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Mar 7, 2018

Georgia Government Relations Update

Feb. 28 marked “Crossover Day” in the Georgia General Assembly. This was the last day bills could “cross over” from one chamber to the other and still have a clear path to becoming law this legislative session. Below are updates on some of the key bills we have been monitoring:

HB 820 is a bill sponsored by Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) related to property tax exemptions and deferral. The bill goes to the Senate and if adopted, would allow voters the opportunity to approve a new homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes. It also would exempt COA from the requirement to publish tax increases. We were successful in carving out Atlanta Public Schools from the bill and will continue to monitor to ensure the school system does not get added in the Senate.

HB 869 and HB 870, both sponsored by Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), passed the House and are in the Senate’s State and Local Government Operations Committee. These two bills are identical to bills the governor vetoed last year relating to Fulton Industrial annexing into the new City of South Fulton.

Here are a few other bills to note :

House Passes Amended Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

The House passed the Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) 2018 budget on Monday, agreeing to adjustments made to the Senate version of the Georgia Department of Education's (GaDOE) AFY18 budget with the inclusion of additional funding for six more school buses. This brings the number of new buses to 200 from Gov. Nathan Deal's original recommendation of 194.

CLICK HERE to view the budget.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) section of the budget added $400,000 to fund a statewide leadership academy for principals created by a committee that met in fall 2017. It also includes an additional $408,115 to fund one non-STEM AP exam for low-income students.

Voucher Bill Dies in the House

HB 482 — sponsored by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock), a member of the House Education Committee — would create Education Savings Accounts (ESA) that could be used for private school tuition, higher education costs, tutoring by a certified educator, school transportation, education technology, and occupational, behavioral, physical or speech language therapies. The amount of public funding allocated to the savings accounts would be equivalent to the state funding that would have been appropriated had students attended public schools. In a fiscal note on the legislation, the Department of Audits estimated the plan would cost about $22.8 million in FY 2019 and would balloon to about $23 million annually. The department noted that additional costs to the state would vary based on the number of students already attending private schools who might utilize the voucher. By 2022, if 75 percent of ESA participants already attending private school opt to use the voucher, the fiscal note estimates the bill’s additional annual cost at an eye-opening $69.3 million.

Here is the vote record from the representatives on this bill.

Recess Bill

The Senate passed HB 273, a bill sponsored by Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) in the House and carried by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga) in the Senate. The bill would provide a daily recess for students in K-5. The bill passed unanimously and now goes on to the governor’s desk.

Excuse Absence for Students of Military Families

HB 718, sponsored by Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex), would give schools the option to excuse certain absences for students with parents in the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Private School Voucher

HB 759, sponsored by Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs), seeks to change eligibility for Georgia's special needs private school voucher. The bill would allow students who have established eligibility for the voucher with an IEP in a public school and subsequently attend private schools (which do accept the vouchers) to use the vouchers without being required to re-establish eligibility at a public school. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Attendance Zone and Enrollment

HB 852, sponsored by Rep. Michael Smith (D-Marietta), would allow a student who has been enrolled in and attended a public school for more than half of the school year and moves during the school year to another attendance zone within the same district to continue to attend his or her original school. Students with chronic disciplinary issues would not allowed to participate, and parents would be responsible for transportation costs.

Required Videotaping of Public Comment

HB 493, sponsored by Rep. Valencia Stovall (D-Forest Park), would require local public agencies, including school boards, to include the public comment section of meetings in its video recordings. This bill passed the House and has been assigned to Senate Government Oversight Committee.

School Calendar

HB 936, sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), would have required that a school year not begin prior to the third week in August. This measure, however, did not make it to the floor for a vote in the House.

Below is list of bills that we are tracking. Please feel free to ask us any questions or express your concerns.

Bill Number

Sponsor

Code Section

Caption

House Status

Senate Status

HB 75

Rep. Wendell Willard

HC: Judy

SC: JUDY

O.C.G.A. § 49-5-41

Social services; certain records from disclosure; exclude

House Passed 2/9/2017

House Sent to Governor 4/3/2017

May/8/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed 3/16/2017

HB 114

Rep. Robert Dickey

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-161.3

Move on When Ready Act; prohibit school systems from excluding students in dual credit courses from valedictorian or salutatorian determinations

House Passed by Sub 3/1/2017

Senate Second Read 3/20/2017

1/8/2018 - Senate Recommitted

HB 139

Rep. Dave Belton

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Article 2 of Chapter 14 of Title 20

Education; provide transparency of financial information of local school systems and schools; provisions

House Passed by Sub 2/15/2017

House Agreed to Senate Amendment

Sent to Governor 4/5/2017

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed as Amended 3/20/2017

HB 148

Rep. Mike Glanton

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Part 15 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Educating Children of Military Families Act; enact

