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.

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, May 20, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. — Chamber’s Post Legislative Breakfast at Rockdale Medical Center

Georgia Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update: April 19

There are four working days left in the 2010 session of the General Assembly. Legislators will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and Tuesday and Thursday next week – putting sine die on April 29 and making this one of the longest sessions in recent memory.

State Budget
After two significant actions on Wednesday, the FY2011 budget is close to final passage. First, both the House and Senate approved HB1055, which if signed by the Governor will raise $96 billion through fee and license increases. The House then passed a new version of the budget that includes both a hospital tax and tax breaks for property owners and seniors. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Transportation
Conferees continue to meet with the goal of devising a transportation funding proposal that will meet the approval of both the House and Senate and Governor Perdue. The Georgia Chamber urges that whatever plan is brought forward will allow funds to be spent on all modes of transportation, allow regions to define themselves according to transportation needs, and give both the state and local communities a role in project selection.

This issue is a top priority for the Georgia Chamber – please contact your legislator and ask them to pass a bill this year. Click here for contact information.

Health Care
SR277 would create a voter referendum on a $10 vehicle tag fee dedicated to funding a trauma care network capable of providing critical medical care in a timely manner for citizens throughout the state and saving as many as 700 lives each year. The Georgia Chamber believes that the well-being of our citizens is critical to our state’s economic health – click here to read an editorial by President and CEO George Israel that has run in papers across the state.

Water
As the legislative session enters its final days, discussion continues over proposals to place new regulations on interbasin transfers. The Georgia Chamber believes that this important issue is being adequately addressed by Georgia’s Regional Water Councils and that the proposed restrictions could potentially harm hundreds of communities throughout the state. In addition, there is already a law in place that prevents the metropolitan Atlanta area from seeking any interbasin transfers from outside the region.

Taxation
HB1405, creating a special council to study tax and regulatory reform, will be up for a vote in the Senate tomorrow. The Georgia Chamber supports this bill and looks forward to providing support for this effort to review and update the state’s tax code in a way that will bring both fairness and predictability to all taxpayers.

Economic Development
HR178, which would provide clarity in Georgia employment law by ensuring that reasonable agreements between employers and employees are enforceable in court, passed the Senate last week. Due to changes in language made by the Senate, the bill is expected to be sent to a conference committee, which will develop a final version for both chambers to approve.

HB1016, which will ensure that businesses enjoy the same protections from identify theft as individuals, is up for a vote in the full Senate on Tuesday.

Education and Workforce
SB84, based on recommendations made by the Commission for School Board Excellence, has passed both chambers and will likely be sent to a conference committee to work out differences between the two versions approved.

HB1195, which would secure the future of the Georgia Work Ready program by codifying its purpose and governance structure, awaits a vote by the full Senate. This successful program provides job and skills certification for employers and employees and is a proven enhancement to the state’s economic development efforts.

This email was sent on behalf of Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce by ChamberMaster, 14391 Edgewood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425. ChamberMaster is a registered trademark of MicroNet Incorporated.
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