Capitol Connection E-Newsletter – December 2019
Save the Date: 2020 Capitol Connection Conference
Mark your calendars for the Capitol Connection Conference on February 27- 28 at the Hilton in Atlanta/Fulton County. This two-day conference is intended to provide a better understanding of the issues ACCG is involved with during the legislative session and to connect county officials to their state legislators and state agency leaders. Please remember to contact your state legislator and encourage them to join you for the ACCG reception and/or breakfast on Thursday, February 27. Registration will be available soon.

Review Your Toolkit to Get Prepared for the 2020 Legislative Session
As the 2020 legislative session approaches, Georgia counties should be in full gear to stay informed, get involved, and make a difference on helping craft sound public policy for the State of Georgia.  ACCG’s Legislative Toolkit is designed to inform individuals about major issues and concerns that counties share in an effort to spark dialogue among communities and promote awareness of ACCG's Guiding Principles and the Policy Agenda. Before the legislative session begins, county officials are encouraged to take time to review the toolkit and discuss these top issues with their state legislators. County officials are also encouraged to use the toolkit as a guide throughout the session.

Questions regarding any issues outlined in the Toolkit should be directed to a member of the policy staff.
Reminder: Update Your CLC Network
ACCG is asking for your assistance with updating the list of County Legislative Coordinators (CLCs) for the 2020 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The CLC network is a communication tool that helps county commissioners and county management stay updated on legislation of importance to counties and provides county-specific information to ACCG to help legislators assess the impact of proposed bills during the session. Further details on the responsibilities of a CLC can be found   here County chairmen are asked to designate the CLC and have it approved by the Board via the passage of a   resolution  at a commission meeting. An email soliciting any updates or changes to your county’s CLC has been mailed to your county clerk. 
ACCG Expresses Condolences on the Passing of Georgia House Rules Chairman Jay Powell
Georgia House Rules Chairman Jay Powell was a strong supporter of Georgia counties. He was a partner to ACCG in the General Assembly, often serving as a voice for local governments. Our state has lost a true public servant who led with integrity and who dedicated his time to serving all Georgians. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues during this time.

Design Standards – House "Workforce Housing" Study Committee Issues Final Report
The House Study Committee on Workforce Housing issued its final report this past week. Not surprisingly, top among this group’s recommendations is to prohibit Georgia’s cities and counties from enacting local residential design standards on new homes/subdivisions and encourage local governments to loosen “outdated” zoning codes on apartments and manufactured housing. The legislation to enact the residential design standard preemption has already been introduced, HB 302 and SB 172, and is expected to get traction during the 2020 legislative session. Although the report acknowledges that “low-cost, high-design affordable housing can be attractive within communities”, under this proposal, housing design would be left to developers so long as state minimum building standards are met. Local communities and governments would no longer have say in the matter, but would have to deal with the long-term impacts. 

ACCG strongly opposes these bills, believing that zoning, land use, the enactment of design standards and addressing manufactured and multi-family housing should remain determined by Georgia’s local governments - those officials who are elected, responsible and accountable to reflect their community’s housing needs and future development.                    

To view the final report, please click here.

If your county is interested in adopting a local resolution opposing this legislative preemption, please click here

To view ACCG’s letter explaining the local resolution, please click here.

To view an article outlining ACCG’s response to this effort, please click here.

Secure the Vote
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has just launched the state’s “Secure the Vote” website. On March 24 th , 2020 Georgia will make history as it rolls out the single largest deployment of elections equipment in the history of the United States to make sure that voters have access to a paper ballot system. This site is aimed at helping counties understand what to expect under the new system and to assist counties with public education and outreach efforts. It includes videos, frequently asked questions, printable handouts and other resources, and allows you to register to continue receiving updates on this effort.  

Please click here to visit the web site.

Please click here to see the Secretary of State’s Press Release on the issue.

Banks County Designated as Georgia's Second Certified Broadband Ready Community
Banks County joins Oglethorpe County as a certified Broadband Ready Community. This northeast Georgia county is the second to receive this designation which signifies that a local unit of government in a community has taken steps to reduce obstacles to broadband infrastructure investment. Click here to access the full press release. Oglethorpe was the first in the state to earn this designation in July .

Are you interested in learning more about financing water and sewer projects? 
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Three Rivers Regional Commission invite you to a water and sewer financing workshop to be held December 16, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the UGA Coweta County Cooperative Extension Conference Room, which is located at 255 Pine Road, Newnan, GA 30263. Presenters will include DCA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. You can register online at:

Georgia State Rail Plan Survey
The Georgia Department of Transportation is updating the Georgia State Rail Plan. This survey is intended to obtain input to inform the plan in several areas including safety, community impacts, passenger rail service, and freight rail. Your input is needed! Take the survey here .
Register for the 2020 NACo Legislative Conference 
The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in substantive policy sessions, interact with federal officials and participate in congressional briefings and meetings. This is a one-of-a-kind advocacy opportunity you will not want to miss. Click here to register. *Note: Early bird registration discount ends December 13, 2019.
News You Can Use
Articles Related to ACCG Policy Issues
The following are pertinent articles regarding some of the major policy issues that ACCG is covering. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the title.

R ockdale Newton Citizen - Dec 10, 2019

Georgia Recorder - Dec. 6, 2019

Jackson Progress-Argus - Nov. 26, 2019

AJC - Dec. 5, 2019 

Standard-Examiner - Dec. 4, 2019
Questions? Email the
ACCG Policy Team:


Capitol Connection Conference

Feb. 27 -28 2020