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State revenues up for January
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The Senate passed the fiscal year 2015 amended budget, 54-1. The House and Senate will work out the few differences possibly without a conference committee.

January 2015 state revenues
Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for January totaled $1.85 billion, an increase of $53.8 million, or 3 percent, compared to January 2014. Year-to-date, net tax collections total $11.4 billion, an increase of $570.7 million, or 5.2 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year.

Individual income tax collections for January totaled approximately $1.05 billion for a decrease of $12.7 million, or -1.2 percent. Individual withholding payments were down $18.75 million, or -2.2 percent. Individual income tax refunds issued were up $41 million. Estimated payments were up nearly $31.5 million, or 16.3 percent.

Net sales tax collections increased $45.6 million, or 9.1 percent. The adjusted distribution of sales tax to local governments increased $31 million. Motor fuel tax collections were down 1.2 percent for January.

Corporate income tax collections for January increased $1.9 million, or 13.9 percent.

Tag title fees were up $14.1 million or 16.6 percent. Year-to-date, state revenues are up $179.9 million over the FY15 budget.

Passed the Senate and sent to the House
SB 3 - Allows a parent to delegate temporary caregiving authority of their child to another person for up to one year without having to go to court or involve DFCS. Passed 43-10.

SB 5 - Indemnifies the federal government to comply with terms and conditions to accept federal grants for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Passed 53-0.

SB 53 - Adds “licensed professional councilors” to the group of health professionals who have the authority to perform an emergency examination of a person and to certify whether a person is a mentally ill person requiring involuntary treatment. Passed 51-4.

SR 7 - Constitutional amendment allowing for additional fees and fines for sex trafficking offenses and impact fees for adult entertainment establishments. Passed 53-3.

SB 8 - Enacts the Safe Harbor/Rachel’s Law Act aimed at child sex trafficking. Passed 52-3.

Legislation introduced in the Senate last week
SB 86 - Establishes the “Patient Compensation Act” where patients are compensated for medical injuries by the Patient Compensation System and the Patient Compensation Board, an alternative to current medical malpractice litigation.

SB 88 - Outlines requirements of employers paying employees by debit cards including: written notice of fees prior to issuance, ability of employee to opt out of card payment, authorizes electronic credit transfers at employee request.

SB 89 - Requires K-12 instructional materials and content to be in digital or electronic format statewide after July 1, 2020.

SB 92 - Establishes an “Education Savings Account Act,” a consumer-driven savings account composed of state funds accrued on behalf of an eligible student which may be used for qualifying educational expenses, including future postsecondary education expenses.

SB 97 - Requires due diligence, including various searches when mail is returned, in notifying taxpayers that taxes have not been paid and that a tax execution shall be issued.

SB 101 - Control of soil erosion and sedimentation to create a 25-foot buffer on coastal marshlands.

SB 102 - Revises the dates for primaries and elections and runoffs and revises qualifying back to April.

SB 103 - Legalizes Sunday alcohol bar sales St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Savannah.

House bills in the Senate
HB 57 - Allows third-party financing of solar technology by retail customers for generation of electric energy.

HB 86 - Transfers the Division of Aging Services and creates the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency.

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

I may be reached at
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(404) 657-7092 (fax)
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Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811