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State gets strong revenues for February
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The Senate Appropriations committee is working on its version of the fiscal year 2016 general budget.

Strong February revenues — 12.6 percent increase
State revenues continue a surging year with collections of $943.6 million for February over 2014. This 12.6 percent increase amounted to an increase of $105.5 million. Individual income taxes were up $68.4 million, or a whopping 30.1 percent increase. Net sales taxes were up $16.4 million or 4.2 percent. Motor fuel collections were up as well, totaling 12.7 percent.

Year-to-date, state revenues total $12.4 billion, showing an increase of $676.3 million, continuing a growth level that now totals 5.8 percent. Individual income taxes are up 6.5 percent for the year and net sales taxes are up 6.2 percent. Collections year-to-date are over the budgeted amount by $256 million.

Passed by Senate and House — sent to governor
HB 292 - Updated Georgia’s tax codes to conform to IRS tax changes enacted at the federal level. Passed 52-0.

HB 478 - Staggers terms of Board of Commissioners of Candler County. Passed 51-0.

Passed the Senate and sent to the House
SB 85 - Expands range of projects by local development authorities. Passed 41-11.

SB 101 - Puts into law a 25-foot buffer on coastal marshlands development. Passed 46-4.

SB 112 - Adds deer to the Board of Natural Resources list of animals giving authority to DNR to regulate harvest and reporting requirements. Passed 49-5.

SB 114 - Creates an exception for advanced practice registered nurses practicing in any community service board to the limit on physician and nurse protocol agreements. Passed 51-0.

SR 287 - Proposes a constitutional amendment to authorize the creation of a new school district to intervene with chronically failing public schools (companion to SB 133). Passed 38-15.

SB 133 - Upon ratification of a constitutional amendment in November 2016 (SR 287) establishes a statewide school district, the Opportunity School District (ODS), to turn around failing schools in Georgia, converting them to charter schools. Passed 38-17.

SB 129 - Enacts the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This bill addresses the fear that citizens’ religious beliefs may be unfairly discriminated against by government. Passed 37-15.

SB 103 - Allows Sunday bar sales before St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. Passed 32-19.

Legislation introduced in the Senate last week
SB 188 - Increases the permissible prize amounts for bingo to $5,000 in cash or gifts of equivalent value daily and $10,000 in cash or gifts of equivalent value weekly.

SB 202 - Requires high school students to complete a course and pass a test covering the founding philosophy and principles of the United States of America.

SB 203 - Creates the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission to plan activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I and Georgia’s role in it.

SR 393 - Encourages revisions in the Georgia Department of Education policies to allow computer programming courses to count toward high school graduation requirements.

Passed House — now in Senate
HB 315 - Changes the name of Technical College System of Georgia to Georgia Career College System.

HB 339 - Continues the tax credit for film, video, or digital production in Georgia to 2019.

Legislation, meeting schedules and legislative actions may be accessed at:

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
E-mail at
Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or night