FROM Legislative Updates · Feb 6, 2017

GBAN Legislative Update – February 3, 2017

Legislative Calendar
Thursday, February 2 marked the 12th legislative day. Tuesday, February 7 will begin the 13th legislative day and run through Friday, February 10, as the 16th legislative day. You can view the rest of the legislative calendar through sine die, here.

Legislation of Interest
Senate Bill 70: Hospital Medicaid Financing Program *Chamber Scorecard (Support)

  • Status: Support
  • Bill Author: Senator Butch Miller (R – Gainesville)
  • SB 70 seeks to extend the sunset on the so-called “provider fee” for hospitals through June of 2020. The bill is expected to generate $311 million annually in state Medicaid funds and assists in drawing down $600 million in federal Medicaid dollars.
  • SB 70 passed the Senate on Thursday, February 2 by an overwhelming vote of 50-3, and is the first bill to receive scorecard designation (support) from the Chamber for the 2017 session. The bill will now advance to the state House.

Senate Bill 2: The FAST Act – Fairness, Accountability, Simplification, and Transparency – Empowering Our Small Businesses to Succeed

  • Status: Under Consideration
  • Bill Author: Senator Mike Dugan (R – Carrolton)
  • SB 2 seeks to streamline regulations and licensing requirements for small business.
  • SB 2 was heard in the Senate Committee on Economic Development on Tuesday. The Chamber testified at the hearing and commended Senator Dugan and the Senate caucus for making regulatory reform a top priority for the 2017 session. We anticipate a new version will be introduced early next week that seeks to improve the bill, and we and will continue to monitor the legislation as it makes its way through the process.

House Bill 13:

  • Status: Support
  • Bill Author: Representative Jeff Jones (R – Brunswick)
  • HB 13 allows an income tax credit up to $250 for teachers who use personal funds to buy supplies for their classrooms. The bill received its first hearing in the Ways & Means Income Tax Subcommittee on January 25.
  • The Chamber recognizes the importance of supporting educators who go above and beyond in the classroom, and supports legislation such as HB 13, which assists in retaining high-quality teachers.

Senate Bill 89:

  • Status: Support
  • Bill Author: Senator David Shafer (R – Duluth); Majority Leader Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) and Majority Whip Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) are also co-signers on this legislation.
  • SB 89 creates the Georgia Freight Railroad program to streamline state investment in a critical area of infrastructure. Additional freight rail capacity will be needed to provide highway congestion relief and accommodate Georgia’s growing economy; to that end, the program established through SB 89 will ensure state funds are effectively appropriated. The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday.
  • Recognizing the importance of a continued commitment to our transportation infrastructure for economic development, the Chamber supports this legislation.

Facebook Live Conversation
Please join us on Facebook and Twitter next Wednesday, February 8th, for a live discussion on healthcare in Georgia. Jason O’Rouke, the Chamber’s Senior Director of Public Policy and Federal Affairs, and Kyle Jackson, our Vice President of State and Political Affairs, will cover what federal action could mean for your healthcare and where the General Assembly is taking reform initiatives this legislative session.

Political Engagement
The Georgia Chamber is gearing up for the 2018 election cycle and we need your help. Your personal or corporate commitment today to the Georgia Chamber PAC will ensure that we as an organization are prepared to meet the challenges ahead. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the Chamber’s political engagement efforts, please contact Chelsey Ruppersburg at cruppersburg@gachamber.com.

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