The governor vetoed eight House bills and seven Senate bills in addition to one Senate resolution. Here is a brief synopsis of each veto.
HB 56 — Changes the process in how cities and counties negotiate a new or renewal of local option sales tax distribution. Currently, if they cannot agree the tax is repealed, which puts pressure on both to settle. HB 56 would have allowed the old formula to be continued as negotiations continued. The governor vetoed the bill because he believed that the loss of those funds makes cities and counties come to the table to work things out.
HB 100 — Amended the corporate private school scholarship program passed last year. This legislation would allow a taxpayer to receive both a tax credit and a tax deduction. Gov. Sonny Perdue stated he favored some revisions, but expressed the fear that some taxpayers’ tax liability could be reduced by 75 percent.
HB 481 — This tax cut bill was widely criticized as a cut the state could not afford in these times. The authors and many in the legislature thought the cuts would spur economic development. The bill included a $2,400 tax credit for employing someone drawing unemployment and sustaining employment for 24 months, removing corporation fees and a 50 percent reduction of the capital gains tax over two years. The governor cited earlier tax cuts supported by his administration and argued that the costs of those HB 481’s cuts were not included in the appropriations bill and that he would support the bill if they were.
HB 553 — Would have created a local government equipment financing authority for both cities and counties. The governor expressed reservations about an expansion of authority financing when there were other forms of financing available.
HB 662 — Had to do with transferring the Capitol Police from the Georgia Building Authority to the state patrol. He argued the bill did the reverse of the original bill.
HB 710 — Concerning representation on the South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority.
HB 734 and 735 — were essentially local bills affecting Waycross and Ware County.
SB 123 — Would have forced pharmacy benefit managers to obtain a license from the state Department of Insurance to operate as pharmacy benefit managers. The governor argued that as presently configured, they save taxpayers money and this would be an unnecessary level of bureaucracy.
SB 159 — Would have created the hemophilia advisory board. The governor committed to form a board by executive order.
SB 178 — A housekeeping bill extending the capital outlay program was amended with at least one bill, the BRIDGE educational bill, that the governor believed will cost $1.2 billion.
SB 211 — Created a set aside for local office supply providers. The governor disagreed that this is good business policy.
SB 261, 266, 267 — were local bills for Camden County municipalities
SB 431 — Would have designated the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc as the “sole authority to develop driving civil war trails.
In addition, the governor wrote in the letter announcing the signing of the appropriations bill, that he had vetoed three line items that were covered in last week’s column. He also called on agencies to “disregard” language in the budget affecting the new Department of Behavioral Health, Department of Community Affairs, OneGeorgia Authority, Department of Community Health and the Department of Economic Development.
Gov. Perdue also issued three “signing statements” which are policy statements or implementation intentions he intends to follow. They were:
Signing statement 1 — HB 80: having to do with licensed professional counselors, social workers or marriage and family therapists and the Composite Board.
Signing statement 2 — HB 186: extends the sunset of the telework legislation now in place asking the Department of Revenue to monitor its use of tax credits.
Signing statement 3 — HB 189: Requires private child support agencies to register with the Secretary of State’s office and concerned the power of these agencies to collect arrearages versus current child support and commissions.
I may be reached at
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E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
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