Feb 21, 2014
Georgia General Assembly Week in Review: Feb.17-Feb 21
With only a quarter of the session remaining in this 2014 legislative year, the Georgia State Capitol has been full of organizations trying to influence legislators on last minute legislation. Due to early elections this year, many argue few controversial bills or complex material that will need much tweaking will pass before the crossover deadline, which is March 3rd. The last day of session, sine die, is slated for March 20th.
Other Georgia news
The House approved the 2015 budget, with $20.8 billion being allocated for education. The budget would increase state spending by $916 million compared to last year’s budget. About $663 million would go toward Georgia K-12 and higher education. $58 million to the State Health Benefit Plan, $1 million to the state’s trauma care network and another $90,000 to hire additional employee for oversight of the nuclear plant.
The House approved a bill this week that will loosen gun restrictions in many places, including bars, churches, college campuses, as well as Hartsfield Airport and would allow permit holders to carry in buildings that don’t already offer security. In addition, local school districts would be empowered to decide whether to arm teachers and administrators in K-12 schools.
The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to approve $6.51 billion in loans for two nuclear reactors under construction in Georgia. The two nuclear reactors are the first commercial nuclear power plant project in decades. The project is more than halfway done and is expected to go into full operation in 2018.
The Atlanta school board this week set budget goals that will give employees a pay raise. The school board will be working with an estimated $600 million general fund budget for this 2014-2015 school year. This increase would also allow for new teachers to be hired over the summer.