Gold Dome Report - January 30, 2017
Legislative Day 9 of the 2017 Session flew by. Legislators began to tackle various bills assigned to committees and on the Senate appropriations committees began addressing the FY 2017 Amended Budget.
Today, Governor Deal made an announcement regarding STEM grant awards for the Georgia Rural AP STEM program in an effort to support the implementation of advanced placement programs in computer science and statistics. These grants fit nicely as our State is bringing in more global technology companies. The grants award up to $30,000.00 with the awarded districts receiving assistance for teacher professional learning and mentorship in one of three advanced placement STEM courses, including AP Computer Science; AP Computer Science Principles or AP Statistics. The winners of these grants are:
- Appling County: Computer Science
- Baldwin County: Computer Science
- Colquitt County: Computer Science
- McDuffie County: Statistics
- Thomas County: Computer Science and Statistics
The Governor also announced the creation of an 'Older Adults Cabinet' today, which is a committee that will be focused on enhancing the state's capacity to serve older adults. Governor Deal stated that “The members of this cabinet will be instrumental in examining issues that affect elderly Georgians and ensuring we have the infrastructure to meet their needs and the needs of their caregivers." Members of the cabinet include an executive committee made up of leaders representing the Human Services, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Community Affairs, Community Health, Public Health, Transportation, Early Care and Learning, the Technical College System of Georgia, Family and Children Services and the Bureau of Investigation agencies and a larger committee that includes partners from the University System of Georgia, providers of healthcare and community-based nutrition programs, advocacy organizations and members of the Georgia General Assembly. The full press release can be found HERE.
Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) announced today that he will not seek re-election to his Senate seat in 2018. Sen. McKoon has caused some folks under the Dome to be less than happy with him, but his political future is now unclear – rumors have swirled that he might seek a statewide office. However, Sen. McKoon made no remarks about the future. This time now allows others to line up for his District 29 seat.
The House and Senate both dealt with their work quickly this morning. Neither body had bills on the Floor for debate or discussion. The House did pass its Local Consent Calendar unanimously. The Senate recognized that it would observe today as "Golf Day in Georgia." Additionally, Sen. McKoon made his announcement that he will not seek reelection to his seat.
HB 165, by Rep. Betty Price (R-Roswell), seeks to create a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 43-34-46, concerning the practice of medicine, so as to provide that maintenance of certification shall not be required as a condition of licensure to practice medicine, staff privileges, employment in certain facilities, reimbursement, or malpractice insurance coverage. It defines "maintenance of certification" as "continuous professional development program through which physicians certified by one or more of the medical specialty boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association maintain specialty certification."
HB 170, Rep. Sheila Jones (D-Atlanta), seeks to enact the "Student Online Personal Information Protection Act" in a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 20-2-721. It requires that an "operator shall not knowingly engage in certain activities with respect to its site, service or application." Examples include engaging in targeted advertising when that advertising is based on information that the operator has acquired; using covered information created or gathered by the operator's site, service or application; selling a student's information; etc. An "operator" is the "operator of a site, service, or application with actual knowledge that the site, service, or application is used primarily for k-12 school purposes and was designed and marketed for k-12 school purposes. The legislation also outlines what an operator is required to do: implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the covered information, and protect that information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure; and delete a student's covered information if the school or local school system requests deletion of data under the control of the school or local school system. The legislation does not prohibit an operator from sharing aggregated de-identified student covered information for the development and improvement of educational sites, services or applications; it does not limit the ability of an operator to use student data, including covered information, for adaptive learning or customized student learning purposes; etc. This new Code Section is not to apply to general audience Internet websites, general audience online services, general audience online applications, or general audience mobile applications.
