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GSSA – Day 36 Update

Monday, March 20, 2017

 

Day 36 started off with three brief meetings that set the tone for the rest of the interesting day.  The Senate Rules Committee met and rescinded their entire original calendar for Monday.  All of the education related bills that were originally on the calendar were not heard.  The only education related bill on the new calendar was:

 

HB 425 – This bill would provide for the administration of standardized assessments in paper and pencil format upon parent request.  PASSED.

 

The only education related bill that was on the full HOUSE calendar was:

 

SB 206 – ‘Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Act’ – Substitute – PASSED.  This bill will now go back to the House for consideration of the amendment.

 

The House Rules Committee met and set a calendar for Wednesday that will include only three education related bills (see end of report).  It is highly likely that the House Rules Committee will have a supplemental calendar on Wednesday.

 

The third brief meeting was the House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee meeting.  The three members for both sides met and exchanged greetings, but did not adjourn the meeting before leaving in just a few minutes.  The discussion of the FY18 Budget continues.  The budget must be completed and sent to the Governor before the end of the session.

 

Remember, you can follow the bills moving though the legislative process at the GSSA website under the legislative tab.  Bill status is indicated by the links below.

 

PASSED – (10 bills) This list includes bills that have passed either chamber.  If a bill passes without being amended, the bill would be sent to the Governor for consideration.  If the bill has been amended during the process, the bill would return to the original chamber for reconsideration.

 

HOT – (35 bills) This list includes bills that have passed their assigned committee and are awaiting consideration by the Rules Committee for a full vote by either the House or the Senate.

 

WORK – (23 bills) These bills are waiting hearings in their assigned committees or have been resubmitted.  As we get closer to the end of the session, it will be harder for these bills to make their way through the entire process.

 

WATCH – (3 Bills) These bills have stalled along the way in committee.

 

The full House Education Committee met on Monday and gave a “DO PASS:” to each of the following bills:

 

SB 3 – “Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act”.  The bill was amended with SB 139, Pathway in Leadership and other Pathways.  The amended bill moves on to the House Rules Committee.

 

SB 211 –  Assessments of local reading programs; review of current testing to meet the needs of the Georgia Assessments; Working with the Federal Government to allow Georgia flexibility in its assessment programs.  The bill moves on the Rules Committee.

 

SB 30 – This pilot program only allows for the Sustainable Community School Operational Grants: Planning and Implementation Grants.  The grants would be for low performing schools.  The amended version of this bill now moves on to the House Rules Committee.

 

SB 152 – This bill would make it preferable that students, who are subject to compulsory attendance, be assigned to an alternative education program. That assignment would not last for more than one year.  This bill has also been amended and will now move on to the House Rules Committee.

 

The full Senate Education and Youth Committee meeting gave a “DO PASS” to the following bill:

 

HB 338The First Priority Act is the new name of the bill.  A few changes were made to the current Senate version of the bill.  The new language for the funding indicates that the local school district would be responsible for the funding, unless they can prove need for assistance.  This bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee and should move to the full Senate for vote on Friday.  Due to the changes in the bill, it will need to go back to the House for agreement of the changes.

 

HB 273 Recess and HB 430 Charter School recommended changes were not heard on Monday.  They were postponed until Wednesday.

 

The Senate Finance Committee met on Monday and gave a “DO PASS” to two bills that we have been following:

 

HB 217 – This bill would allow for an increase in the amount of income tax credit funds that could be contributed to certain private school scholarship organizations.  The bill was amended by Senate leadership to cap the amount allowed at 65 million instead of 110 million in the original bill, increasing the amount of dollars over time was eliminated, no escalator, and the administrative fees were reduced from 10 % to 3%.    The bill moves to SENATE RULES.

 

HB237 – This bill would allow for income tax credit funds to be collected to assist low performing schools.  The bill was also amended to include a five million dollar cap and would sunset in three years.  This is intended to be a public funding mechanism for HB 338.  The bill moves on to Rules.

 

Due to a computer outage in Legislative Council, all of the amendments to these bills were not ready in electronic versions.  Since the bills have been amended, they will need to go to the Senate Rules Committee, move to the full Senate for a vote, then return to the House for agreement.

 

HB 230 – This is an effort to clean up a number of issues created by the moving away from the “Tag Tax” to sales tax on the sales of motor vehicles.  The bill addresses new, used, and leased cars sales and how they would be taxed.  There are also a number of issues that would be clarified such as title transfer due to a divorce.  There was a section in the original bill that would redo how the taxes would be divided between the state, counties, cities, and school districts.  That portion of the bill was removed in the Senate version.  Offered as part of the discussion, was SR 470, that would form a joint study committee to review the current tax distribution and make recommendations for a bill next year.

 

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security committee met and gave a “DO PASS” to:

 

SB 149 – This bill would provide guidelines for the training of School Resource Officers.  The bill was amended in the House by a series of amendments regarding public safety in the state.  The bill moves on to House Rules Committee for consideration.

 

Legislative Day 37       Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legislative Day 38       Friday, March 24, 2017

Legislative Day 39       Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Legislative Day 40       Thursday, March 30, 2017

 

Both chambers will convene for the 37th day of the General Assembly on Wednesday, March 22nd, at 10 a.m.

 

The full House agenda has three bills that we are following.  The House may always have a supplemental calendar, especially during these last days.

 

SR 95 – Will provide for the distribution of local sales and use taxes between Local County School Systems and Independent School Systems within the county system.  This resolution was amended in a Senate Committee.  In its first trip to the House floor, the resolution was defeated and resubmitted to the Rules Committee.  On Monday, the Rules Committee placed the resolution on the House calendar for Wednesday.  If this resolution passes, the resolution would have to go to the Senate for consideration of the amendment.

 

HR 57 – This bill would create a House only, Elementary and Secondary School Nutrition Study Committee.  The committee would study the possibility of farm to school nutrition programs.

 

HB 354 – Would urge the Department of Education to develop a list of training materials for use in schools to increase awareness of mental health issues and disabilities.

 

The full Senate agenda has two bills that we are following.

 

HB 238 – This bill would allow for the breach in conservation covenants for the use of property for solar power generation.  This would increase the tax base of local school districts if the solar generation facilities had locations within the district.

 

HB 245 – The Professional Standards Commission would develop a process by which military spouses may qualify for temporary certification.

 

Even though it is not a legislative day, there are committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday.

 

On Tuesday’s Agenda:

 

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Full Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. to consider the education related bill:

 

SB 104 – The bill calls for the posting of a human trafficking hotline notice in government buildings, including schools.

 

The Senate Judiciary Group A Committee will meet at 4:00 p.m.

 

HB 9 – Prohibit the use of devices to film under or through a person’s clothing under certain circumstances.

 

On Wednesday’s Agenda:

 

Both the Senate and House Education Committees are schedule to meet Wednesday.

 

The Special Rules Committee will meet at 3 p.m. to hear the following resolution:

 

HR 608 – Create a Joint Study Committee on the Georgia Public Schools Calendar.

 

Other committees that have bills which we are following, have not posted agendas at this time.

 

With only four legislative days remaining, the push is on by legislators to assist their bills making it through the Rules Committee for a full Chamber vote and possible negotiations, before they can move on to the Governor for consideration.

 

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