Advocacy

2015 Legislative Scorecard


SB 2: Career Education Dual Enrollment
Sponsor: Lindsey Tippins 37th
Status: February/03/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; March/25/2015 - House Passed/Adopted As Amended; Senate Agreed House Amendment or Substitute; Apr/30/2015 - Signed by Governor; Jul/01/2015 - Effective Date
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard

SB 2 would allow a high school student who has completed ninth and tenth grade requirements for coursework and assessments to enroll in a post-secondary institution (USG or TCSG) and work towards an associate’s degree, a technical college diploma, or a technical college certificate while counting that coursework towards high school graduation requirements. SB 2 will create a new tool to address many workforce needs of Georgia businesses.  By further aligning our K-12 education system with our university and technical college systems and allowing students to simultaneously access both, Georgia will be in a better position to remain economically competitive.

 

SB 132: “Quality Basic Education Act”
Sponsor: Mike Dugan 30th
Status: March/09/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; March/31/2015 - House Passed/Adopted; April/02/2015 - Senate Agreed House Amendment or Substitute; Apr/30/2015 - Signed by Governor; Jul/01/2015 - Effective Date
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard

SB 132 revises and updates regulations regarding dual enrollment options, giving students new opportunities to receive associate and technical degrees and certifications in high demand industries. It creates a revised funding system, subject to general appropriations, that finances student tuition and related costs for attending colleges through the program. It also authorizes the Department of Education to decide which courses offered by colleges are eligible for high school credit.

 

HB 237: State income tax; Angel Investor Tax Credit
Sponsor: Bruce Williamson 115th
Status: March/11/2015 - House Passed/Adopted By Substitute; March/27/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; April/06/2015; May/05/2015 - Signed by Governor; Jul/01/2015 - Effective Date
Chamber Position: Support, Scorecard

Angel groups in Georgia have seen an increase in angel activity, as well as partnerships with venture capital firms.  Georgia is competing with other states for start-up companies, many of which get their start in our very own publicly funded research institutions.  The program began in tax year 2011, was extended in 2013 and expires at the end of 2015. HB 237 extends the credit for five years and allows eligible investors to claim 35% of their investment against their taxable income, but no more than $50,000. The extension caps the aggregate statewide tax credit amount at $5 million per year.

 

HB 412: Workers' Compensation
Sponsor: Mark Hamilton 24th
Status: March/04/2015 - House Passed/Adopted By Substitute; March/31/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; May/06/2015 - Signed by Governor; Jul/01/2015 - Effective Date
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard

HB 412 is a worker’s compensation bill that includes several important provisions developed and agreed upon by the State Board’s legislative advisory council.  The most critical provision provides protection of the exclusive remedy for workers’ comp and strengthens Georgia’s workers’ comp system for employers and employees alike. Additionally, the bill extends the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund sunset which will maintain important stability and help to facilitate the settling of cases. The Georgia Chamber remains committed to improving upon the state’s workers’ compensation system in order to most effectively treat injured workers and reduce the burden on employers.

 

HB 303: Uninsured motorist coverage; recovery when an insurer refuses to pay for a loss within 60 days after a demand has been made by the insured and a finding has been made that such refusal was made in bad faith; change provisions
Sponsor: Dustin Hightower 68th
Status: March/11/2015 - House Passed/Adopted; March/13/2015 - Senate Insurance & Labor
Chamber Position: Oppose; Scorecard

Currently, an insurer has 60 to process and fulfill a policyholders claim on uninsured motorist coverage.  After 60 days, the policyholder can file a lawsuit claiming the insurer is acting in “bad faith” on their claim.  If the court finds that the insurer did act in “bad faith”, the court can award a penalty up to 25% of the policyholders uninsured motorist coverage limit. HB 303 would increase the penalty for these types of claims with a minimum of $25,000 or 25% of the policy limits. 

 

SR 287: Opportunity School District; allow the General Assembly to authorize the establishment; provide for state intervention for failing schools
Sponsor: Butch Miller 49th
Status: March/04/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; March/25/2015 - House Passed/Adopted; House Immediately Transmitted to Senate; Apr/09/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted; May/12/2015 - Signed by Governor
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard

SR 287 would create Opportunity School Districts (OSD), a mechanism that allows the state to take over persistently failing schools through a new system of governance that would be controlled under the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Under the proposed model, OSD would only focus on the state’s poorest performing schools-those that are 60 or below on CCRPI for 3 consecutive years - and would operate by giving individual school leaders more flexibility to achieve better results in exchange for increased accountability. The state proposes to intervene in no more than 20 schools per year and in no more than 100 schools at any given time.

 

HB 170: Transportation Funding Act of 2015
Sponsor: Jay Roberts 155th
Status: March/05/2015 - House Passed/Adopted; March/20/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute; March/31/2015; March/31/2015 - House & Senate Agreed to Conference Committee Report; May/04/2015 - Signed by Governor; Jul/01/2015 - Effective Date
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard

The Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170) provides dedicated, predictable and sustainable revenue for the repair and maintenance of statewide roads and bridges by generating more than $900 million derived from new and existing transportation sources. This legislation streamlines, modernizes, increases, and indexes the motor fuel tax and establishes a new system of fees on heavy commercial vehicles and out – of – town travelers. It also closes several loopholes that formerly allowed motor fuel funds to be diverted to the state’s general fund. The legislation imposes user-fees upon the drivers of electric vehicles who do not currently contribute to the construction and maintenance of Georgia’s roads and bridges. Finally, the legislation sets up a mechanism for the levying of transportation special purposes local option sales taxes to meet project specific needs in local communities.

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