HB 173, by Rep. Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson), proposes to authorize licensed marriage and family therapists to perform certain acts which physicians, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric/mental health, and licensed professional counselors can do in O.C.G.A. § 37-3-41(d). It further expands current law on acts they may perform regarding emergency involuntary treatment of an alcoholic, drug abuser, or a drug dependent individual in O.C.G.A. § 37-7-41(d) and those individuals' emergency involuntary treatment in O.C.G.A. § 37-3-41(d), and permits them to also perform necessary functions for the emergency admission of a person for involuntary evaluation of mental illness in O.C.G.A. § 37-3-41(d).
HB 174, by Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), seeks to amend O.C.G.A. § 33-24-43, under general insurance provisions, to expand an insurer's medium of payment of policy or contractual obligations from the sole medium of legal tender to include any other method of payment approved by the Commissioner.
HB 175, by Rep. Clay Cox (R-Lilburn), revises current law relating to prohibited acts concerning alcoholic beverages in O.C.G.A. § 3-3-21 and adds a new subsection (f) regarding the sales of alcoholic beverages near churches, school buildings and other sites so that "nothing in this Code Section shall prohibit an eating establishment which is licensed for the sale of only wine and malt beverages for consumption on the premises from selling wine and malt beverages on the premises within a distance closer to a school building, school grounds, college campus, or housing authority property, where so permitted by resolution or ordinance of the county or municipal governing authority. For purposes of this subsection, the term, 'eating establishment' means an establishment which derives at least 50 percent of its total annual gross food and beverage sales from the sale of prepared meals or food."
HB 177, by Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth), authored this legislation which is to require reasonable access to public services for non-English speakers in O.C.G.A. § 50-3-100. Such will include the provision of in-house oral language services like staff interpreters and translation of applications, informational materials, notices, complaint forms and other vital documents. It also requires that the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Attorney General's office, provide central coordination and technical assistance to State entities to ensure the implementation of the new Code provisions.
HB 178, by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead), addresses program weights and funding requirements under Georgia's Quality Basic Education Act. It adds a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 20-2-192 to provide for local school systems to earn funding for school counselors for military students so as to pay for school counselor salaries (one for every 200 military students (where parents or guardians are active member of uniformed services; veterans of uniformed services; or a member of uniformed services who died on active duty or resulting from injuries sustained on active duty for a period of one year after death) in the local school system and subject to appropriation). It requires that each school counselor for military students spend at least 50 percent of his or her time counseling or advising military students and their parents. It also requires that local school systems spend 100 percent of funds earned, pursuant to this Code Section, on salaries and benefits for the school counselors for military students. This funding is supplemental to funding earned for counselors in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-182(c).
HB 179, by Rep. Brad Reffensperger (R-Johns Creek), addresses the HOPE scholarships and grants in O.C.G.A. § 20-3-519.2(27) to provide for eligibility for Zell Miller Scholarships for home study students and students graduating from ineligible high schools who receive scores in the eightieth percentile or higher on the ACT or on the combined critical reading and math portions on a single administration of the SAT. It further revises eligibility requirements for a HOPE scholarship in O.C.G.A. § 20-3-519.2(a) for entering freshmen students who are home study students or students who graduated from ineligible high schools so that they can meet eligibility if they are in the eightieth percentile of the ACT or SAT rather than in the seventy-fifth percentile.
HB 181, by Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Evans), addresses O.C.G.A. § 48-2-15, repealing the current subsection (d) and proposing the adding of a new such subsection. It seeks to address confidential information secured in the administration of taxes and the furnishing of certain tax information in all municipalities in Georgia having a population of 350,000 or more. This would be done by a resolution of the governing authority of the any county or municipality. Further, it limits how such information may be discussed or disclosed, limiting it to the members of the governing authority for the county or municipality when they are in executive session.
