The Capitol is always fast paced during session and last week was no exception. Multiple committee meetings, review of proposed legislation, and various events going on at any given time leaves little time to rest! The session is in full swing as further discussion continues on issues important to Georgia citizens. Thursday brought to a close legislative day 12 of 40. With only 28 legislative days remaining in the 2016 session, there is much to be done.
House Bills Passed
Last week we successfully passed the 2016 amended budget and HB 742, which is an annual Internal Revenue Code (IRC) update.
HB 742 made necessary updates to Georgia’s tax code, keeping it compliant with the recently updated federal tax code. The updated tax code would synchronize tax return filing dates to allow most businesses in Georgia to file state and federal returns at the same time. HB 742 would also make permanent the $500,000 deduction in section 179 and the Research Tax Credit.
House Passes 2016 FY Amended Budget
Thursday, January 28th, we unanimously voted to pass, HB 750, the amended 2016 FY state budget. The amended budget was increased by approximately $1.1 billion over the original budget adopted last year. Approximately 85 percent of the “new money” comes from the 2015 Transportation Funding Act and an increase in lottery sales. The budget now includes approximately $204 million for K-12 school systems and about $758 million for proposed transportation projects. The amended budget is now in the hands of the Senate, where they will further review the legislation.
$109.9 million for midterm enrollment growth
$14.9 million through the OneGeorgia Authority to continue to provide grants to local school systems for wireless broadband connectivity to encourage high-tech classrooms
$30 million in lottery funds going towards the HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarships
$525,808 in new funds for the North Georgia Military Scholarship Grant
$20.2 million for the Move on When Ready program, allowing eligible Georgia students to take advantage of dual enrollment and progress at their own pace.
$59 million for growth in the Medicaid and PeachCare programs
$17.1 million towards Medicare payments
Annual State of the Judiciary Address
In addition to passing bills, the House and Senate convened for a joint session in the House Chamber with the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals, and other guests for the annual State of the Judiciary Address from Chief Justice Hugh Thompson on Wednesday.
Chief Justice Thompson was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1994 and was elected by his peers for a four-year term as chief justice in 2013. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle welcomed the Chief Justice to the rostrum, where he updated us on the current state of Georgia’s judicial system.
Congratulations Dr. Michelle Zeanah!
Congratulations to Statesboro pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Zeanah on her recent appointment from Governor Deal to serve on the Department of Family and Children Services Advisory Board. Dr. Zeanah has practiced with Bulloch Pediatrics Group since 2007 I have no doubt that Dr. Zeanah will be a great addition to the DFCS Authority Board and I thank her for her service!
I was pleased to host the inaugural leadership class of the foundation, along with a few of their Board Members at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 27th. Governor Nathan Deal, along with other General Assembly members, took time to welcome the class to the Capitol! Delegation members including Senator Jack Hill, Majority Leader Jon Burns, and Rep. Butch Parrish were also on hand to welcome attendees and join us for lunch.
Programming for the event included visits from fifteen powerful women who spoke about their individual "journey to success." The leadership class had a rare opportunity to hear from eight female legislators, three commissioners of state departments and four lobbyists. Each shared amazing stories about their respective journey, intermingled with profound words of wisdom and humor.
This was an incredible experience for these young women as well as for the individuals who participated. I sincerely thank everyone who took time to make this forum such a memorable occasion.
Representative Jan Tankersley and Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones
Majority Leader Jon Burns
As you can see, last week was very eventful. In the weeks to come, we will continue to discuss important legislation. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you and as always, please feel free to contact my Capitol office!
Representative of the 160th
Georgia House of Representatives
Rep. Jan Tankerlsey, Heidi Jeffers, Vice President of Franchise Development, Tormenta FC and Rep. Butch Parrish
Lori Hennessey, Ga Dept. of Economic Development, Rep. Jan Tankerlsey, Heidi Jeffers, Vice President of Franchise Development and Tourism Project Manager and Justin Samples, Membership Manager for the Statesboro Convention Visitors Bureau (SCVB)
Rep. Jan Tankersley and Tim Chapman, Executive Director of the Averitt Center for the Arts, Statesboro, GA