January 24, 2020
Volume 11, Issue 2
Click here to view the online version.
State Budget is Primary Focus of Week Two
Substantial Reductions to Many Programs
Keeping with tradition, the legislature recessed after the first week to review the Governor's Amended FY 2020 and FY 2021 Budget Recommendations and to conduct Joint Appropriations Committee budget hearings, beginning the process of completing the General Assembly's only constitutional responsibility.

Many of the state agencies and other branches of government provided the Joint Committee presentations on their work and proposed budgets. A schedule of those presentations may be found here and you can view the actual presentations here .

ACCG has provided a thorough overview of budget items of key significance to Georgia counties. There were several, substantial statewide agency reductions. Click here to access the ACCG overview it in its entirety.

For a more condensed summary of appropriations with potential direct impact on counties, click here .

There are a few items of interest to counties that remained intact. GDOT included in its budget bond funding for bridges - an ACCG Legislative Agenda item - in which there was an increase of $5.2 million . Other items include:

FY 2020 Budget (Amended Budget)
  • Forestland Protection Grants - total of $39 million

FY 2021 Budget (Big Budget)
  • Hazardous Wast Trust Fund - increased by $4.3 million
  • Solid Waste Trust Fund - increased by $27,000
  • Outdoor Stewardship Program Grants - $20 million in appropriations
Access the Legislative Tracking Database for a compilation of all bills ACCG is following. 
More from the Gold Dome
GMA Proposes Changes to TAVT Formula

At the request of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), Rep. Shaw Blackmon introduced HB 779. This legislation proposes further changes to the distribution formula of motor-vehicle title ad valorem tax (TAVT). Legislation supported by ACCG in 2018 made substantial changes to the prior TAVT formula, shifting a significant amount of TAVT proceeds from the state to local governments. That formula further split the local share differently depending on whether a vehicle is registered to an address within the incorporated or unincorporated area: for the incorporated area, the current split is 49% to the school system, 28% to the county, and 23% to the city (the unincorporated split is 51% county and 49% school system).

As negotiated between ACCG and GMA, the intent of the above formula was to increase TAVT receipts for all local governments. However, since the new formula became effective in July 2019, counties and school systems have seen significant increases in TAVT revenues, while most cities have seen substantial declines. In an effort to address this imbalance, HB 779 would flip the county/city percentages for vehicles registered to incorporated addresses, with the city receiving 28% and the county receiving 23%.

In light of the original intent of the 2018 legislation and the expected limited impact of this change, the ACCG Policy Council voted to support HB 779 . Please contact Larry Ramsey with any questions.
Federal Policy News
EPA Finalizes New Waters of the U.S. Definition

On January 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized a new “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule. The new definition creates four categories of regulated waters and includes 12 exemptions.

Click here to read the article published by the National Association of Counties for more information.
Stay Connected and Engaged!
Policy Communication Tools

Don't forget about the various communications tools that will help keep you informed and engaged. Click here to read all about them!
Watch Today's Livestream

Did you miss today's Facebook Live Legislative Update? Don't worry - we've got you covered! Just click on the recap image to start watching!
2020 Capitol Connection Conference
Registration is now available for the 2020 Capitol Connection Conference that will take place February 27-28 at the Hilton Atlanta in Fulton County. If you have yet to do so, contact your county clerk to register today to secure accommodations in the ACCG room block at the Hilton by  Monday, February 3 .

Click here for more information including a conference agenda and the information sheet.
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.

Georgia Public Broadcasting– January 24, 2020

Atlanta Journal -Constitution– January 23, 2020

Gwinnett Daily Post– January 23, 2020

Atlanta Journal -Constitution– January 23, 2020

National Association of Counties– January 23, 2020

Atlanta Journal-Constitution– January 22, 2020

The Appeal– January 22, 2020

Georgia Recorder - January 22, 2020

Georgia Recorder - January 22, 2020
Questions? Email the
ACCG Legislative team:

ACCG is YOUR county association. We are here to advance all Georgia county governments. Please feel free to let us know when you're visiting the State Capitol this session and a member of the policy team will gladly assist you as needed. Don't forget to use your  2020 Legislative Toolkit and your Legislative Updates when conversing with your state legislators!