If you know someone who you think might like to receive these emails forward them this link. Now that the 2013 Legislative Session is over these weekly emails will cease. I’ll keep in touch less frequently as the year goes on.
This Thursday night, April 4th at 7:00 PM we’ll hold a Legislative Session Wrap Up Online Town Hall meeting. You can submit your questions prior to the Town Hall via email at buzzbrockway-at-gmail.com or during the Town Hall using the comment section on my webpage. We’ll be using Google+ Hangouts so if you use Google+ connect with me and join the Hangout or watch it on my website. I hope you will take this advantage of this opportunity to let me know what’s on your mind. Thus far, I’ve held three Online Town Hall Meetings. You can watch video from those previous Online Town Hall Meetings at my You Tube Channel.
One of the most important bills we passed this session was HB106. This bill establishes the state budget for Fiscal Year 2014, running from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. Totaling $19.92 billion in state funds, the final version of this budget closely mirrors Gov. Deal’s original budget proposal, but includes a number of changes made by the House that benefit education, healthcare, and economic development. Among additions made by the House are $38.3 million for Equalization Grants for education, $489,475 for continued expansion funding of all programs that provide physician residency training, $25.7 million for road projects throughout the state, and $4.3 million to help the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources retain experienced, certified personnel. HB106 also fully restored proposed cuts to Georgia Gwinnett College here in Lawrenceville.
HB142, another major legislative accomplishment from this session, would strengthen Georgia’s ethics laws by placing a $75 limit on each expenditure made by an individual lobbyist on an elected official. Food and beverages exceeding the $75 limit may be provided to legislators only at group events where all members of the General Assembly, all members of the state House or Senate, all members of a standing committee of either body, or all members of a longstanding caucus recognized by the House or Senate ethics committees are invited. The bill also bans gifts of tickets to athletic, sporting, recreational, musical concerts and other entertainment events from lobbyists to state officials, which is currently allowed. The only exception would be for events where all members of the General Assembly are invited. HB142 also restores power to the Georgia Government and Campaign Finance Commission by giving it rule making authority. Further, the bill limits reimbursements to elected officials to actual and reasonable transportation, lodging, registration, food and beverage expenses that are related to conferences and meetings within the United States. Finally, HB142 clarifies and broadens the definition of who must register as a lobbyist so that it applies to anyone who is compensated for or has their expenses reimbursed in an amount greater than $250 if attempting to influence legislation. It also removed all lobbyist registration fees. The commission is now empowered to set reasonable fees for the cost of the ID card.
HB143 would further strengthen Georgia’s ethics laws by making common sense changes to the state’s campaign contribution disclosure requirements. This bill will require greater transparency in campaign finance by requiring disclosure of all contributions of more than $100 received during the month of January. This will ensure that all campaign contributions made just before the start of the annual legislative session are made public before that legislative session ends.
SB101: The merged House/Senate pro-2nd Amendment bill failed to reach the floor at the last hour. I’m disappointed we couldn’t pass a bill but we’ll keep trying next year.
You can see the list of all votes taken in the House this session here. Click on each vote number to see more details about what was being voted on and how I voted on that particular measure.
Please feel free to contact me anytime if I can be of assistance. I’m honored to serve you at the Capitol and covet your prayers and support.
Representative, Georgia State House District 102
504-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334