Capitol Update Week 6 – Budget, Garbage, Guns

This week at the Capitol

This was an incredibly busy and interesting week at the Georgia General Assembly. I thank you so much for allowing me to serve as the representative for the 106th District. Here are several of the day-by-day highlights:

Monday

I presented and the House passed by a 165-2 margin HB 762 that adds ‘active’ sanitation workers and vehicles to existing law requiring motorists to exercise due caution and care when approaching and passing sanitation vehicles. You may not know that sanitation worker is the fourth most dangerous job in America as measured by deaths per 100,000.

Tuesday

The House passed the Fiscal Year 2015 budget HB 744 at $20.8 billion. This budget is 4.6% larger than the 2014 budget and dedicates 72% of new revenues to education – over $900 million.

On Tuesday, the House also passed HB 875 an expansion of our Second Amendment rights. This bill addresses among other things where citizens with legally permitted weapons carry licenses may carry a firearm. The bill preserves the primacy of private property rights as property owners may prohibit guns on their own premises.

Wednesday

Wednesday was non-stop activity all day long – up and down the stairs, back and forth across the street, meeting-to-meeting, presentation after presentation. At the end of the day, the issues I was advancing all moved forward. A very special thanks to William McKeen, an outstanding young man serving as my Legislative Aide this Session that not only keeps me on schedule, but also writes outstanding bill summaries to better prepare me to discuss the issues presented in our committee meetings.

I presented and the Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed HB 737 Homebrew Transportation bill. The House Code Revision Committee adopted a repeal Amendment I offered and included it in HB 731. Two Ways & Means Subcommittees favorably considered and passed bills I authored. HB 412 permitting electronic property tax billing (at taxpayer request) and HB 900 providing the final exemption for inputs into the manufacturing process (saves the state money).

Thursday

The full Ways & Means Committee passed both HB 412 and HB 900 and they are now pending in the House Rules Committee – the last stop before a vote on the House floor.

Friday

HB 834 passed the House removing an unconstitutional population requirement, but also allowing Gwinnett County to hold bond debt referendums on dates other than the November General Election date – dates with traditionally lower voter turnout. I voted No and I am now working on a “fix;” so that, the greatest number of Gwinnett citizens’ voice is heard on critical referendums such as the issuance of millions of dollars of bond debt or raising millions of dollars via SPLOST.

Next Week

Our community comes to the Capitol next week. I look forward to welcoming many students, parents, and teachers from Grayson Elementary on Monday. On Tuesday, the Snellville Middle School Choir will perform on the North steps inside the Capitol at noon.

Committee calendars

House committee meeting calendar:
http://webmail.legis.ga.gov/Calendar/?chamber=house

Senate committee meeting calendar:
http://media.legis.ga.gov/Calendar/?chamber=senate

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,

Brett Harrell

At the Capitol
Please call, email, or visit Brett at the Capitol.

Representative Brett Harrell
601-D Coverdell Legislative Office Building
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334
404-656-0254
brett.harrell@house.ga.gov

Committee assignments:
Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Regulated Industries, Transportation, and Ways & Means

Twitter: brettharrell
Facebook: voteharrell