Capitol Update Week 5 – Title Fees and the Tennessee River

Greetings!

This week at the Cap

After over six hours in Ways & Means Committee hearings, the House passed HB 80 by Representative Tom Rice modifying the new auto Title Fees that take effect March 1, 2013. The revisions take into account concerns voiced by those in the auto leasing industry as well as those that are avid auto enthusiasts and collectors of older and hobby automobiles. HB 80 passed 159-4 and is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new Title Fee and other helpful information is available at the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner’s webpage.

The House also passed HR 4 seeking to resolve the Georgia / Tennessee boundary dispute and allow Georgia access to the Tennessee River for drinking water and other purposes. The Tennessee River generates fifteen times the water flow as the Chattahoochee River and I believe is our only realistic 100-year water solution.

Next Week

The pace of proposed legislation presented on the House floor for a vote will begin to quicken next week. On Tuesday, the House will consider the following bills:

HB 35
Firearms; carrying and possession of by an administrator within a school safety zone

HB 71
Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System; total percentage of investments permissible in real estate investments; increase

HB 122
Sexual Offender Registration Review Board; review and utilize records of Board of Pardons and Paroles in making assessments; authorize – I am a co-sponsor.

HB 123
Parent and Teacher Empowerment Act; enact – sometimes called Parent Trigger

HB 124
Local elections; votes cast for disapproval of Sunday alcohol sales by retailers shall not nullify prior election results; provide – I am the author.

HB 160
Mortgages; vacant and foreclosed real property registries; revise provisions

HB 178
Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act; enact

HB 235
Optometrists; revise definition of optometry; remove certain exemption

HB 290
Labor; employees use sick leave for care of immediate family members; allow

In Committee

HB 159 my Property Protection Bill will be heard for the first time before the Public Finance and Policy Subcommittee of Ways & Means. For a detailed summary of the bill that would prohibit billing non-tax fees on your property tax bill click here.

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 the state Capitol.  You can reach me at my Capitol office at 404-656-0254 or on my cell at 404-966-5804 or via email at brett.harrell@house.ga.gov.

Thank you again,

Brett Harrell