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Legislation starting to pour in
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The Senate moved the amended FY16 budget along, working on slight changes. The philosophy behind the amended budget has evolved into the interim budget being a “true-up” bringing in line actual expenditures, funding unforeseen contingencies and critical needs. Generally, new programs or expenditures are reserved for the competitive process in the general budget.

Legislation passed in the Senate last week

• SB 199-Expands definition of political materials to include any item containing the names of any candidates, referendums, or political parties present on the ballot in a primary or election. Such materials may not be distributed near the polling place. (Passed 39-17)

• SB 230-Provides for certification process for volunteer health practitioners so that competent practitioners licensed in other states may be deployed to Georgia in an emergency. (Passed 52-0)

• SB 279-Adds two new voting members to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council: the Commissioners of Department of Natural resources and of the Department of Juvenile Justice. (Passed 49-3)

Legislation introduced in the Senate last week

• SB 193 – If the defendant has a prior conviction for a forcible felony against a member of the defendant’s household, then the first conviction of the crime of family violence battery would be treated as though it were a second conviction, and would be punished as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. (Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee)

• SB 306-In the event of a potential data breach, heightens the responsibility of private entities to notify their clients in more effective ways than by telephone, and provides for free credit security freezes. (Senate Science and Technology Committee)

• SB 308-Provides grants to nonprofit organizations which provide pregnancy services to woman who are not likely to be able to afford them otherwise, with the intention of reducing abortions. (Health and Human Services Committee)

• SB 309-Provides that no state funded secondary school may prohibit student athletes from wearing apparel with religious messages. (Education and Youth Committee)

• SB 316-Removes the daily prize limitation for bingo, while preserving the weekly prize limitation. (Public Safety Committee)

• SB 318-Provides for the nonpartisan election of district attorneys, sheriffs, coroners, tax commissioners, and clerks of superior court. (Ethics Committee)

• SB 325-Establishes the Georgia Unmanned Aircraft Systems Commission, which would determine guidelines regarding both the private and public operation of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones. (Science and Technology Committee)

• SB 329-In concert with the “Move On When Ready” legislation of 2015, clarifies courses applicable for high school graduation and HOPE scholarship credit to include classes relating to high demand technical and job skills. (Higher Education Committee)

Local visitors to the Capitol

Within the last couple of weeks we have had a number of visitors and groups from the Fourth District. Last week, young ladies of the Lynda B. Williamson Foundation visited and spent the day learning about the role of women in state government. This week, visitors from area Farm Bureau organizations in Emanuel, Bulloch, Tattnall and Effingham counties were present for Farm Bureau Day. Also, members of the Fraternal Order of Police were on hand to lobby for increased pay for law enforcement officers. Sheriffs from counties around the state visited and this office was visited by the Sheriff of Emanuel County.

About 20 young professionals from Leadership Bulloch visited the Capitol. Students from East Georgia College, as well as an Interior Design from GSU class, also paid a visit. Representing our district’s strong agricultural tradition were visitors from Vidalia Onion Association and Vidalia Onion Research Center.

I may be reached at
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Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811