June 2021
Save the Date: Summer Policy Committee Meetings

Registration for the summer policy committee meetings will open soon. ACCG's seven standing Policy Committees will meet this summer to discuss key issues and to recommend policy objectives for the 2022 ACCG Policy Agenda. The issues will guide the Association's efforts before the Georgia General Assembly, Congress, and federal and state agencies. Meetings will be held over the span of two days in both the northern and central regions of the state. One virtual session will also be offered.

Summer Policy Committee Meeting Dates
August 18 – 19 – Hall County
August 25 – 26 – Macon-Bibb County
September 8 – Virtual Meeting

Have you considered joining a policy committee meeting? Head over to accg.org to find out how you can get involved in the committee(s) of your choice.

ACCG Local Redistricting Webinar

Please join ACCG on Wednesday, July 21 from 10:00-11:00 am for the Local Redistricting Webinar. Gina Wright, the Executive Director for the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, will present information on the local redistricting process and the steps and decisions counties will need to make to begin work on redistricting. The webinar will focus on changes made to state law in 2019 that altered the local redistricting process. The materials covered will help counties better prepare to receive and use the 2020 Census redistricting data that should be made available to county governments in September. The Georgia House of Representatives recently released a short video on reapportionment, click here to watch.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Renegotiation Guidebook

The Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) law requires counties and “qualified cities” receiving general purpose LOST revenue to renegotiate distribution agreements within two years of each decennial census and submit the new distribution certificate to be received by the Department of Revenue (DOR). To assist county officials with the process for renegotiating the LOST distribution certificates, ACCG has worked with a task force of county managers and finance officers to prepare a guidebook. One objective of this guide is to outline a framework or process by which county officials can approach the renegotiation with a realistic aspiration to find common ground with its cities to reach an agreement. Click here to review the Guidebook.

Review the 2021 Final Legislative Update

Several bills that impact county operations go into effect this July. ACCG encourages county officials to review the final Legislative Update and familiarize themselves with these laws prior to next month. Access the 2021 Final Legislative Update here.
State News

As of July 1, 2021, changes go into effect regarding the legal responsibilities of Georgia landowners burning outdoor yard debris. Under Senate Bill 119, GA code section 12-6-90 was changed to eliminate the need to notify the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) by the person, firm, corporation, or association who intends to burn hand-piled natural vegetation/yard debris. More details can be found here.

Fifteenth Order Extending Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency & Notice of Expected Termination

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton has ordered for the 15-month-long statewide judicial emergency to end on June 30, 2021. The emergency order was initially imposed in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the order, civil and criminal cases are backlogged in courthouses throughout the state. The official Notice of Expected Termination of Statewide Judicial Emergency can be found here. To view Fifteenth Order Extending Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency, click here.

Right of Way Study Committee of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee

ACCG's Deputy General Counsel, Larry Ramsey, along with GMA, presented to the Right of Way Study Committee of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee on June 9. The presentation highlighted the current management, challenges, increased need of public right of ways, and more for both counties and cities. A recording of the virtual presentation can be found here. The presentation begins at the 37:17 mark.
Federal News
Federal Mask Requirement Extended
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the Federal face mask requirement for all transportation networks including public transportation through September 13, 2021. TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1, 2021 with an expiration date of May 11, 2021.

Grant Funding Available to States to Build Broadband Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced the availability of $288 million in grant funding for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Grants will be awarded to partnerships between a state, or political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service. More information about the program, including requirements for grant applications, can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity published on grants.gov. NTIA is also holding a series of webinars to further inform the public about the program. 

NACo Policy Steering Committees Need You!

Interested in serving on a National Association of Counties (NACo) Policy Steering Committee? NACo policy steering committees annually review and make recommendations on federal policy issues and legislation. Your involvement with a NACo policy steering committee would give Georgia counties a voice in the NACo policy process! Committee members are appointed by state associations and serve one-year terms. The new committees go into effect after the  NACo Annual Conference  has concluded.
To join, fill out the nomination form found here and submit it to kbowen@accg.org. More information is available here.
Questions? Email the
ACCG Legislative team:
Summer Policy Committee Meetings Quickly Approaching. Mark Your Calendars!

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ACCG is YOUR county association. We are here to advance all 159 Georgia county governments. Please feel free to contact a member of the policy team if they can assist in any way.