Session 2018: Week 3
Session 2018: Week 3
Our third week in session covered many important topics, including the state of our economy and the completion of our adjournment resolution. We also reached the one-fourth mark of our 40-day session on Legislative Day 10.
Although our state has seen an exceptional rise in economic prosperity, there are still areas of our state that require aid and improvement. This topic was largely discussed in our 2017 session, where the House Rural Development Council (RDC) was created through House Resolution 389. This council dedicated itself to economic research in the rural communities of Georgia and developed two reports that outline a proposed improvement.
House Resolution 848 was adopted in the 2017 session; because of the research that followed this resolution, we will likely discuss legislation on this topic in the 2018 session. This resolution established the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding, which examines Georgia transportation issues and discovers ways to improve them.
This session, we discussed the first rural development-related bill on the House floor, House Bill 735. This bill would create a tax credit for short line railroad track maintenance expenditures, and provide an incentive for investment in rail infrastructure in rural Georgia.
Adjournment Resolution & House Rules Committee
With the assistance of our Senate counterparts, we completed our calendar for the remainder of our 2018 legislative session this week. We also determined the final day of our session, also known as “Sine Die.” It will be held on Thursday, March 29.
In addition to the completion of our adjournment resolution, the House Rules Committee also held its first meeting this week. This committee and its respective subcommittees are responsible for choosing which bills will be passed on to the House floor for debate and final voting. This usually takes place the following legislative day after passing through the committee, which means our first round of voting on legislative pieces will likely begin next week.
Steps for Determining Our State Budget
The Amended Fiscal Year 2018 (AFY 2018) budget and the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 2019) budget must first undergo an extensive process before becoming state law. The House can only draft a bill for each budget after Gov. Deal’s proposals have been reviewed in our Appropriations subcommittees.
The AFY 2018 Budget is nicknamed our “small budget” since it only covers our current fiscal year until June 30. It uses a more precise estimate of state revenue to account for any differences between anticipated and actual state revenue.
The FY 2019 Budget is nicknamed our “big budget,” as it covers our entire state budget for the fiscal year of 2019 starting July 1. It is based on projected state revenue for the upcoming fiscal year, and each portion will be passed by its respective Appropriations subcommittees, and reviewed and passed by the full House Appropriations Committee.
Once passed by the House Appropriations Committees, the budgets will then be passed on to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee then places the budgets on the House calendar, and eventually discussed and voted on the House floor.
Once passed, the budgets will then undergo the same process through the Senate. The Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor will appoint a conference committee to resolve any differences between the original versions of the budgets and the budgets as they being currently presented.
One the conference committee and the chambers approve the budgets, they are sent to Gov. Deal for final approval or veto. After Gov. Deal signs this legislation, it becomes state law.
Honoring Congressman Doug Collins & Honoring National Guard Day
My colleagues also set aside some time to honor Congressman Doug Collins and National Guard Day at the Capitol this week. Congressman Doug Collins is a former state representative of Georgia, and he brought updates from Washington D.C. on our state’s congressional delegation. He also praised our duty to our state and the exceptional example we set for Congress. On National Guard Day, we were honored with a visit from several men and women in the National Guard, and we presented them with House Resolution 902. The Georgia Department of Defense employs over 10,891 Army National Guard Soldiers, 2,746 Air National Guard Airmen, 583 State Defense Force members and over 600 state employees. Since 9/11, over 18,000 Georgia National Guard members have been deployed overseas, and more than 200 are currently being deployed. We set aside some time to truly reflect on the sacrifice of these men and women and honor their dedication to our state.
As we continue with the 2018 legislative session, I encourage you to visit me at my Capitol office, and please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or concerns regarding any current or upcoming legislation. I serve as a member of the Appropriations, Banks & Banking, Higher Education, Rules, Small Business Development, and Ways & Means committees, and I encourage you to contact me to discuss any measures that will be discussed by these committees or any other legislation that may interest you. My Capitol office is located at 228-A State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334, my office phone number is 404-656-5099, and I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
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