March 16, 2017

The General Assembly convened four days this week and has now completed 35 of 40 legislative days.  They will be in recess tomorrow but are scheduled to meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.

The Senate passed its version of the FY 2018 budget on Wednesday.  Like the House version, the Senate budget includes salary increases for state law enforcement (20%), child protection workers (19%), and teachers and state employees (2%). The $25B budget also includes $485,000 for the Senate to begin video streaming its committee meetings like the House currently does. Included in the budget’s bond package is $105M for a new judicial building and $73M for a new technical college campus in Hall County.  The budget now goes to a conference committee of House and Senate members to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.

The Senate Education committee amended the school turn-around bill that would assist low-performing K-12 schools (HB 338) and will continue to meet on this bill next week.

The House passed legislation that would allow breweries and distilleries to sell their products directly to consumers (SB 85).  The House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications committee heard petroleum pipeline regulation (SB 191) and continues to work on the bill. The House Transportation committee passed legislation on autonomous vehicles (SB 219) and legislation to create a Ga. Regional Transit Council (SB 6). Versions of those two bills as passed by committee will be available tomorrow.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has announced that he will be a candidate for governor in 2018, and Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville) then announced that he will be a candidate for Secretary of State.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need information on any legislative issue. All bills can be found on the state’s legislative web site, and live action can be watched in the House and Senate chambers when they are in session.

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