Weekly Legislative Update


KEEPING YOU INFORMED…

The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and our Governmental Affairs Committee want to share information about pending state legislative issues that may affect your business. This weekly legislative review is provided by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and passed on as a service of your local chamber to empower our membership and guard our community’s welfare. Your comments or questions are welcome and will receive response.

Federal Health Care Reform
The federal health care overhaul package will become law today, March 30, when President Obama signs the reconciliation bill, making it more important than ever to understand how this legislation may impact your business. Visit www.gachamber.com/healthreform for updates and links to useful information. The Georgia Chamber will continue to provide new details as they are available.

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Legislative Update
Last Friday, March 26, was Crossover Day at the state capitol — the last day for bills to pass one chamber and be eligible for consideration through the end of the legislative session. Tomorrow, March 30, will be the 31st day of the 40-day session. The General Assembly will meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week and then adjourn until Monday, April 12.

Health Care
HB307, which creates a 1.45% tax on hospitals and health care providers, passed the House last Friday. The bill represents a compromise between legislative leaders and hospitals throughout the state. Because much of the tax will ultimately be borne by patients with private insurance and their employers, the Georgia Chamber remains concerned about the impact this measure could have on the employers and employees of our state.

Economic Development
HB1023, the Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success (JOBS) Act of 2010 overwhelmingly passed the House and now goes to the Senate for approval. While modified from its original form, the bill does include a $3 million angel investor tax credit, which will encourage technology companies to locate in Georgia.

Legislators came one step closer to creating the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians with the passage of HB1405. If passed, this bill will bring business and government leaders and economic experts together to develop recommendations for improvements to our state’s tax code and regulatory system. To read more about the Georgia Chamber’s position on this bill, click here.

Transportation
A conference committee has been created to reach a consensus on a key Georgia Chamber priority, transportation funding. The committee will use HB277 and HR206 as the basis for its negotiations. Conference committee members include Senators Jeff Mullis, Tommie Williams and Preston Smith and Representatives Jerry Keen, Jay Roberts and Donna Sheldon.

Education
It is hoped there will be a final vote on SB84 this week. This bill will help ensure quality schools throughout the state by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of school board members as well as establishing qualifications and training requirements for these important leadership positions. HB1195, legislation to codify the important Georgia Work Ready initiative that has certified thousands of job-seeking Georgians and connected them with employers, passed the House by a 155-5 margin Friday.

Two key school improvement bills, SB386, which would institute a performance pay system for teachers, and SB352, which would create a grading system for schools, will likely be assigned to a study committee for further review. The Georgia Chamber supports each of these proposals and will continue to monitor their progress. For additional updates on legislation affecting Education, visit http://www.gsba.com/home.html.

This email was sent on behalf of Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce by ChamberMaster, 14391 Edgewood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425.

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