018 Session Preview

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Jan 6, 2018 No Comments ›› Brett

 

The 2018 Session begins Monday . . .

 

We begin a new 40-day Session of the Georgia General Assembly on Monday, January 8 2018. Hopefully, Monday night we will celebrate the Georgia Bulldogs as College Football National Champions. Showing my age, I was a sophomore at UGA in 1980, the last time the Dawgs were National Champs. #GoDawgs!

 

Important issues under consideration in 2018

 

Balanced Budget – Georgia’s Constitution requires the General Assembly adopt a balanced budget each year. I anticipate the FY 2019 budget in excess of $26 billion in state dollars and nearly $50 billion including Federal funds. While Georgia enjoys a fiscally conservative budget, AAA bond rating, and boasts approximately $2.5 billion in our Rainy Day Reserve Fund, there is always room for improvement.

Tax Reform
 – I served as one of five Conferees on HB 329 a substantial tax reform bill last session that remains available for consideration this year. House Ways and Means Committee members have also already begun discussing revisions to our state tax code necessitated by passage of the Federal tax cut legislation. I anticipate similar adjustments to exemptions, deductions, and brackets to maintain Georgia as a competitive tax state.

Adoption 
– Rep. Bert Reeves has worked over two years on the first major update to our adoption laws in over a generation – HB 159. I anticipate early passage of a “clean” adoption bill that will support Georgian’s seeking to provide loving, safe homes for adopted children.


Transportation, Rural Development, Technology, Education, and Health Care – 

The legislature will certainly consider transit (bus and rail) funding and governance. Attracting jobs, investment, broadband, and healthcare access in rural Georgia is a priority. Technology advancements including autonomous vehicles, small cell capacity enhancements, AirGig, TV White Space and others will provide exciting opportunities for business and residents. Education is a perennial issue as the state invests over 50% of our budget in pre-K through post-secondary opportunities for our youth. Healthcare access, costs, and the opioid epidemic also deserve and will receive significant attention this session.
The House streams most meetings live and you will find a broadcast schedule here.


I would like to continue serving as your Rep

 

The 2018 Session will conclude my eighth year representing the citizens of the 106th District. It has been a tremendous honor, an awesome responsibility, and a lot of fun too!

With your continued support, I will seek reelection in 2018. The Primary is May 22 and the General Election November 6, 2018.

I am fortunate to represent you and I am also fortunate to serve you in several key and influential positions at the Capital. I currently serve as Vice Chairman of the Rules Committeethat considers all legislation (House and Senate) prior to putting any bill to a vote on the House floor. I also serve as Vice Chairman of the Regulated Industries and Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committees. I Chair the Rail and Transit Subcommittee of House Transportation and the Ad Valorem Tax (Property Tax) Subcommittee of Ways and Means. Thank you for allowing me to be your voice advocating for you each and every day under the Gold Dome.

Let me hear from you
As always, I remain appreciative that you allow me to serve as your state Representative. I encourage you to contact me with any comments or questions you have about the legislation being considered at your state Capitol.

613-D Coverdell Legislative Office Building

Atlanta, GA 30334
404-463-3793

Brett.Harrell@house.ga.gov 

Thanks again for allowing me to serve,
 Brett Harrell


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