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Session quickly coming to a close

POSTED: March 17, 2014 7:05 p.m.

The General Assembly ended the week on legislative day 38, with two days left in this year’s session, which will wrap up with day 40 Thursday. The fiscal year 2015 budget is currently in a Senate/House conference committee to settle differences.

Local delegation member Rincon Rep. Bill Hitchens’ House Bill 459 passed the Senate by a 42-5 vote. The bill has been nicknamed the “slowpoke bill” and requires slower left-hand lane lurkers to move to the right out of the passing lane to yield to faster approaching vehicles. Failure to abide by this law would be considered a misdemeanor. I voted against this bill.

Bills passed in the Senate
HB 60 - Allows otherwise eligible state, federal, and local judges to be exempt from some weapons carry laws. Passed 47-4.

HB 153 - Provides counties with the option to levy a fractional SPLOST in .05 percent increments with approval of all municipalities in the county. Passed 36-14.

HB 658 - Repeals the Georgia estate tax in its entirety. Passed 42-8.

HB 702 - Provides for an historic granite monument in the Capitol depicting the Ten Commandments and other documents, such as the Preambles to both the Georgia and United States Constitutions. Passed 42-10.

HB 750 - Provides an exemption to mortgage loan originator licensing requirements for employees of certain nonprofit corporations, which would specifically help Habitat for Humanity. Passed 45-10.

HB 766 - Expands the Youth Apprenticeship Program to a “work-based learning program” with the goal of increasing the number of students and employers in the programs. Passed by substitute unanimously.

HB 770 - Creates the crime of home invasion to be a forcible felony, a class A felony in the first degree or class B in the second degree depending on the level of violence. Passed 44-6.

HB 777 - Enacts the Interstate Boating Violator Compact, an agreement between states that allows the home state to treat a boating conviction of one of its residents in another state as if the conviction had occurred in the home state. Also authorizes DNR to suspend a person’s privilege to operate a vessel for violations of vessel laws of this state and other states. Passed unanimously.

HB 825 - Allows fruit growers who are licensed as farm wineries to manufacture distilled spirits with excess fruit to be sold exclusively to distributors. Passed 46-4.

HB 838 - Prohibits the intentional electronic transmission of photos or videos depicting nudity or sexually explicit conduct without the consent of the person depicted. Passed Senate unanimously.

HB 908 - Extends the $1 tire fee collection fee for five years. Passed 43-10.

HB 911 - Adds acts of strangulation to the definition of aggravated assault. Passed Senate unanimously. Passed unanimously.

HB 933 - Removes the sunset for the tax exemption for the sale or use of engines, parts, and equipment used in the maintenance or repair of out of state aircraft being repaired in this state. Passed by substitute 39-14.

HB 943 - Requires insurers to cover children 6 years of age or younger who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and caps reimbursements. Passed by substitute unanimously.

HB 958 - Extends and revises several tax credits and exemptions relating to food banks, video games, projects of regional significance, and continues the “back to school” tax holidays. Passed by substitute 49-3.

HB 1080 - Provides for the placement of a statue for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Capitol grounds, subject to the availability of private funds. Passed by substitute 49-1.

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at http://www.legis.ga.gov/

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811

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