Georgia Legislative Action

I was hoping to tell you about HB 798 and its fanfare, however I’ll just let Jay Bookman do it for me.

Related to that, the Democrats have submitted a Senate Resolution calling for an amendment to the GA constitution that would provide continuous funding of the Georgia Ethics Commission.

HB 814 – Amendment to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax requirements for reporting by local governments. This will probably be horribly boring to anyone who isn’t in the transportation industry in GA. This bill makes a slight change to the reporting requirements for counties and cities that receive SPLOST funds and also specifically empowers the superior courts and the Attorney General with the power to enforce compliance with the code section in its entirety, not just the reporting provisions.

HB 807 – Revising Truancy Age. This bill raises the required schooling age in GA from 16 to 17. Bill has no opinion. Here’s the quote:

(a) Mandatory attendance in a public school, private school, or home school program shall be required for children between their sixth and sixteenth seventeenth birthdays. Such mandatory attendance shall not be required where the child has successfully completed all requirements for a high school diploma.

HR 1165 – Urge the Governor to base a Georgia Film Commission in/near Savannah. This resolution, bipartisanly sponsored by Savannah area representatives, would urge the governor “…should the budget allow for it to base a Georgia Film Commission in Savannah-Chatham, Georgia;…” I thought we already had a Georgia Film Commission? And wouldn’t this directly compete with the Savannah Film Commission? I obviously don’t know what the heck is going on with this.

SB 350 – Treatment of Seized Firearms. I like this one. They should pass it. Essentially, this updates existing law related to the sale of seized firearms by the seizing agency in order to provide more clarity as to the responsibility/authority of the agency in where to dispose of the firearm. They can sell it, give it to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations for forensic tests, give it to a licensed museum, or destroy it. There are also specific provisions for the return of a stolen or lost firearm to the original (innocent) owner. Makes sense to me. Oh, and it specifically absolves the selling agency from liability if the firearm is subsequently used in another crime.

If you dispute the reasonableness of selling seized firearms and think they should all be destroyed, well sorry but this is already the law of Georgia. This bill merely makes it better.

SB 347 – Moratorium on Future HOT Lanes. This is another DOA bill due to 100% democratic co-sponsors. This bill would prohibit the further designation of HOT lanes by the Department of Transportation or State Toll and Roadway Authority after July 1, 2012 unless specifically authorized by the Legislature through further legislation. I can think of several reasons why this bill may have dropped now, from legislators that are Tucker, Stone Mountain, Atlanta, Decatur, and Riverdale, but I don’t know the precise reasoning. Suffice to say, this one won’t go anywhere.

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