Legislative Update Week 5

Thank you to those who sent ideas of laws that need to be repealed to the Code Revision Committee I chair.  If you'd like to help us seek out unconstitutional and obsolete parts of the Official Code of Georgia send your ideas to my Legislative email and we'll get to work on it.  I produced a short video asking members of the public to use their expertise and help us find obsolete and outdated laws. I hope you'll help in this effort.

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Legislative Update Week 4

GO FALCONS!

There are a lot of important things we do at the Capitol that fly under the radar.  That was the case this week as we passed a few bills dealing with crucial but not headline grabbing legislation.  One such bill was House Bill 38 which would distinguish a three-wheeled vehicle that is controlled by a steering wheel, like a Polaris Slingshot, from a motorcycle which is controlled by handlebars. This bill would also update licensing requirements for drivers of three-wheeled motor vehicles. In accordance with federal safety standards, three-wheeled motor vehicles equipped with steering wheels qualify as automobiles, but current Georgia law considers all three-wheeled vehicles as motorcycles. HB 38 would require drivers of these three-wheeled automobiles with steering wheels to obtain Class C commercial driver’s licenses rather than Class M motorcycle licenses. This bill ensures that Georgia’s drivers are equipped with the proper licenses needed to operate their vehicles, ultimately making our roadways safer for all drivers, and I look forward to seeing this legislation make its way through the Senate.

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Legislative Update Week 3

The House was back in session last week and passed the first bill of the 2017 session.  HB 43 is the amended fiscal year budget. It does include new spending, most of which is wrapper up in K-12 enrollment growth and increased enrollments in Medicaid. HB 43 includes $108.9 million for midterm enrollment growth of .68 percent to ensure that every child has the educational resources they need. This year’s amended budget also accounts for the growing needs of our education system, including those needs of our institutions of higher learning. The AFY 2017 budget allocates $16.7 million to meet the projected needs of Move on When Ready, a program allowing eligible Georgia students to take advantage of dual enrollment and progress at their own pace, and $2.3 million to create the Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, an education training center for developing literacy skills among children from birth to age 8 throughout the state.

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Legislative Update Week 2

On Tuesday, January 17, we began one of the most important weeks of the 2017 legislative session as the House and Senate Appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings. During this week, the joint House and Senate Appropriations committees and subcommittees met and started the process of reviewing Governor Nathan Deal’s budget recommendations for the amended current and upcoming fiscal years in order to turn those recommendations into actual legislation that will ultimately guide our state’s spending.

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Legislative Update Week 1

Monday, January 9, 2017, marked the first day of the 154th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly and the first day of the 2017-2018 term. As such, all 180 members of the Georgia House of Representatives took the oath of office and were formally sworn in. With an ambitious agenda to navigate and only 40 legislative days to complete our work, my colleagues and I promptly began our first order of business: electing our leaders to guide the House through our next two years of public service. After hearing the nominations, Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) were both re-elected to their respective positions.

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