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Amendment would alter state taxes
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

SR 756 would amend the state constitution and set up a procedure that could lower the state income tax. If the net amount of revenue deposited in the general fund in the preceding fiscal year exceeds $23.6 billion, and the reserve fund holds at least 8 percent of that amount, the individual state income tax would decrease by 0.1 percent. For each subsequent year during which those conditions remain in place, the income tax would decrease by an additional 0.1 percent every year with those conditions.

This measure passed the Senate by a vote of 39 to 17 and now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. If passed there by a 2/3 majority, the question would be placed on the ballot in November.

Senate completes work on FY17 budget

Subcommittees completed reports on the 2017 budget as the Senate moved to adopt its version. After passage, a conference committee will resolve differences.

Legislation passed by the Senate last week

• SB 269 Requires all local governing bodies to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials, and not enact “sanctuary city” policies, in order to receive state administered funds. (49-2)

• SB 327-Prohibits the state, including all subdivisions of the state, from entering into a contract with any individual or company that is boycotting Israel. (45-6)

• SB 364-Reduces the percentage that student growth accounts for in the evaluations of teachers from 50 to 30 percent, and requires student growth to count for 40 percent of the evaluations of principals and assistant principals, in certain schools, and allows for multiple, formative student assessments to be used in place of an end-of-grade assessment. (45-0)

• SB 369-Limits type of building for sale of fireworks. Limits the quantity of firepower and locations where fireworks can be used, as well as limiting hours of use to 10 p.m. unless specially permitted. Prohibits fireworks near flammable areas and other access areas, and during droughts. (50-1)

• SB 383-Allows the owners of commercial properties containing billboards or signs to apply for and receive permits to remove vegetation which blocks the view of their property. Applies removal action for buildings that hold signs to the same limits as free standing signs. (38-13)

• SB 416-Establishes the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in order to facilitate the easier sharing of intelligence relating to homeland security activities. Would also coordinate with the FBI and other federal and local agencies. (53-0)

• SB 417-Would task the Department of Economic Development with establishing the “Georgia Film and Television Trail” to make the public aware of film and television location sites throughout this state. (55-0)

Legislation passed by the House and sent to the Senate

• HB 12-Would establish as a criminal offense the fraudulent representation of military service. (Passed House 170-0)

• HB 171-Prohibits foreign law, such as Sharia, from overriding Constitutional rights or U.S. law. (Passed House 165-0)

• HB 205-Would require a driver who refused blood alcohol concentration testing or an offender convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 grams or higher to install and maintain ignition interlock devices on his or her vehicle. (Passed House 169-4)

• HB 654-Requires tattoo studios to post on premises a notice that certain tattoos could disqualify the wearer from military service. (Passed House 112-38)

• HB 722-Changes current law about low THC cannabis oil to include more conditions, such as HIV, Tourette’s syndrome, autism and various terminal illnesses. Also allows manufacturers to ship the oil into the state, whereas under current law patients must travel out of state in order to purchase it. Patients can be removed from the registry if the terms of use are violated. (Passed House 152-8)

• HB 911-Would provide that in order to receive the state sales tax exemption (GATE CARD) for agricultural machinery and equipment, qualified agricultural producers must have produced at least $7,500.00 in product or service annually rather than the current level of $2,500.00. (Passed House 165-0)

• HB 1036-Would enact a temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain for construction of petroleum pipelines so that a commission of elected officials and field experts can conduct a study to ensure the exercise of eminent domain powers by petroleum pipelines is consistent with this state’s essential public interests. (Passed House 165-2).

Full transcripts of bills may be found at . Simply type the bill number into the box at the top left-hand corner of the screen and specify if it is in the House or the Senate. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.

I may be reached at

234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

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(404) 657-7094 (fax)

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1-800-367-3334 day or night

Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811