GSSA- Day 38 Update

Friday, March 24, 2017


We are down to just two scheduled legislative days left in the 2017 session.  The legislators are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 for day 39 and Thursday, March 30, 2017 for day 40.


The number of PASSED bills– (31 bills) continues to grow. On Friday, ten education related bills passed either the Senate or the House.  The list of passed bills 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.


The only committees still meeting with bills to consider are the Senate and the House Rules Committees.


The Senate Rules Committee is planning to meet one more time to set the calendar for both Tuesday and Thursday.  Once that calendar is set, bills that are not on the calendar will have a small chance of making it to the full Senate for a vote.  However, there are exceptions.  In a rare meeting, the Senate Rules Committee met to develop a supplemental calendar for Friday.


The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, March 26th at 1:30 p.m. to set a calendar for Tuesday.  The tradition of the House is to have supplemental calendars set by the Rules Committee during the day.


The Senate and House Rules Committees are where amendments may occur to bills that are moving on to the floor for a vote.  Bills can also be amended on the floor.  The focus is now on watching for last minute amendments to bills that made it through the process.  These amendments may give life to bills that did not make it through the process on their own.


Remember, you can follow the bills moving though the legislative process at the GSSA website, under the legislative tab.  We will attempt to keep the postings up to date on the amendments to the education related bills that we are following.  In addition to the passed bills that we are tracking, the HOT (29) bills are ones that are waiting to get out of the Rules Committee or to get a vote on the Senate or House floor.  Remember, bills that were amended in the process will need to go back to their originating chamber for agrees and disagrees during the last two days, as well.  It promises to be a very busy time under the Gold Dome.


On Friday:


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


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 now returns to the Senate for consideration.


SB 168 – Permits access to child abuse records by various governmental agencies.  The bill was amended by the house.  The bill now returns to the Senate for consideration.


SB 186  – Would allow students who earned a high school diploma through dual coursework to be eligible for HOPE funds to receive their associate degree.  This bill was amended in House Rules with HB 331 – The bill provides for a kinship caregiver to give legal consent in the form of an affidavit for a child residing with such kinship caregiver to receive educational services and medical services directly related to academic enrollment and to participate in curricular or extracurricular activities for which parental consent is usually required.


SB 258 –   Provides for the ineligibility for office holders of public money of certain governmental entities, including school boards, who refuse or fail to account and pay over such funds to the proper officer.  House passed/by substitute.


SR 130 –   Resolution to create a Joint Transparency and Open Access in Government Study Committee.


POSTPONED bills to be held over until Tuesday are:  – (Postponed bills may be called up at the will of the Speaker of the House.)


SB 3 – “Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act”.  The bill was amended to incorporate SB 139 Pathway in Leadership and other pathways.


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 full Senate passed five bills that we are tracking:


HB 222 – Members of the Georgia National Guard and reservist meet the residency requirements for their children to be eligible for HOPE.  Passed by substitute.  Will need to return to the House for consideration.


HB 224 – This bill would allow certain students of military families to attend any school in a local school system.  Senate passed/adopted.


HB 338The First Priority Act (Tanner Bill) The most current Senate version of the bill passed.  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. Due to the changes in the bill, it will need to go back to the House for agreement of the changes.  The FY18 budget contains 2.2 million dollars for this program.  There were three floor amendments to this bill.  All three amendments failed.  Senate passed/adopted by substitute.  Bill returns to the House for consideration.


HB 340 – 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.  Passed Senate/adopted with amendment


HB 437 – To recreate the Agricultural Education Advisory Commission.


The 39th legislative day is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, 2017.  The remaining two legislative days should be very long and interesting days.


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.  Also thank them for their hard work during the entire session.  It really is a long forty days.


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