HB 182, by Rep. Winfred Dukes (D-Albany), proposes to enact the "Fair Chance at Employment Act" in a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 34-1-10. It will prohibit employers from requesting credit checks on employees or prospective employees with certain exceptions. It prohibits an employer or the employer's agent, representative or designee from 1) requesting or requiring that an employee or prospective employee consent to or provide the results of a credit check as a condition of employment; 2) obtaining a credit check or causing a credit check to be obtained that pertains to an employee or prospective employee; or failing or refusing to hire, bar, discharge from employment, or otherwise discriminate against an employee or prospective employee because of information contained in a credit check unless that information is a bona fide occupational qualification or such credit check is required by law. There are exceptions from this Code Section for employers which are federally insured banks or credit unions or employers required by local, state, or federal law, rules or regulations to use an individual's credit check or credit history for employment purposes. Violations are considered misdemeanors if there are convictions, with fines and punishment outlined.
HB 184, by Rep. William Boddie (D-East Point), proposes enactment of the Georgia Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in a new Chapter 5A of Title 34. In part, it seeks to add that it will be an unfair employment practice for an employer, unless such employer can demonstrate that an undue hardship on such employer's program, enterprise, or business, would result, to:
(1) Not make reasonable accommodations to job applicants or employees for circumstances related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, if the job applicant or employee so requests;
(2) Take adverse action against an employee who requests or uses an accommodation, including, but not limited to, failing to reinstate such employee to such employee's original job or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits, and other applicable service credits when such employee's need for reasonable accomodations ceases;
(3) Deny employment opportunities to an otherwise qualified job applicant or employee, if such denial is based on the need of the employer to make reasonable accommodations to such job applicant or employee for circumstances related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions;
(4) Require a job applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions to accept an accommodation that such job applicant or employee chooses not to accept or
(5) Require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to such employee for circumstances related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.
The employer is permitted to look at what would be an undue hardship – and it may include such factors as nature and cost of the accommodation; overall financial resources of the employer, the overall size of the business of the employer with respect to the number of employees and number, type, and location of its facilities; etc. Employers who violate such employment by engaging in an unfair employment practice are subject to civil actions. The Department of Labor is required to develop courses of instruction and conduct ongoing public education efforts to inform employers, employees, employment agencies, and job applicants about their rights and responsibilities.
HB 185, by Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville), seeks to amend O.C.G.A. § 15-9-2.1(e)(1), regarding the appointment, compensation, term, authority, qualifications, training and other limitations of associate probate court judges, relating to the practice of law outside of serving as an associate probate court judge. In current law, it shall be "unlawful for any full-time associate judge of the probate court to engage in any practice of law outside his or her role as an associate judge of the probate court." This adds, "provided, however, that such prohibition shall not apply when he or she is serving as a judge advocate general or in any other military role in a reserve component of the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard, United States Air Force, United States National Guard, Georgia National Guard, Georgia Air National Guard, Georgia Naval Militia, or the State Defense Force."
SB 65, by Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville), seeks to add a new subsection (h.1) to O.C.G.A. § 12-8-40.1 so that any tire retailer that imposes upon the purchaser of new or used replacement tires a fee for the collection or disposal of scrap tires to be removed and replaced by such retailer shall collect the full amount of such fee regardless of whether the purchaser relinquishes any scrap tires removed by such tire retailer in the process of replacing them with new or used replacement tires."
SB 75, by Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), seeks to create the Division of Supplier Diversity within the Department of Administrative Services in a new Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 50.
SB 76, by Sen. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), proposes to amend Chapter 8 of Title 48 and specifically O.C.G.A. § 48-8-143, concerning the sales tax for educational purposes, so as to allow for the distribution formula if provided for in an agreement between a county school system and one or more independent school systems within such county and as permitted by the State's Constitution. See SR 95 below.
SB 85, by Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough), is a piece of legislation addressing malt beverages, proposing to provide for the limited sale of malt beverages at retail by manufacturers of malt beverages in a new Code Section at O.C.G.A. § 3-4-24.1. It also adds a definition for the term, 'barrel,' in O.C.G.A. § 3-5-1 (which means 31 gallons). It also strikes current law allowing for free tasting of malt beverages during educational and promotional brewery tours, merchandising, fees for tours, selling of beverages, and administration in current law at O.C.G.A. § 3-5-38.
