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Vetoes cover wide range
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Gov. Sonny Perdue blurred the lines of politics and policy with his vetoes of 41 bills and line item vetoes totaling $18 million in cash and some $123 million in bonds. Citing his displeasure with the House’s override of his 07 Amended Budget, he vetoed 30 House bills but also vetoed 10 Senate bills and one Senate resolution creating a Mental Health Commission.

Of the 41 House bills vetoed, eight were local bills that were requested by local governments to be vetoed. Listed below are general bills vetoed and a brief explanation:

House vetoes

• HB 48  - Expanded the indemnity payment coverage of fire and rescue personnel to include training time

• HB 69 - Kept the Department of Driver Services from charging a fee to access driving records online

• HB 76 - Prohibited the use of symbols of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center without their consent

• HB 91 - Required detailed financial reports from state agencies to House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the House Oversight Committee similar to information required of MARTA at the present time

• HB 105 - Allowed Agriculture Commissioner to set licensing fees for additional businesses and professions

• HB 117 - Put dealerships of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles under state franchise law protection

• HB 202 - Required DOT not to issue contracts to contractors who were behind by 25 percent or more on current state contracts

• HB 218 - Restricted the flexibility of Ga. Ports Authority in hiring

• HB 229 - Eased HOPE restrictions on fees charged by colleges and substituted provisions tied to changes brought about if revenues dropped as much as 10 percent.

• HB 242 - Provided tax exemption from premium taxes for high-deductible health insurance plans

• HB 327 - Allowed local housing authorities to collect debts through the state Department of Revenue

• HB 363 - Added Georgia Military College to HOPE Grant eligibility list

• HB 374 - Revised part of the hotel-motel tax code

• HB 386 - Extended sunset provisions concerning fees charged by superior court clerks that were now 5 years away from sunsetting

• HB 430 - Made property of railroads immune from adverse possession

• HB 413 -Granted $350,000 tax exemption on property used as a “nature center”

• HB 441-  Eliminated the interest expense offset against certain tax exempt interest income

• HB 451 - Provided tax credits for tourist attractions and film productions

• HB 467 -Mandated acceptance of credit hours by Regents schools of International Baccalaureate program

• HB 529 - Created in code the House and Senate Budget Offices

• HB 549 - Increased minimum therapy services provided to Medicaid recipients

• HB 559 -Allowed charter school teachers not presently covered to participate in State Employees Health Insurance Plan.

Senate vetoes

• SB 14 -  Extended  clerks real estate fees collected though still five years from sunsetting

• SB 15 -  Made the third offense of driving without a license a felony

• SB 100 - Increased penalty for manufacturing false ID documents to a felony if 21 but crime is a misdemeanor if under 21

• SB 135 - Increased financial penalties for unlawful reproduction or sale of recorded material and gave trade associations power to pursue

• SB 224 - Extended exemption for inclusion of driver insurance information into the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System to commercial auto insurance policies

• SB 193 - Mandated health insurance coverage for certain county employees

• SB 225 - Required local government officials and school board members to attend training on Tax Allocation Districts

• SB 251 - Required Dept. of Revenue to create and maintain a Web site identifying stolen vehicles or towed without knowledge of owner

• SR 363 - Created a Mental Health Commission of legislators and advocates...funding appropriated by General Assembly is not affected by veto

Next week: The column will detail budget vetoes and explore the issue of legislative intent vs. gubernatorial override.

To view full text of bills go to: www.legis.state.ga.us

To view the FY2008 budget in its entirety: www.senate.ga.gov  - Tab - Budget Reports

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