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House passes amended budget
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Governor Deal revealed his recommendation for the fiscal year 2014 amended budget last week, and the House passed its version on Friday. The governor proposed a $20.2 billion budget for FY14 amended, which is a $369.9 million increase from the $19.8 billion general budget that passed last year.

This increase in the revenue estimate adds approximately 3.7 percent in tax revenue growth over actual collections from FY13. Of the $20.2 billion budget, $910.8 million is expected from lottery proceeds and $993.4 million in motor fuel taxes.

The FY14 amended budget funds $133.2 million for K-12 education, of which $130.5 million was appropriated for midterm enrollment growth.

Funds were added to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). FY14 amended adds $26.9 million in Medicaid and PeachCare to meet the “woodwork effect,” a longer Medicaid review period, and the care management organizations’ (CMOs) premium tax. The State Health Benefit Plan in FY14 amended from both the governor and House adds $26.4 million for compliance with the PPACA for the individual mandate, preventative health mandate, and premium tax.

In the Department of Community Affairs, the FY14 amended adds $25 million to the OneGeorgia Authority for competitive grants to local school systems for advancements in increased network bandwidth, wireless connectivity, live online instruction, and other advancements in digital education platforms. It also adds $15 million to the OneGeorgia Authority and $10 million to Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) for economic development.

Sen. Hill to hold forum
A community forum will be held in Statesboro on Feb. 1, at R.J.’s restaurant from 8-9 a.m. A complimentary breakfast will be served with reservation at 7:30 a.m.

To make a reservation for breakfast, please call 1-800-367-3334.

Bills introduced in the Senate
SB 296 - Removes the 35 percent limitation on Jekyll Island State Park Authority to manage undeveloped land. Authorizes the authority to convert no more than 1,675 acres of the total land area into developed land and adds the definition of “developed” and “undeveloped.” Maintains that any residual land will forever remain undeveloped. Passed out of committee.

SB 298 - Allows approval of an application for a special parking decal for someone with disabilities from a submission of a doctor’s prescription in lieu of an affidavit when a notary public is unavailable.

SB 300 - Revises the definition of a Zell Miller Scholar to require that SAT or ACT scores are received on exams administered up to and including the next exam date following graduation from either an eligible high school or completion of a home study program.

SB 301 - Disallows any prohibition of wood construction programs in public schools as long as such programs meet the minimum standard requirements.

SB 306 - Adjusts water well standards to permanently extend the moratorium for drilling on well or borehole construction for the injection of ground water into aquifers. Also permanently extends the moratorium on acceptance of bonds or letters of credit by the director of aquifer injection operations.

Out of Committee and in Rules
SB 240, SB 286, SB 294, SB 296

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at

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