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Critical Bills for Cross-Over Day

Monday, February 29, 2016   (0 Comments)
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2016 GEDA Legislative Monitor Report #7

The General Assembly reconvened Monday, February 22, 2016--Day 25--and recessed at the close of business on Friday, February 26, 2016--Day 29.  Monday, February 29, 2016, is Day 30 on the legislative calendar--Cross Over Day, the day that bills normally need to pass one Chamber in order to be considered for passage in the other Chamber before receiving the Governor’s signature.

Budget

HB 751-Ralston of the 7th

The FY-2017 budget passed the House during week 6 of the session.  Listed below are some line items of interest to GEDA members.

The Governor recommended a budget of $23,739,409,078.  The House version changes some line-item allocations, but keeps the total at over $23 billion.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development budget includes $31,051,667 in state funds and a total budget of $105, 072,985.  Over $70 million of the total budget is contained in federal funding for workforce development programs.  The House agreed with the Governor’s recommendation and increased funds for marketing in the Global Commerce budget by $200,000.  Other changes to the DEcD budget included changes in the Tourism budget.  The Governor recommended eliminating one-time funds for signage and marketing of the ‘Vietnam Moving Wall’ at the Walk of Heroes, reducing funds for the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, and eliminating one-time funds for the National Infantry Museum. The House agreed with the Governor’s recommendation and added an additional $1,000,000 for tourism marketing and promotion, and $100,000 to the Georgia Historical Society for historical markers.

The Governor recommended $91,826,346 in state funds for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and total funds of $300,529,614.  The Governor recommended an additional $10,000,000 for the Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) grants, and $10,000,000 for the OneGeorgia Authority for rural economic development projects. The House removed the increase in the REBA allocation and agreed with the increase in funds for the OneGeorgia Authority.

The Regents, University System of Georgia budget includes $8,754,535 for the Enterprise Innovation Institute, $5,097,451 for the Georgia Research Alliance, and $5,810,979 for the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

The Governor recommended $351,400,729 in state funds for the Technical College System of Georgia.  The Adult Education line item includes funds for 50 full-time instructors created by the transfer of funds from the Technical Education program and the use of existing funds for part-time instructors. The Quick Start and Customized Services line item received $13,294,403 in state funds.

The Georgia Department of Transportation recommended budget includes a total of $815,522,064 identified as additional revenue from HB 170 (2015 Session) that is spread through multiple line items.  $543,119,831 was added to the Capital Projects line item.  Construction Administration, Departmental Administration, Intermodal, Local Maintenance and Improvement Grants, Planning, Routine Maintenance, and Traffic Management and Control line items received additional funds from revenue generated from HB 170.   

The Senate continues the budget process with subcommittee hearings on the FY-2017 budget.

Bills

HB 285-Stephens of the 164th

Amends Code Section 48-7-40.26 of the OCGA relating to an income tax credit for film, video, or digital production in Georgia, so as to change certain qualifications for such credit; to provide for related matters; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to provide an income tax credit for qualified production activities if a production company or qualified interactive entertainment production company and its affiliates invest in a state certified production approved by the Department of Economic Development with production expenditures that do not exceed certain investment levels during 2002, 2003, and 2004.

This bill was introduced during the 2015 session and remained dormant until week 7 of the 2016 session.  The bill was significantly rewritten in a House Ways and Means Subcommittee and passed by the full committee. The revised bill was not available on Friday, February 26.  It may be on the House calendar for consideration on Day 30.

HB 677-Stephens of the 164th

Amends Title 50 of the OCGA relating to state government, so as to provide for casino gaming in this state at a limited number of licensed resort facilities in counties, municipalities, and consolidated governments that have approved by public referendum the establishment of such facilities.

The bill proposes to create the Georgia Casino Gaming Corporation to oversee the start-up and management of casino gaming.  The Corporation will be accountable to the General Assembly. The bill proposes to restrict the number of casinos to 4 with two in the metro Atlanta region and two outside the Atlanta region. The ‘Casino Gaming Proceeds’ will be allocated for the following purposes: the funding of educational programs and purposes, the payment of commission operating expenses associated with the regulation of casino gaming, the funding of the Georgia Problem Gaming Assistance Fund, and the funding of the Georgia Licensed Resort Facility Host Community Fund. Ninety percent of the total proceeds shall be appropriated for educational programs.

HB 1076-Bennett of the 80th

Amends Chapter 62 of Title 36 of the OCGA relating to development authorities, so as to provide that no development authority activated by a single county that has also activated a public safety and judicial facilities authority shall acquire, lease, or accept title to any real property located within a city that has activated a development authority without the consent by resolution of such city’s development authority; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to prohibit any development authority activated by a single county that has also activated a public safety and judicial facilities authority from acquiring, leasing, or accepting title to any real property located within the corporate limits of a municipal corporation that has activated an authority without the consent by resolution of the board of directors of such municipal corporation’s authority.  The bill would not apply to conveyances completed prior to March 1, 2016.

HR807-Stephens of the 164th

Proposes and amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for casino gambling in this state; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.

The resolution proposes to amend the Constitution so as to provide for a limited number of resort-style destination casinos in order to generate revenues to be used to preserve the long-term financial stability of the HOPE scholarship program and other educational programs.

HR1511-Gordon of the 163rd

Creates the Joint Study Committee on New Market Tax Credits in Georgia; and for other purposes.

The Resolution proposes to create a ten member study committee to study the conditions, needs issues, and problems related to New Market Tax Credits in Georgia and recommend any action or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate.

SB275-Williams of the 27th

Amends Chapter  80 of Title 36 of the OCGA relating to general provisions regarding counties, municipal corporations, and other governmental entities; so as to provide that the governing body of any county, consolidated government, or municipality; local board of education; or any other state or local governmental entity shall not adopt or maintain any policy, rule, or other provision that has the effect of preventing the free exercise of the right of freedom of speech by the members of the governing body and the ability of members of the governing body to discuss freely the policies and actions of such entity; to provide for exceptions; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to forbid any local governmental entities from denying freedom of speech to members of local governmental entities.

SB413-Mullis of the 53rd

Amends Chapter 7 of Title 50 of the OCGA relating to the Department of Economic Development, so as to provide that the Department of Economic Development shall establish a state-wide site development initiative to create a portfolio of properties in the state which are ready for industrial development; to provide for criteria evaluations, and review; to provide for funding; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes to mandate that the Department of Economic Development establish a state-wide site development initiative for Georgia with the goal of screening and prequalifying sites in accordance with criteria established by the department to create a portfolio of marketable, construction-ready sites in Georgia for industrial development. The state would fund at least 50% of the cost of the program and not more than 75% of the cost from funds appropriated by the General Assembly. The remaining costs would be paid by local sources such as governments, authorities, local or statewide utilities, private property owners, and others.

SB417-Mullis of the 53rd

Amends Chapter 7 of Title 50 of the OCGA relating to the Department of Economic Development, so as to create the ‘Georgia Film and Television Trail Act’; to provide for a short title; to provide for definitions; to provide for a purpose; to provide for the Department of Economic Development to plan and develop the trail; to provide for policies; to provide for the Department of Transportation to place trail signs designed in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development; to provide for certain immunities; and for other purposes.

The bill proposes the creation of the Georgia Film and Television Trail to provide an opportunity for the public to be aware of these locations and visit film and television location sites throughout the state. The bill outlines policies that should guide DEcD in creating and administering the Trail. 


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