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GSSA- Day 37 Update

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

With only three scheduled legislative days left in the 2017 session, both the House and Senate have passed very few education related bills.

 

PASSED – (19 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.

 

By law, the only two bills that must be passed and sent to the Governor, have now been sent to the Governor.  Those bills are HB 43, the FY17 Mid-term Adjustment, and HB 44, the FY18 Budget.

 

Today, the House and Senate agreed to the Conference Committee recommendations for the FY18 Budget.  The FY18 Budget now goes to the Governor for review, possible line vetoes, and his signature.  This is one of the earliest budget completions that many individuals can remember.

 

The major elements of the Education Budget did not change during the Conference Committee deliberations.  Salary raises, QBE funding, Non-Quality Education Formula Grants, and equalization have not changed.

 

The Conference Committee report included:

 

$ 1.2 million for Positive Behavior and Intervention Support (PBI) staffing for the RESA’s;

$ 1.4 million for one STEM AP test for each student enrolled in a STEM AP Course;

$ 1 million for the hiring and Salary of the Chief Turn Around Officer and Turn Around Coaches;

$1.2 million for funds to support grants to low performing schools;

$25,000 to increase funds for the American Association of Adapted Sports Program.

 

Watch for a detailed report on the budget after further review.

 

In action on Tuesday:

 

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee passed this 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 passed:

 

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

 

In other action on Wednesday:

 

The House Rules Committee met and set a calendar for Friday, which will include only one education related bill at this time:

 

SB 8 – “Surprise Billing and Consumer Protection Act”.  This legislation would protect individuals from surprise medical bills, especially in emergency room treatments.

 

The House Rules Committee will also meet Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.  It is highly likely that the House Rules Committee will add additional bills for Friday.

 

The Senate Rules Committee cancelled the meeting scheduled for today.  However, the Senate Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 2 p.m. to set the Senate calendar for Friday.

 

Remember, you can follow the bills moving though the legislative process at the GSSA website, under the legislative tab.

 

The full House passed three education related bills that we are tracking:

 

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.

 

HR 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.

 

SB 201 – Would allow employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members.  This bill was amended in the House.  It returns to the Senate for agreement.  The bill would sunset in 2020.

 

The full Senate passed two bills that we are tracking:

 

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.

 

The Senate Education Committee met and passed two bills that have been amended:

 

HB 430 – Governor’s Educational Reform Commission – implementation of certain parts of the Charter School Subcommittee’s report, including the transfer of unused schools to charter schools.  The bill had a hearing with comments from the audience.  The bill is undergoing revisions.  An amended version of the bill will be presented at the committee meeting on Monday for consideration of a vote.  Three sections of the bill that changed include the section on federal funds; vacant school building definition; and building and occupancy permits.

 

HB273 – Provide for daily recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five.  This bill is still undergoing some revisions.  An amended version of the bill is expected to be on the agenda on Monday.  The amendment removed the word, “shall” and replaced it with “recommended”.

 

These bills will move on to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

 

The Special Rules Committee gave a “DO PASS” to this resolution:

 

HR 608 – Create a Joint Study Committee on the Georgia Public Schools Calendar.  This resolution now goes on to the Rules Committee for consideration.

 

The House and Senate Education Committees do not have additional meetings scheduled at this time.

 

The 38th legislative day is scheduled for Friday, March 24, 2017.

 

Remember to continue to contact your local delegation and discuss with them the impact that the budget and various bills will have on the school district that you represent.

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