The following legislation passed the Senate in the last week:
• SB 399: Prohibits any state department or agency from implementing any federal health care reform enacted on or after March 1, 2010 without the authorization of the General Assembly.
• SB 426: Provides that if an accrediting agency names a school board member in a failing report for violation of policies or standards then that member will not receive a salary or per diem during that period the accreditation is revoked.
• SB 474: Provides that a person may keep native wildlife that has been accidentally killed by a motor vehicle.
• SB 502: Eliminates per diem for members of state boards and commissions while continuing mileage reimbursement.
• SB 515: Prohibits the furloughing of teachers when local reserve funds are available that exceed 6 percent or are not encumbered funds for expenses and payroll.
• SB 518: Requires a study of the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States and the Georgia flag as a part of the required studies regarding American institutions.
• SB 521: Allows charter schools and career academies and commission charter schools to receive full funding for students in dual enrollment programs that are taking post-secondary courses on their school’s campus.
Passed by substitute
The following legislation was passed but amended by the Senate and will return to the House for additional consideration:
• HB 194: Requires pharmacists who substitute a generic drug for a brand name drug to display the names of both drugs on the prescription label.
• HB 307: Provides for a hospital provider fee of 1.45 percent to be imposed on the net patient revenue of hospitals and small critical access hospitals. These funds will be matched three to one in federal Medicaid funds. Trauma centers would only be assessed at a rate of 1.38 percent of the net patient revenue and all provider payments would end on June 30, 2013. The payments would be paid quarterly by each hospital and the assessment would be based on the Department of Community Health’s annual hospital financial survey. This bill also reduces the state insurance premium tax when state reserves recover at least to $500 million.
• HB 908: Temporarily waives certain expenditure controls for local school systems for funds earned for direct instructional costs, media center costs, staff and professional development costs, and additional days of instruction. Temporarily provides for system average maximum class sizes in kindergarten through grade 8 and blanket waivers or variances of class size requirements. Provides that for school years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 only, a local board of education may elect not to complete up to 10 days of its school year, including any combination of planning days and up to five instructional days in the event that a condition of financial exigency occurs, as determined by the local board.
Awaiting final signature
The following legislation has passed both chambers and is now awaiting the governor’s final signature:
• HB 128: Changes the renewal of licensing from annually to 10 years for businesses operated by disabled or blind individuals.
• HB 859: Authorizes probation officers to stop probation period, without a judge’s order, when probationer fails to report as directed.
• HB 905: Extends the sunset date for state low-wealth capital outlay grants for K-12 schools until June 30, 2015.
• HB 916: Exempts a retired state employee returning to work as a contractor from nullifying their state retirement even if they have not reached normal retirement age.
• HB 984: Prohibits the levy or collection of local income taxes and removes the tax return requirement.
• HB 1023: The “Jobs Bill” temporarily suspends the levy of filing fees for new businesses and limited liability companies if filed electronically with a sunset on June 30, 2011. Provides for the Georgia Works Tax Credit which will be available quarterly for amounts between $25 and $125 per unemployed individual hired as an employee for up to four calendar quarters; this applies to unemployment insurance tax obligations.
Additionally, the corporate and individual capital gains tax rate will be reduced by 25 percent during the first year that the revenue shortfall reserve reaches $1 billion; the rate reduction will increase to 50 percent for the following year. Under the Angel Investor Provision a $10 million fund of allowable tax credits is created. The tax credit, limited to $50,000, would incentivize investments in Georgia start-up companies.
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/ and enter the specific bill number in the top right hand corner of your screen.
I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7094 (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