House Passed 2/24/2017

Senate Read Second Time3/15/2017

1/8/2018 - Senate Recommitted

HB 159

Rep. Burt Reeves

HC: Judy

SC: JUDY

Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 19

Domestic relations; adoption; substantially revise general provisions

House Passed by Sub 2/24/2017

Senate Recommitted 3/22/2017- Judiciary

2/5/2018 - Senate Agreed House Amend or Sub

HB 198

Rep. Katie Dempsey

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Part 3 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Elementary and secondary education; influenza vaccine; provide information

House Passed (Sub) 2/16/2017

House Sent to Governor 4/5/2017

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed as Amended 3/30/2017

HB 224

Rep. Dave Belton

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Part 13 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Quality Basic Education Act; military student may attend any school in local system; provide

House Passed as Amended 2/24/2017

House Sent to Governor 4/3/2017

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed 2/24/2017

HB 237

Rep. Brooks Coleman

HC: W&M

SC: FIN

Title 20 and Title 48

Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation; receive private donations for grants to public schools; provisions

House Passed by Sub 2/24/2017

House Agreed to Senate Sub

Sent to Governor 4/5/2017

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed by Sub 3/30/2017

HB 246

Rep. Wes Cantrell

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-777

Elementary and secondary education; annual fitness assessment program; repeal sunset provision

House Passed by Sub 2/23/2017

Senate Read Second Time 3/20/017

1/8/2018 - Senate Recommitted

HB 273

Rep. Demetrius Douglas

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Part 15 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Quality Basic Education Act; daily recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five; provide

House Passed by Sub 3/3/2017

Senate Passed by Substitute 3/1/2018

HB 338

Rep. Kevin Tanner

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Title 20

Education; system of supports and assistance for low-performing schools in the greatest need; provisions

House Passed by Sub 3/1/2017

House Agreed to Senate Sub 3/28/2017

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed by Substitute 3/24/2017

HB 361

Rep. Wendell Willard

HC: IGC

SC: SLGO


Fulton County; Board of Education; contributions made into the pension and retirement plan by employees shall be considered employer contributions for tax purposes; provide

House Passed 2/23/2017

House Sent to Governor 4/3/2017

May/09/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed 3/13/2017

HB 392

Rep. Barry Fleming

HC: HEd

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-161.3

Move on When Ready Act; students taking dual credit courses at certain eligible postsecondary institutions; allow funding

House Passed by Substitute 2/26/2018

Senate First Read 2/28/2018- Higher Education

HB 430

Rep. Buzz Brockway

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Title 20

Governor's Education Reform Commission; charter schools; implement recommendations

House Passed by Sub 3/3/2017

House Agreed as Amended

4/27/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed by Sub 3/30/2017

Senate Agreed to House Amendment to Senate Sub 3/30/2017

HB 432

Rep. Matt Dubnik

HC: HEd

SC: H ED

O.C.G.A. § 20-3-411

Tuition grants; certain institutions that lack accreditation be approved for tuition equalization purposes; provide

House Passed 3/3/2017

Senate Second Read 3/24/2017

1/31/2018 - Senate Committee Favorably Reported

HB 458

Rep. Alan Powell

HC: PS&HS

SC: GvtO

Article 2 of Chapter 14 of Title 40

Speed detection devices; automated traffic enforcement safety devices in school zones; provisions

House Passed 3/3/2017

Senate First Read 3/6/2017- Governmental Oversight

HB 463

Rep. Katie Dempsey

HC: Ed

SC: ED&Y

Article 1 of Chapter 1A of Title 20

Early Care and Learning, Department of; establish nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation; authorize

House Passed 3/3/2017

3/24/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

3/24/2017 - House Date Signed by Governor

Senate Passed 3/22/2017

Signed by Governor 3/24/2017

HB 482

Rep. Wes Cantrell

Title 20

Georgia Educational Scholarship Act; enact

House Third Reading Lost 2/28/2018


HB 494

Rep. Katie Demsey

HC: Ed

Chapter 1A of Title 20

Early care and learning; safety of children in early care and education programs; revise certain provisions

House Passed by Substitute 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Education and Youth

HB 655

Rep. Rick Williams


Quality Basic Education Act; post sign containing telephone number to receive reports of child abuse; require every public school

House Passed 2/2/2018

Senate First Read 2/1/2018- Education and Youth

HB 700

Rep. Dave Belton

20-3-374

Georgia Student Finance Authority; service cancelable educational loans; include graduate degree programs

2/1/2018 - House Committee Favorably Reported

2/8/2018 - Senate Read and Referred- Veterans Military and Homeland Security

HB 713

Rep. Joyce Chandler

O.C.G.A. § 20-3-519

Postsecondary education; HOPE and Zell Miller eligibility requirements relative to students who graduated from an ineligible high school; provide

House Passed as Amended 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Higher Education

HB 718

Rep. Sandra Scott

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-692.1

Education; certain absences of students with parents in service of the armed forces of the United States; excuse

House Passed by Sub 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Education and Youth

HB 728

Rep. Brooks Coleman

HC: W&M

SC: FIN


Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation; repeal an uncodified sunset provision

House Second Readers 1/25/2018- Ways and Means

2/8/2018 - Senate Read and Referred


HB 740

Rep. Randy Nix

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-742

Education; local school system to conduct certain screenings, assessments, and reviews prior to expelling a student; require

