Archive for February, 2014

MULLIS: In the Home Stretch

The Georgia General Assembly is now entering the homestretch of the legislative session, and legislators are just days away from a significant deadline. Monday, March 3 is the 30th day of the legislative session, also known as “Crossover Day.” This is the last day for Senate bills to transfer to the House for consideration, and vice versa. Any bill that does not receive a passing vote in its original chamber cannot move on in the legislative process and must be revived the following year of the biennial session.

With this deadline in mind, Senators have been working tirelessly at the Capitol. As we debate—and sometimes amend—various bills, I remain focused on the future effects of legislation. How these bills will affect the livelihood of Georgia citizens and impact our state’s economy always stays in the forefront of my mind.

The Senate took legislative action on a number of bills in several different policy areas last week. Some of the more notable bills include:

FY2014 Amended Budget
The Senate passed the Final Amended Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, also known as the supplemental budget. The $20.2 billion supplemental budget runs through June 30, 2014, and includes increases to K-12 education and the State Health Benefit Plan.
Status: On Governor’s desk.

Senate Resolution 415
SR 415 is a constitutional amendment limiting the power of the Georgia General Assembly to raise the state income tax above its current rate.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 93
SB 93 allows the use of suppressors on legal hunting firearms and suspends hunting privileges of a person convicted of violating certain hunting regulations.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 167
This bill is a combined substitute of both SB 167 (Student Right to Privacy Act) and SB 203 (An Act to Restore Educational Authority to Georgia Citizens). SB 167 allows Georgia to move away from national standards, currently known as the “Common Core,” and limits the collection and sharing of student data. The bill also provides new protections for the privacy of students in order to prevent life-long data tracking.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 343
SB 343 creates the High School Athletics Overview Committee and also amends portions of Georgia code related to the athletic association participation in the Quality Basic Education Act.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 397
This legislation requires insurers to cover children six years of age or younger who are diagnosed with an ASD. Coverage for applied behavior analysis may be capped at $35,000 annually.
Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

I am never too busy to discuss pending legislation or your district concerns. Please feel free to contact either my district office or my Capitol office at any time– my door and phone lines are always open. As always, it is an honor and a privilege to represent District 53 at the Georgia State Capitol.

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Sen. Jeff Mullis serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate District, which includes Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Chattooga County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov.

 

Column
February 28, 2014

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director
jennifer.yarber@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

Sen. Lester Jackson Leads Passage of Senate Bill 409 through Education and Youth Committee

lesterATLANTA (Feb. 26, 2014) | Yesterday, Sen. Lester Jackson (D- Savannah) led the passage of Senate Bill 409 out of the Senate Education and Youth Committee.  SB 409 would establish the Blind Person’s Braille Literacy Rights and Education Act. (more…)

Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Bill

Sen. StoneATLANTA (February 26, 2014) The State Senate passed Senate Bill 365, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), by a vote of 53 to 0. The bill seeks to clearly define a path for previous offenders to re-enter society and the workforce. (more…)

Senate Passes Uniform GPA Reporting System for Determining HOPE Eligibility

ATLANTA (February 26, 2014)  |  Senate Bill 372, sponsored by Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), passed the Georgia State Senate today by a vote of 49 to 0. If signed into law, the bill will establish a uniform reporting system for school districts across the state, which will assist in determining HOPE eligibility at the conclusion of the school year. (more…)

Senate Bill Protecting Personal Information in Court Filings Passes Senate

ATLANTA (February 26, 2014) | The Georgia State Senate passed Senate Bill 386 today by a vote of 52 to 0. SB 386, sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R—Roswell), protects sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, taxpayer ID numbers and financial account numbers, included in court filings. (more…)