Now the session begins! I am going to make some assumptions since it is early Monday morning.
LaVista Hills (HB 520) and Tucker (HB 515) passed out of committee. I found it interesting that Democratic Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson did an amendment to the Tucker bill that essentially would have wiped out the city’s projected surplus. What a hypocrite. It is time for Democratic State Rep. Scott Holcomb to step up and get his caucus to support the Agree votes in the House. Then the citizens will have the right to vote in November.
I anticipate both these bills as well as the city of Stonecrest will pass the Senate this week. I do have concerns that Tucker and Stonecrest are providing limited services and depending on DeKalb for police. When Dunwoody and Brookhaven were formed, the short-term cost for police services was outrageous.
The Senate passed HB 170 – the Transportation Act of 2015. It needed 29 votes to get to a conference committee and that is exactly what it got (including me). Many of us wanted to look at taxing cigarettes and food and reducing the income tax but it was decided the reform should be done in a special measure. I will comment on the final bill when it is out of conference committee assuming it passes.
We also passed HB 1 Medical Marijuana out of committee. We narrowed when it can be used and limited the dosage. Also, we did not create an industry in Georgia. Understand this is an emotion bill and factual data is lacking at this point in time. I assume this bill will also pass this week.
Finally HB 76 – 2016 Fiscal Year Budget – passed the Senate. It too will go to conference and comments will follow accordingly.
I anticipate we will pass the three DeKalb local bills dealing with purchasing, ethics and internal audits. The Democrats have indicated they will sign the property tax freeze when it comes over from the House.
Your comments and questions are always welcome.
Senator Fran Millar