Weekly Legislative Update

Weekly Legislative Update – brought to your courtesy of the Chamber Government Affairs Committee!!!

January 10-14, 2011 / Week One


Georgia General Assembly Convenes

The first week of the 2011 legislative session, albeit 2 days, is now history.  Here are some of the highlights of last week’s activities.

New Governor, Constitutional Officers and Legislators sworn in

On Monday, January 10, 2011, Georgia’s 82nd governor and General Assembly were sworn into office.

The 2011-2012 General Assembly has 47 new Representatives and Senators.  There was a considerable shuffling of committee assignments and new committee chairmanship appointments in both the House and Senate.

Governor Deal addresses Water, Transportation, Economic Development and Education in his first State of the State Budget Address

Governor Deal made strong statements of support to address Georgia’s, and metro Atlanta’s, water quality, transportation infrastructure, economic development and education challenges.

As it relates to water quality, Governor Deal is proposing a Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) General Obligation (GO) bond package that includes $23 million for water and sewer construction through GEFA, $21 million for reservoir development through GEFA, $25 million for reservoir construction through DCA and $12 million in States Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Loan Funds.  The Governor further proposed spending $300 million over the next four years for reservoir construction and expansion.

In transportation, Governor Deal reinforced his commitment to the regional transportation special sales tax by asking all Georgians to become involved in the regional transportation roundtable process.    The governor is also projecting a $30 million increase in state motor fuel taxes from $675 million to $705 million in FY12.  He also plans to spend almost $17 million more in FY12 on routine maintenance of state highways than he did in this fiscal year.

For economic development, the governor asked the legislature for $32 million in GO bonds to fund the Savannah Harbor Deepening Project.  He said, “There is no more important public works project for the competitiveness of our entire region than the Savannah harbor deepening project.”  He also asked for $1 million in GO bonds to make renovations at the World Congress Center.

In education, Governor Deal said that K-12 teacher furloughs would stop and is moving aggressively to protect HOPE’s future.  In RBC counties he has asked for $5.5 million to complete the design and construction of the classroom building at Southern Crescent Technical College in McDonough and $1 million for equipment in the Academic Sciences Building at Atlanta Metropolitan College.

Bills introduced in House and Senate

During this shortened week, House members introduced 48 bills and 27 resolutions.  Senators introduced 3 bills and 9 resolutions.

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