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A look at what else passed
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This week’s column continues a review of legislation passed by the 2011 General Assembly. Remember if you want to learn more about the legislation, you can look it up and read the actual legislation at Of course, I am happy to get answers for you as well or explain how and why I voted as I did.

Education and Youth (continued)

HB 227: Allows school employees to administer an Epi-Pen to an incapacitated student. Requires authorization from physician as well as consultation and approval by parents.

HB 285: Authorizes criminal background checks on teachers by local systems and by the Professional Standards Commission. Also establishes requirement for the Commission to establish renewal rules that demonstrate how professional learning improves student performance. Also calls for the establishment of a task force to determine the “level of evidence” necessary for educators to demonstrate the impact of professional learning.

SB 79: Establishes statewide four-year term of office for local system board of education members. Also requires minimum seven-member boards from single districts in systems collecting a homestead option sales and use tax and a county sales and use tax for educational purposes.

SB 185: Establishes procedures for closing and license revoking of an early care and education program following the death of a child or if the health and welfare of a child is deemed in danger. 


HB 232: Changes the definition of “lobbyist” to clarify that those whose lobbying activities take up over 10 percent of employed time must register as lobbyists and those under that percentage do not.  The amount of expenditures spent lobbying which qualifies as “lobbying” and requires registration was raised from $250 to $1,000.

HB 302: Moves the 2012 primaries to the last Tuesday in July 2012 and changes the qualifying period to May 23-25 due to districts being changed next year after reapportionment.

HB 454: Allows the Secretary of State to set the date of the presidential primary in 2012 as long as the date is no later than June. Date must be set by Dec. 1, 2011.

SB 160: Allows public utility corporations to make contributions to political campaigns but rural co-ops are not allowed under this legislation.

SB 163: Clarifies that political advertising for or against clearly defined candidates must include identification of sponsors and makes illegal including names of anyone not authorized. Violation is a misdemeanor.


HB 95: Amends the existing Forest Land Conservation Use Covenant law by adding the definition of “contiguous” and clarifying that “contiguous” means real property and that the property has undivided common ownership. Also restricts new covenants from being entered after original expiration unless the size exceeds 200 acres.

HB 234: The “Gulfstream” bill continues the present exemption of airplane maintenance and repair parts from sales tax until June 2013. Also included is a controversial tourism project exemption of incremental sales tax revenue for large destination tourism projects for 10 years that will earn back up to 25 percent of the cost of the project.

HB 240: Allows a process for a local government to change a SPLOST project when it finds the project is infeasible.

HB 322: The “Delta” fuel tax exemption bill caps sales tax on fuel for large airlines with a total tax liability to the state of $20 million in FY 2012 and $10 million in FY 2013 and expires after then unless renewed. Also includes a provision wanted by local governments continuing the distribution of unidentifiable sales tax proceeds by the Revenue Commissioner.

HB 346: Allows interdepartmental sharing of specific tax data upon written agreement and prior security clearance for the purpose of drafting fiscal revenue notes. Also allows tax credits earned by property owners for conservation use agreement but not claimed against income tax to be transferred or sold to another Georgia resident. Also prohibits clean energy credits from being taken in one year but requires spreading over four years for the next three tax years. Caps clean energy tax credit at $5 million in 2013 and 2014.

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