SB 88, by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), seeks to enact the "Narcotic Treatment Programs Enforcement Act" in a new Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 26. At O.C.G.A. § 26-5-42, it will require that the Department of Community Health create and promulgate minimum standards of quality and services for narcotic treatment programs. The rules and regulations created are to take into account such things as adequate and safe buildings or housing facilities where programs are offered; adequate equipment for the delivery of programs; sufficient trained or experienced staff who are competent in the duties they are to perform; content and quality of services to provided; etc. It prohibits in O.C.G.A. § 26-5-44 that no governing body is to operate a narcotic treatment program without having a valid license or provisional license issued pursuant to this Article. The Department of Community Health is to establish an annual or biannual open enrollment period to accept applications for narcotic treatment programs in O.C.G.A. § 26-5-46 and the application requirements are enumerated in O.C.G.A. § 26-5-47 (e.g. data and details regarding treatment and counseling plans; biographical and qualifications of owners, medical directors, counselors and other required staff; etc.). In O.C.G.A. § 26-5-48, it establishes maximum number of programs – it does grandfather those licensed prior to June 30, 2017 but will not allow a region which has four or more licensed programs as of July 1, 2017 to have more such programs (and there is a waiver process, with a review, to be instituted by the Department when a region has four or more licensed narcotic treatment programs) – the legislation creates 49 regions in subsection (h) of O.C.G.A. § 26-5-48. In O.C.G.A. § 26-5-49, it establishes that narcotic treatment programs are not to provide a "bounty, free services, free medication, or other rewards for patient referral to such program" and they also cannot provide temporary discounted financial incentives to a potential patient that does not conform to the schedule of fees established by such program. The legislation allows that the Department of Community Health can perform inspections. In O.C.G.A. § 26-5-58, it requires that any program licensed or funded by the Department of Community Health is to implement a priority admissions policy for the treatment of drug dependent pregnant females which provides for immediate access to services for any such female applying for admissions which access shall be contingent only upon the availability of space.
SB 93, by Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), seeks to create the "New Americans Program Act" in a new Chapter 11 of Title 49 so as to provide for the identification and contacting of legal immigrants to facilitate applications for naturalization.
SB 96, by Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah), addresses who can pronounce a hospice patient's death when that patient is an organ donor. It specifically allows registered professional nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants to pronounce death of patients in nursing homes even if the patient is an organ donor. Current law only permits a licensed physician to do so in O.C.G.A. § 31-7-16 and O.C.G.A. § 31-7-176.1. It also amends O.C.G.A. § 31-10-16(a), relating to criteria for determining death and immunity from liability, adding that. For such immunity purposes, the nurse practitioner is also allowed to make a pronouncement of death under O.C.G.A. § 31-7-16 or O.C.G.A. § 31-7-176.1; an advanced practice registered nurse is authorized to make a pronouncement of death under subsection (o) of Code Section 43-34-25, or a physician assistant is authorized to make a pronouncement of death under Code Section 31-7-16 or 31-7-176.1 or subsection (j) of Code Section 43-34-103, if it is determined that the individual has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory function or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem. It also adds a nurse practitioner, advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant to the list of persons authorized to make a pronouncement of death under O.C.G.A. § 31-10-16 (in addition to a registered professional nurse or a qualified physician). If they are not available, then a coroner or county medical examiner's can make such.
SB 97, by Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), addresses O.C.G.A. § 20-1A-64 regarding the functions and authority of lead agency and the Department of Early Care and Learning so as to expand child care subsidies from one year to two years for parents in a job training or educational program. This will allow a Georgia child care plan to provide that a parent who is attending a job training or educational program can receive child care assistance for up to 24 consecutive months.
SR 95, by Sen. Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), proposes an amendment to the State's Constitution at Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV at subparagraph (g) to provide for the distribution of the net proceeds of a sales and use tax for educational purposes between a county school system and one or more independent school systems located in such county.
