Capitol Update Week 7 – Crossover Day behind us the end is in sight

We were in Session five days last week as we race toward ‘crossover’ day on Monday, February 29. Bills that fail to pass one chamber by midnight Monday are unlikely to pass this year. Several issues appear to have already fallen including a proposal to institute a 42-year tax hike to fund MARTA expansion and in-state cultivation of marijuana for medical conditions. That said, every year an issue that appears dead may spring to life embedded in another bill.

Passing the House this week –

 

HB 381 – Protecting Guardsmen’s Employment Act

Offers employment assistance to our active duty military personnel by amending existing reemployment protections for armed forces reservists by providing employment protections to Georgia workers called into service by the national guard of a neighboring state. HB 381 passed unanimously – I voted YES.

HB 768 – Georgia Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

Did you know that disabled Georgian’s that save more than $2,000 put at risk their Medicaid benefits?  Georgia’s ABLE Act permits individuals with disabilities to save private funds in a tax-exempt account that may be used to pay for medical, education, employment, housing, and transportation expenses. Georgia’s ABLE Act empowers disabled citizens to save for themselves and provides financial freedom to plan for their future expenses. HB 768 passed unanimously – I proudly voted YES .

Crossover Day –

Here is the Rules Calendar for Day 30 – Crossover Day. I expect we will also have a Supplemental Calendar and hear additional bills before the day ends likely at midnight. I will be presenting three tax-related bills that passed the Ways & Means Committee on Monday.

Presenting a bill to the House.HB 935 – permits citizens to vote to provide an ad valorem Freeport tax exemption for ‘fulfillment centers’ to encourage location and development of such businesses within their community.

HB 936 – clarifies language with regard to job tax credits to insure all new jobs exceed a required wage to qualify for the credit.

HB 937 – extends by three years the sunset on sales tax exemptions for ‘projects of regional significance.’ These projects create an average1,800 new Georgia jobs with a capital investment averaging $650 million.

In memoriam –

 

In our service to the state, we truly become family – Republican, Democrat, black, white, urban, rural we get to know and love one another. We may differ on policy, but we respect each person.

Our dear friend, Representative Bob Bryant from Garden City passed away on Thursday. He served our country in the military and our state in the House for 12 years. Many rose in a series of morning orders to honor Bob’s life and service. Many more shed a tear for our friend. Peace.

Committee Meetings

 

Both the House and Senate are now actively considering bills – both remaining from last year as well as newly introduced legislation. You may view the meeting schedules online as well as watch many of the meetings live via your computer.
Live Video from both Chambers

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 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.
Thanks for allowing me to serve,
Brett