Sen. Fran Millar

It was a busy week in the Senate with passage of only bill we must do by law – the FY 2018 General Budget.

Some of the budget highlights are:

• $138.7 million in new funds for transportation per HB 170 (gas tax) 2 percent pay scale increase for teachers

• 2 percent increase for school bus drivers and school food service employees

 • 3 percent one time capped benefit for ERS retirees (state employees)

 • 19 percent pay increase for DFCS child welfare workers (Department of Family and Children Services)

• $485,000 for the Senate to begin streaming committee meetings in 2018

• $123 million in new funds for services for the disabled, children and seniors

  • $6.9 million to fund services for Alzheimer’s patients and for an early identification program

• $85.8 million in new K-12 Equalization Funds 

Some of the other bills passed by the Senate for final passage include:

HB 39 - Gives the State Real Estate Board flexibility to consider notification of conviction of felonies in renewal of licenses. (Final Passage 48-1)

HB 41 - Allows students of architecture to sit for Georgia architectural boards before completing their degree if they offer evidence of active participation in an Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure option within a degree program. (Final Passage 47-1)

HB 49 - Requires livestock dealers and market operators to obtain a license every three years. The triennial fee for dealers cannot exceed $25 while the triennial fee for market operators cannot exceed $200. (Final Passage 50-0)

HB 75 - Protects privacy of information provided by law enforcement or prosecution agencies regarding pending cases in child abuse records. Adds to the list of information that already may be redacted. (Final Passage 49-0)

HB 86 - Expands the definition of child sexual abuse to include trafficking of minors. (Final Passage 50-0)

HB 174 - Allows additional methods of payment of claims by insurance companies including wire transfers, electronic payments, and even gift card. (Final Passage 50-0)

HB 260 - Creates a special license plate for Georgia’s electric utility linemen with funds raised going to the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation. (Final Passage 48-1)

HB 276 - Would assist pharmacists and their customers by prohibiting pharmacy benefit managers from charging excessive copays or requiring customers to use mail-order pharmacies. Also allows pharmacists to provide information on and sell more affordable alternative medications. (Final Passage 50-0)

HB 359 - Allows parents to temporarily delegate caregiving authority over their child to the child’s great-grandparents, current and former stepparents, step-grandparents, aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins, or siblings, without a court proceeding or involving DFCS. This was already the case with grandparents. Useful for deploying military members. (Final Passage 40-11)

Please continue to contact me with your comments and questions.

Fran Millar


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