SR 104, by Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen), proposes a Constitutional Amendment at Article VII, Section I, Paragraph II at subparagraph (a). It is to prohibit the levy of State ad valorem taxes on or after January 1, 2019.
SR 105, by Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen), proposes a Constitutional Amendment at Article 1, Section II at Paragraph VII to prevent discrimination in the public funding of social services by allowing religious or faith-based organizations to receive public aid, directly or indirectly, for the provision of such services.
SR 114, by Sen. Fran Millar (R-Atlanta), has proposed commending the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for its work and recognizing May 1, 2017 as Cystic Fibrosis Education and Awareness Day at the State's Capitol.
House Insurance Committee
The House Insurance Committee held an extensive hearing on Rep. Micah Gravley's (R-Douglasville) newest proposal to create a benefit for firefighters who contract cancer as a consequence of their work, HB 146. Rather than adding a new definitions for workers compensation or concept of a work related disease, as was in the 2016 version of his efforts, the new concept seeks to mandate that cities and counties create a specific benefit for firefighters' cancers related to their occupation, funded through a new type of insurance product. Rep. Gravely appeared with Tom Gehl of the Georgia Municipal Association and a specialized insurance consultant. Numerous questions were asked by Committee members who were exploring what other states do and whether there is an existing similar insurance product in the current market. There was wide support to do something to help the firefighters, but there was also skepticism as to the cost and workability of the proposal and whether local governments could afford this benefit. The concept needs to be fit into the space between medical benefits, short term disability and long term disability existing benefits and it needs to deal with the volunteer fire departments. The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) still has multiple questions regarding this proposal. However, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association supported the concept. The Georgia Firefighters Association also supported the bill itself. Chairman Richard smith indicated there could be a substitute bill as early as Wednesday morning which may be ready for a vote. Thus, no action was taken in today's meeting on HB 146.
House Judiciary Committee – Fleming Subcommittee
The Fleming Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), heard presentations on four bills today:
- HB 121, authored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), revises Georgia’s trust code by codifying provisions currently in the common law and adopting certain provisions (original and modified) of the Uniform Trust Code. The State Bar of Georgia has approved HB 121 and included it in its annual legislative package. The Subcommittee voted to recommend the bill DO PASS by subcommittee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 122, also authored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), extends Georgia’s codification of the Uniform Rule Against Perpetuities from 90 years to 360 years. This revision aligns Georgia with Florida and other neighboring states. The Subcommittee voted to recommend the bill DO PASS by subcommittee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 75, authored by Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), expands exemptions under Georgia’s Open Records Act to protect records of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) that contain or memorialize records of on-going criminal investigations provided to DFCS by law enforcement. Law enforcement records relating to on-going criminal investigations are already exempted under the Open Records Act, and this legislation is intended to prevent release of the same records through DFCS. The Subcommittee voted to recommend the bill DO PASS by subcommittee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 126, also authored by Rep. Wendall Willard (R-Sandy Springs), is the Judicial Qualification Commission Improvement Act of 2017. This bill follows the legislation passed last session and the constitutional amendment approved by the voters in November and is intended to clarify and improve the procedure by which the JQC operates. Notably, the bill creates two separate groups within the JQC, a 7-person investigation panel and 3-person hearing panel. The Subcommittee voted to TABLE the bill and will take it up again on Wednesday.
House Judiciary Committee – Kelley Subcommittee
The Kelley Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), heard presentations on two bills today:
- HB 76, authored by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), seeks to correct concerns raised by surveyors relating to electronic filing of plats with the clerks of superior courts. The Subcommittee voted to recommend the bill DO PASS by subcommittee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
- HB 14, authored by Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick), codifies the current practice that Georgia sheriffs paid by salary turn fees collected over to their respective county treasury. The Subcommittee voted to recommend the bill DO PASS by subcommittee substitute and be sent to the full Judiciary Committee.
