Session 2018: Week 7
Session 2018: Week 7
Week seven included the passing of many bills, as well as the annual State of the Judiciary address. “Crossover Day” is on Wednesday, February 28, so my colleagues and I remained busy with our legislative work this week. Here is a brief summary of week seven’s events:
House Bill 918 was overwhelmingly passed, and it seeks to update Georgia’s tax code by doubling the state standard deduction for Georgia taxpayers for all filing statuses, effective Jan. 1, 2018; reducing the income tax rate for individuals and businesses from 6 percent to 5.75 percent beginning on Jan. 1, 2019; reducing the tax rate to 5.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2020, but this requires approval of the General Assembly and signature of the governor in order to take effect; eliminating the sales tax on jet fuel; addressing the state revenue projections resulting from the recent Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
House Rural Development Council (RDC)
House Bill 769 would give more rural parts of the state better access to quality healthcare by allowing for remote pharmacy orders, updating credentialing and billing practices, establishing the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability, establishing micro-hospitals, and creating a grant program for physicians practicing in medically underserved rural areas of the state.
House Bill 735 would expand investment in rail infrastructure through the creation of an income tax credit for track maintenance expenditures on owned or leased short line railroads. This tax credit includes 50 percent of the maintenance expenditures during the taxable year, capped at $3,500 per mile of railroad track.
As long as products meet state minimum standard codes and the Georgia State Fire Code, House Bill 876 would forbid counties and municipalities to ban the use of wood products as construction material. This bill would benefit Georgia’s tree farming, lumber market, and sawmill industries.
House Bill 853 would exempt public school students that are treated at psychiatric residential treatment centers (under a physician’s order) from paying tuition or fees to a local school system.
House Bill 732 seeks to battle sex trafficking in the state of Georgia by including anyone who patronizes sexually explicit conduct from a sex trafficking victim. They will then be sentenced five to twenty years in prison.
House Bill 840 would remove penalties from the taxes of active-duty military members for 60 days. The following taxes would be applicable: unpaid special, occupational or sales taxes and license, and regulatory or administrative fees incurred and usually expired while they are in a combat zone.
State of the Judiciary Address
Chief Justice Hines gave the annual State of the Judiciary address this week, as well. He discussed the judicial branch’s accomplishments and future objectives as well as the newly elected judges, the future election of a new state Supreme Court justice, Gov. Deal’s fifth appointment to Georgia’s highest court, the recent accomplishments of Georgia’s criminal justice reform, and the recommendation of the creation of a statewide business court to handle complex financial cases.
“Crossover Day,” the last day a bill may pass out of its original legislative chamber and remain eligible for consideration in this legislative session, is on February 28, so my colleagues and I will remain busy and engrossed in legislative work. I encourage you to visit me at my Capitol office or call or email me if you have any questions or concerns regarding any current or upcoming legislation. 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 email@example.com. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
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