Capitol Update Week 5 – the pace quickens
Full speed ahead
The pace quickened during Week 5 at the House. Most importantly, the House passed HB 683 the Amended Fiscal Year 2018 (AFY 18) budget by a vote of 167-8. The AFY 18 budget is balanced at $25.3 billion and focuses on education, healthcare, and human services.
The House also passed HB 701 to permit employment testing for illegal opioid use. Georgia ranks 11th in opioid overdoses and HB 701 may provide additional opportunities to identify illicit use and save lives.
Upcoming legislation of interest
House Committees are considering numerous pieces of legislation and reporting many bills out of committee and on to Rules. The Rules Committee is the final point of consideration for all bills prior to coming to a vote on the House floor. Below are a number of bills that may interest you. Please contact me and share your support, opposition, or concerns on any piece of legislation pending before the General Assembly.
HB 673 Distracted Driving would mandate ‘hands-free’ use of ‘smart phones’ while driving and increase the penalties (fines and points) for violators. Should the state mandate ‘hands-free’ use of wireless electronics while driving?
HB 821 exempts Jet Fuel from taxation for all users at all airports in the state. Passage would result in approximately $40 million savings for jet fuel users while impacting state, local, and school system revenues by the same amount. Should the state exempt jet fuel from taxation to encourage growth in routes and improve our competitive standing with surrounding states?
HB 693 repeals a 25 year old statute that a very few local governments use to foreclose and take a families home or property away from them for failure to pay a trash bill. The vast majority of local governments have never used this statute and alternatives exist to address problems without foreclosure. Should the state repeal this statute that permits local governments to foreclose on a homeowner for a trash bill without going through a judicial process?
HR 158 is a Constitutional Amendment that upon passage would require the state dedicate revenues derived from fees to the public purpose for which the fees were collected. Should the state be required to spend fees collected for the purpose they were levied?
Let me hear from you
Should you find yourself in Atlanta during the Session, please stop by and visit me at my Capitol office, and please call or email if you have any question or concerns regarding any state issue. My capitol office, phone, and email are listed below.
613-D Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
Thanks again for allowing me to serve,