House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee
Chairman Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) announced the assignment of several pieces of legislation to Subcommittees:
- Setzler Subcommittee – Crimes Against Children, Controlled Substances, General
- HB 30 by Rep. Tanner
- HB 32 by Rep. Chandler
- HB 116 by Rep. Reeves
- Reeves Subcommittee – Crimes Against Persons, Property and Public Administration
- HB 9 by Rep. Blackmon
- HB 67 by Rep. Boddie
- HB 90 by Rep. Gasaway
- HB 124 by Rep. Clark
House Ways and Means Committee – Tax Policy Subcommittee
Chairman Paul Battles (R-Cartersville) hosted a hearing involving Rep. Jason Spencer's (R-Woodbine) legislation, HB 4. The legislation was presented in the form of a new Subcommittee Substitute; however, no action was taken today on this Substitute due to the numerous questions that the Subcommittee posed to the author. The legislation seeks to address a loophole in the current law when an individual has delinquency in his or her property taxes on large tracts of property that have been placed in a conservation use agreement. Rep. Spencer indicated that these individuals with the delinquency are sometimes attempting to place property in another conservation use agreement without paying the delinquency. Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), and others had several questions and instances where limited liability companies were being used. Chairman Battles acknowledged while the legislation was very short, it was attempting to deal with a big problem and the Subcommittee needs to understand who really benefits.
House Regulated Industries – Regulations Subcommittee
Chairman Andy Welch (R-McDonough) and his Subcommittee heard Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) and more about his bill, HB 41. This proposal also came to this Subcommittee in the form of a new Substitute, which Chairman Welch indicated was mostly about statutory construction and not anything new substantively. Rep. Harrell's legislation addresses the licensure of architects. Currently, it can take 12 years before an architect can become licensed. This legislation seeks to implement a less burdensome approach and one which may be more cost effective for those individuals who seek to become licensed architects. It is the "Integrated Path to Architecture" and the Savannah College of Art and Design has proposed that Georgia implement such. It was described today as a "rigorous" program with 14 schools nationally using this "path." Supporters from Kennesaw State University and Georgia Tech were also on hand. There were several questions posed by the Subcommittee including the numbers of licensed architects in Georgia (5,304) and more about their demographics (such as only 45 percent of those licensed in Georgia actually are residents of Georgia). There were also questions about the testing required and who determines if a student may follow this "path" as proposed (schools make that determination). In the end, Chairman Welch indicated that he would be deliberate about this legislation as these individuals design the buildings where Georgia's children go to school and that it needed to be vetted appropriately. It is probable that this legislation will be back again before this Subcommittee on Wednesday in a new form.
Senate Appropriations – Public Safety Subcommittee
Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) and his Subcommittee moved swiftly through the various departments/agencies which it oversees in the Public Safety portion of the State's Budget for FY 2017 Amended. There were few questions raised to entities presenting. Commissioner Avery Niles, who oversees the Department of Juvenile Justice, was asked about the House's disagreement with $50,000 in his Department's budget. It would appear that the Senate is eyeing to reinstate those funds. Also, when former Rep. Jay Neal who now heads the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council addressed the Subcommittee, he was asked about the proposed e-filing initiative which has been proposed (to be overseen by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation) and the pilot to be initiated. That pilot is proposed for five counties: Hall; Forsyth; Bartow; Gordon; and Dawson.
Senate Appropriations – Judiciary Subcommittee
Sen. William Ligon, Jr. (R-Brunswick) and his Subcommittee comprised of several Senate attorneys heard presentations from the Court of Appeals, Public Defenders Council, Administrative Office of the Courts, Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Council of Superior Court Judges, and Supreme Court. There were really no questions posed on these entities "needs" for the FY 2017 Amended Budget. The Supreme Court made impassioned pleas for added funds for several new positions – particularly IT needs. These needs are due in part to the Supreme Court's addition of new justices.
Our 2017 Georgia Capitol team consists of Stan Jones, Helen Sloat, Chuck Clay, George Ray, 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.