It was good to visit with the Leadership Bulloch group in Atlanta this past Thursday. On Saturday in Sylvania, the annual Screven County Eggs and Issues event was held. It is always informative to hear from “home folks” on their perspectives on important issues. I value and welcome your input concerning legislation being considered in the General Assembly.
We began the fifth week of session by passing the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act, or House Bill 57. This bill enables residential and business customers to use leases or output-based financing agreements to install solar technology on their property and connect it to the grid. Highlights of the bill include:
• HB 57 is about legalizing of solar technology for residences and small business. The financing may be based on the amount of solar power generated.
• It does not contain any tax breaks or credits.
• There are limits on the installation sizes that can be financed. The intent is that the financed solar is for use on your own property, and the sizing was set accordingly.
• Based on the size of the installation, the utilities can enforce appropriate safety and power reliability requirements on the solar provider.
• Georgia Power, the EMCs, and the MEAGs can do solar financing if they want, but have to remain in their own territory, and existing legal protections for consumers remain in place. (It was important that these providers supported HB 57.)
This measure will provide our citizens with more energy options and the opportunity to take advantage of this innovative technology, while ultimately lowering their power bills.
HB 91 retroactively allows former high school students who failed the Georgia High School Graduation Test, an assessment that was phased out in the 2011-12 school year, the chance to receive a diploma.
Although the graduation test has not been used as a graduation standard for several years, it still remains a barrier for some who attended high school when graduation was partly contingent on the passage of this exam. HB 91 allows those students who met all other requirements for graduation to petition their local school board where they were last enrolled to obtain a degree from their high school.
HB 91 will tremendously benefit these individuals by giving them the option to pursue postsecondary education and other opportunities not satisfied with a GED, and thus help them succeed in Georgia’s workforce. These diplomas have been rightfully earned and will open doors for these individuals in the future.
Finally this week, we passed an adjournment calendar that sets the legislative schedule through the remainder of the 2015 legislative session. Based on this adjournment resolution, the 40th legislative day, marking the conclusion of session, will be on April 2. I hope that you will contact me to provide ways in which I can better serve you and your family.
Please stop by and visit if you are in Atlanta or call my office at the State Capitol. The phone number is (404) 656-5099. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.