The following bills passed the Senate this week:
S.B. 360: This raises the county jail subsidy to no less than $30 per day effective July 1, 2009, for county jails still detaining inmates after 15 days.
S.B. 369: Allows active duty military physicians, regardless of where they practice, to submit affidavits on behalf of disabled active or retired military personnel to allow them to attain a parking permit.
The following bills have been referred to or have passed Senate committees this week:
S.B. 342: The “Water Conservation and Drought Relief Act.” Allows the Soil and Water Conservation commission to fund improvements and construction on reservoirs.
S.B. 352: Allows for Legislative oversight of EPD rules except for those required for compliance with federal statutes or regulations.
The following bills and resolutions were introduced in the Senate this week:
S.B. 383: Calls for the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt policies to promote, approve, and encourage health savings accounts in Georgia. Also, it would provide for health reimbursement arrangements that encourage employer financial support of employees.
S.B. 391: Authorizes funds generated from red-light camera devices to fund a trauma care network.
S.B. 400: Increases penalties for arson of forest lands.
S.R. 796: Amendment to the Constitution that would freeze the valuation of all property except for inflation rate.
S.B. 359: Creates a “made in Georgia” program. Fosters awareness and promotes the showcasing and manufacturing of goods in Georgia.
S.B. 361: Allows consumers to place security freezes on their credit reports.
S.B. 366: Prohibits an inmate from possessing a cell phone or any telecommunications device.
S.B. 377: Creates the position of Natural Resources Law Enforcement officer. Allows for the appointment and training of such officers.
S.B. 378: Would transfer the functions, duties, and employees of the Division of Aging Services of the Department of Human Resources to a newly established Department of Aging.
S.B. 379: Restricts the use of automatic dialing and solicitation. Such messages can only be delivered if: permission is granted by the subscriber, call is placed between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and the caller identifies his/her name and location.
S.B. 382: Changes a one-day game and fish license to three days.
S.B. 388: Gives the GBI the authority to investigate offenses involving identity theft fraud, including subpoena power.
The Senate overrode the governor’s veto of H.B. 529 by a vote of 47-7. This permanently established the House Budget Office and the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. It was the first such override since the Carter governorship.
Department of Transportation Elections
The DOT elections were held Friday. Two races were contested: the 9th and the 12th held by Mike Evans and Raybon Anderson. These races had been the focus of intense public and private lobbying. DOT board members are elected by legislators, whose districts are in or touch congressional districts. The election took on a new importance when Gena Abraham was elected commissioner earlier by a narrow margin over the other contender, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. The final results were 13-10 in favor of Mike Evans and 15-12 in favor of Raybon Anderson.
To find out more about any legislation, visit the Legislature’s home page at www.legis.state.ga.us