GSSA- Day 39 Update

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Today, the Senate and House passed bills, worked on the agreements and disagreements for amendments to bills that passed, and heard conference committee reports for bills that were amended.  As the papers settle on the chamber floors, we will try to sort out what happened.  As a disclaimer, we will continue to review the official legislative sites to prepare a final report of the bills that the governor signs into law.


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 regarding the amendments to the education related bills that we are following.  All of the bills that have passed the House and the Senate are listed under the PASSED tab.  These bills are awaiting action.  We will provide an up-to-date report of the bills at the Boot Strap conference in Savannah on April 18 and 19, 2017.


Tuesday action:


The first House calendar for Tuesday did not contain any education related bills.  As the day went on, the House Rules Committee added only one education related bill that we have been tracking (SB1 – was not passed).  SB3 and SB211, which were postponed from Friday, were voted on with amendments, and both bills passed.


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.  This bill was also amended with HB 458. This bill would allow for traffic detection devices in school speed zones.


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.  This bill was amended with HB 114 – the Move on When Ready Act.  The bill would prohibit school systems from excluding students in dual credit classes from valedictorian or salutatorian determination.


The House agreed to the Senate changes in:


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.  The bill now moves on to the Governor. The FY18 budget contains 2.2 million dollars for this program.


HB 222 – With amendment – members of the Georgia National Guard and reservists meet the residency requirements for their children to be eligible for HOPE.  Passed by substitute.  The bill was amended by 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.  THE HOUSE AGREED TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT.


The House disagreed with the Senate changes to 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.


The Senate worked on a very long calendar that included eleven bills that we have been tracking this legislative session.  The Senate Rules Committee developed a calendar for the 39th and 40th days of the legislative session.  Today they worked through a number of education related bills.


HB 280 – The bill would allow licensed holders to carry and possess certain weapons in certain buildings or real property owned or leased to public institutions of postsecondary education.  The bill has been amended to prohibit guns from day care centers, areas where K-12 students have classes, and disciplinary hearings.  PASSED SENATE, WILL NEED TO RETURN TO HOUSE FOR AGREEMENT.


HB 329 – Modify income tax rate of tax imposed on the taxable net income of individuals.  HOUSE DISAGREED WITH SENATE AMENDMENT.


HB 139 – Provide provisions for transparency of financial information of local school systems and schools.  PASSED AS AMENDED. GOES BACK TO THE HOUSE FOR AGREEMENT.


HB 434, Eminent Domain; requires that condemnations not be converted to any other than public use after 20 years.  PASSED AS AMENDED.  GOES BACK TO HOUSE FOR AGREEMENT.


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 amount of dollars over time was eliminated, no escalator, and the administrative fees were reduced from 10 % to 3%.    PASSED WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENT.  RETURNS TO HOUSE FOR AGREEMENT.


The Senate tabled the remaining bills until Thursday.


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 has undergone revisions.  Three sections of the bill that changed include the section on federal funds; vacant school building definition and building permits and occupancy permits.


HB 237 – 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.


HB 515 – State house districts; revise boundaries of a certain State house districts.


HB 154 – Authorize dental hygienists to perform certain functions under general supervision.  This will have an effect on school health clinics.


HB 198 – Provide information on influenza vaccine.


HB 312 – Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia to include a qualified Roth contribution program in compensation plans.


HB273 – Provide for daily recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five.  This bill has been amended from the House version.


The House and the Senate adjourned for the day shortly before twelve midnight.


The 40th legislative day is scheduled for Thursday, March 30, 2017.  The 40th day is the last day that the legislators can meet in session this year.


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

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