House Passed by Substitute 2/14/2018

2/15/2018 - Senate Read and Referred- Education and Youth

HB 759

Rep. Scot Turner

HC: Ed

20-2-2114

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program; revise prior school year requirement; revise

House Passed 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Education and Youth

HB 763

Rep. Randy Nix

Subpart 2 of Article 16 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Education; student attendance protocol committees to school climate; provisions

2/15/2018 - House Passed/Adopted

Senate First Read 2/20/2018- Education and Youth

HB 787

Rep. Scott Hilton

HC: Ed

Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated

Education; certain provisions relative to charter schools; revise

House Passed by Sub 2/22/2018

Senate First Read 2/23/2018- Education and Youth

HB 820

Rep. Beth Beskin

HC: W&M

O.C.G.A. §48-5-310.1

Revenue and taxation; procedure for counties following a rejection of a tax digest; establish

House Passed by Sub 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Finance

HB 852

Rep. Michael Smith

HC: Ed

Part 13 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20

Quality Basic Education Act; student's continued enrollment in a public school under certain circumstances; provide

House Passed by Sub 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Education and Youth

HB 906

Rep. Katie Demsey

HC: JuvJ


Public records; public disclosure of personal information of certain foster parents; exclude

House Passed 2/26/2018

Senate First Read 2/28/2018- Judiciary

HB 920

Dempsey, Katie

HC: Judy


Domestic relations; department's information concerning the parties to an adoption under certain circumstances; allow for the use

House Passed 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Health and Human Services

HB 951

Shaw, Jason 176th

HC: SBD

Title 20

Education; establish Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation; provisions

House Passed by Sub 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Economic Development and Tourism

HB 972

Willard, Wendell 51st

HC: JuvJ

Chapter 11 of Title 15

Human Services, Department of; Division of Family and Children Services to offer extended care youth services under certain circumstances; allow

House Passed by Sub 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Health and Human Services

HB 982

Nimmer, Chad 178th

Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 15

Courts; relative searches conducted by DFCS; change provisions

House Passed 2/28/2018

Senate First Read 3/1/2018- Health and Human Services

HR 686

Rep. Kevin Tanner

SC

House Study Committee on Equitable Local Education Funding; create

House Passed 3/30/2017


HR 898

Rep. Brooks Coleman

SC

Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process; create

House Passed 2/14/2018

Senate First Read 2/15/2018- Education and Youth

SB 29

Sen. Vincent Fort

SC: H&HS

HC: NR&E

Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 20

Education; drinking water in child care learning centers and for lead contamination; require testing

House Second Readers 3/9/2017- Natural Resources and the Environment

Senate Passed 3/3/2017

SB 30

Sen. Vincent Fort

SC: ED&Y

HC: Ed

Chapter 2 of Title 20

Sustainable Community School Operational Grants; definitions; planning and implementation grants; provide

House Withdrawn Recommitted- Education- 3/30/2017

Senate Passed by Sub 3/3/2017

SB 139

Sen. Hunter Hill

SC: ED&Y

HC: Ed

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-159.1

Focused Programs of Study; pathway in leadership; provide

House Second Readers 3/6/2017- Education

Senate Passed by Sub 3/1/2016

SB 293

Sen. Ellis Black

SC: RET

O.C.G.A. § 47-3-127

Retirement; employment of beneficiaries of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia; repeal existing provisions

House Second Readers 3/1/2018- Retirement

Senate Passed by Sub 2/26/2018

SB 317

Sen. John Albers

SC: SLGO

HC: IGC


Homestead Exemption; Fulton County school district; ad valorem taxes for educational purposes; provide

House Second Readers 1/22/2018- Intragovernmental Coordination

Feb/15/2018 - House Reconsidered

Senate Passed/adopted 1/18/2018

SB 355

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler

SC: RI&Util

O.C.G.A. §46-2-25

Nuclear Generating Plant; recovery of the costs of financing the construction; provisions; change

House Second Readers 3/1/2018- Energy Utilities

Senate Passed 2/26/2018

SB 362

Sen. Lindsey Tippins

SC: ED&Y

HC: Ed

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281

Senate Education and Youth Committee

House Second Read 2/21/2018-Education

Senate Passed by Sub 2/15/2018

SB 401

Sen. Lindsey Tippins

Individual Graduation Plans; guidance in career oriented aptitudes and career interests; provide

House First Readers 2/1/2018-Education

Senate Passed by Sub 3/28/2018

SB 457

Tate, Horacena 38th

SC: ED&Y

Code Section 20-2-1185

School Safety Plans; conduct drills on the execution of school safety plans based on guidance from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency; require

House First Read 3/1/2018- Public Safety

Senate Passed 2/28/2018

SR 192

Sen. John Wilkinson

CA

General Assembly; election of local school superintendents; local boards of education by grand juries as alternative to appointment; authorize -CA

House Education Unfavorably Reported 3/16/2017

Senate Passed by Sub 3/3/2017