Gold Dome Report - January 15, 2016
Today was Legislative Day 5 for the 2016 session. It was a quiet day under the Gold Dome with the House and the Senate convening briefly before legislators returned home for the holiday weekend. Budget hearings will take place between Tuesday and Thursday of next week. The full FY 2016 and FY 2017 Budget documents can be found here: http://www.house.ga.gov/budget/en-US/budgetdocuments.aspx.
The schedules for the joint budget hearings are as follows:
HB 765, by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla), would amend O.C.G.A. § 49-3-2, to provide that appointments to County Departments of Family and Children Services can be made to retired individuals.
HB 766, by Rep. Beth Beskin (D-Atlanta), would revise a definition at O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40, subparagraph (E), relating to property tax exemption by replacing, the phrase "husband and wife" with "married person" and to state that the title of the homestead is to be in the name of "his or her spouse", instead of "the wife."
HB 767, by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) would amend O.C.G.A. § 40-6-16, to revise the "Spencer Pass Law" by altering the procedure for passing stationary authorized vehicles. It would add "utility service vehicles" to the list of vehicles for which drivers must change lanes to avoid. A utility service vehicle would mean any vehicle being used by a state employee or contractor that provides utility services in the State.
HB 770, by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), would amend O.C.G.A. § 16-5-46, relating to punishments for trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, to provide that 'developmental disability' shall have the same meaning as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 37-1-1. 'Controlled Substance' shall have the same meaning as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 16-13-21. With this legislation, the fact that an undercover law enforcement officer was involved in the investigation of an offense would not constitute a defense to prosecution under this code section; however, O.C.G.A. § 16-3-25 may still provide an absolute defense.
HB 772, by Rep. Heath Clark (R-Warner Robins), would amend O.C.G.A. § 21-2-385, to make changes to absentee and advanced voting on Saturdays. It would provide that advanced voting shall not be held on the second Saturday prior to a primary or election if that Saturday follows a public holiday on the preceding Thursday or Friday. The election would then be held on the third Saturday prior to such election.
HB 773, by Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville), would amend O.C.G.A. § 50-6-10 so as to increase the outstanding bond limit for the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority's single-family residential housing program from $1.3 billion to $5 billion.
HR 1017, by Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R-Johns Creek), would amend the Constitution to provide that the General Assembly may authorize local boards of education to impose, levy, and collect development impact fees within an area of its school system that has seen at least 15 percent enrollment growth over the last five years. The proceeds of the development impact fees would be used to pay for a share of the cost of additional educational facilities in the same area in which the fees are imposed.
Our 2015 Georgia Capitol team consists of Stan Jones, Chuck Clay, Helen Sloat, and Logan Fletcher. We will also try our hand at tweeting this year – so follow us! @GDR_Live
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.