Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bills Pending In the Georgia Legislature for 2009

Just a few days remain before what is called crossover day - when a proposed bill must crossover to the other chamber. Here is a list of bills pending, with a hat tip to the GTLA blog:

SB 39 and HB 277 - Two approaches to transportation funding are moving through the General Assembly. The Senate passed SB 30 that would allow a one-penny sales tax for transportation (TSPLOST) to be approved for the metro Atlanta region and in individual counties outside metro Atlanta. The legislation was sent to the House, where it has been put on the back burner while House members consider their own transportation funding solution. The House passed HB 277, which provides for a ten-year, statewide sales tax for transportation with specific projects listed in the legislation. Status: It is likely that a conference committee will be formed to work on a consensus proposal for transportation funding before the Governor for signature or veto.
SB 54 - Prohibits abusive home loan practices as part of the Georgia Fair Lending Act. Status: Senate read and referred to committee.

SB 55 - Alters factors to be considered in determining fair market value of real property in relation to ad valorem taxes. Status: Senate passed, read second time in House.

SB 60 - Authorizes each local board of education to determine the maximum age of mandatory education from 16 to 18 for its local school system. Status: Senate read and referred to committee.

SB 71 - Prohibits engaging in certain outdoor sporting activities while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and other substances. Status: Senate read and referred to committee.

SB 83 - Increases the amount of the statewide homestead exemption for ad valorem taxes. Status: Senate Passed, House Committee favorably reported, passed House vote on March 4, House voted to reconsider on March 5.

SB 84 - revise provisions relating to eligibility for election as a local board of education member; limit the size of local boards of education; revise provisions relating to per diem and expenses of local board of education members; provide for the fundamental roles of local boards of education and local school superintendents; prohibit certain conflicts of interest of board members; provide for a code of ethics for local board of education members. Status: Passed in Senate, read a second time in House.

SB 90 - Establishes vouchers to use taxpayer funds for families to pay private school tuition. Status: Senate committee favorably reported, read a second time in the Senate.

SB 108 - Provides tort reform to allow the charging of attorney fees to plaintiffs when a judge grant's a defendant's motion to dismiss. Status: Senate Committee favorably reported, read a second time in Senate.

SB 142 - Creates the Georgia Family Violence Offender Registry and enhances penalties for an act of family violence. Status: Senate read and referred to committee.

SB 169 - Restricts stem cell research in Georgia; provides that it shall be unlawful for any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm; provides for standards for physicians and facilities performing in vitro fertilizations; defines a living human embryo as a person, not property; prohibits the destruction of a living human embryo for any reason, such as disposal of unwanted frozen embryos kept at a fertility clinic or scientific research. President Barack Obama has announced a lifting of restrictions on federal dollars for such research. Status: Senate Committee favorably reported.

SB 175 - Provides for a moratorium on the administration of a death sentence. Status: Senate read and referred to committee.

SB200 and HB605 - proposed by Governor Perdue with the support of Lieutenant Governor Cagle and Speaker Richardson, would implement sweeping changes in statewide transportation planning, including the merging of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and the State Road and Toll way Authority (SRTA) into a new State Transportation Authority (STA), which would be responsible for planning, policy and funding decisions. The current Department of Transportation would remain responsible for operations, maintenance and certain construction projects. SB200 passed the Senate on March 5. HB 605 has been read a second time in the Senate.

HB 39 - Cigarette tax increase in the amount of $1 per pack - currently in the House Ways and Means Committee. Status: Read a second time in the House.

HB 67 - Suspending exemption on sales and use tax on certain food and beverages, reinstating a four-cent sales tax on groceries. Status: House Committee favorably reported.

HB 118 - Mid-year adjustments to the current year's budget, including reinstatement of the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant to local governments. Status: passed both House and Senate, now in conference before going before the Governor for signature or veto.

HB 119 - Fiscal year 2010 budget including a 10 percent cut in spending and a $1.2 billion stimulus package - currently in the House Appropriations Committee.

HB 160 - "Super Speeder" bill to boost fines $200 for drivers exceeding 85 mph on interstates and 75 on other roads. Also increases the fees paid for reinstatement or restoration of suspended or revoked drivers' licenses. Passed the House on Monday (March 9) and headed to the Senate.

HB 209 - Allowing the use of valid student identification cards issue by a public or private college or university in Georgia as proof of identity in order to vote. Status: House Committee favorably reported.

HB 228 - Reorganizing and reestablishing various state health and human services agency and reassign various functions of the Department of Community Health and the Department of Human Resources and abolish the Board of Community Health and the Board of Human Resources and establish the position of State Health Officer and the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. Status: House Committee favorably reported.

HB 261 - Providing for an income tax credit for a limited period of time for the purchase of one eligible single-family residence. Status: House Committee favorably reported.

HB 277 - Levying a 1 percent sales tax statewide for specific transportation projects over the coming 10 years - passed the House, currently in the Senate Finance Committee. Status: Passed house, read in Senate and referred to Senate Committee.

HB 385 - Repealing the date on which the State Commission on Family Violence shall cease to exist. Status: House Committee favorably reported.

HB 517 - Imposing a cap on property assessment increases at the inflation rate or 3 percent. Status: Read a second time in the House.

51 resolutions under consideration in the Georgia General Assembly. Many are associated with House or Senate Bills currently under consideration. Adopted resolutions are constitutional amendments to the Georgia Constitution and require voter approval following adoption and signature by the Governor. For a complete list of Resolutions and their status, see the link posted above.

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