Legislative Update
Volume 8, Issue 3                 
January 27, 2017
Click here to view the online version.
ACCG Legislative Priority Gets Introduced
Week 3 of the 2017 legislative session saw the introduction of many new bills as legislators reconvened after last week's budget hearings. Many issues that ACCG is following, including the association's legisltive priority of Single County TSPLOST Reform, were introduced. 

HB 134 adds flexibility to the existing Single County TSPLOST law. This bill allows that tax to be expended on state transportation projects and confirms November 7, 2017, as the first date that tax can appear on the ballot for all counties not currently participating in a Regional TSPLOST. It also permits more than one Single County TSPLOST to be levied at the same time as long as the combined rates of individual levies do not exceed 1 percent. Lastly, the bill allows a Single County TSPLOST for transit projects to be levied for a maximum of 20 years. 

County officials and staff are encouraged to reach out to their legislators and speak in favor of HB 134. View page eight of the ACCG Policy Briefing on this topic for more information.

In other transportation related news, both the House and Senate introduced bills for a transit commission and council that will focus on mass transit coordination, strategy, and funding throughout the state. View HB 160 and SB 6 for more information. 
Firefighter Cancer Bills Introduced This Week 

The House introduced two bills regarding the issue of firefighters and cancer.  HB 146 
serves as a mandate for local governments to provide a certain level of insurance coverage for firefighters with cancer and is alternative legislation to last year's firefighter cancer bill that was vetoed by Governor Deal. Last year's bill would have provided worker's compensation coverage to firefighters with certain types of cancer.

 HB 152 is the 2017 legislation that mirrors last year's firefighters worker's compensation bill and will allow worker's compensation benefits for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer. Access the bill summary for more information.

The proposed bills represent the beginning of ACCG's negotiations with the firefighters and the Georgia Municipal Association and are not in final form. 
Click on "This Week's Bills" to review the bills included in this week's Legislative Update.
Access the Legislative Tracking Database  for a compilation of all bills ACCG is following. 
SB 2 “The FAST Act” to Get Hearing Next Week   
The Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee will have a hearing on SB 2 – also known as the Fairness, Accountability, Simplification and Transparency (FAST) Act – on Tuesday, January 31.  ACCG has already submitted counties’ comments and concerns on this legislation to the bill’s sponsor and the committee chairman; however, county officials are strongly encouraged to submit  feedback to ACCG if they have yet to do so.  For a summary of this bill, please click here
State of the Judiciary
A joint session of the House and the Senate was held for the purpose of hearing the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court deliver the State of the Judiciary address. Highlights include criminal justice reform, reducing self-representation, improving court efficiency, support for juvenile courts by developing a system of more full-time juvenile judge positions, and a centralized e-filing system for courts. The Chief Justice also noted that the Georgia Supreme Court is now comprised of nine justices instead of seven. 

Click here for more details from the State of the Judiciary. 
Association Leadership Meets with Governor
ACCG President and Elbert County Chairman Tommy Lyon, along with Past President and Gwinnett County Chairman Charlotte Nash and Executive Director Ross King, met with the governor on behalf of Georgia's county officials this week to discuss some of the association's legislative priorities including: E-911 Funding and the creation of a statewide authority for collections; TAVT Reform; and the proposed minimum salaries for local law enforcement.
Don't Forget to Register for District Days at the Capitol  
The 2017 District Days at the Capitol are quickly approaching! This year's District Days will allow county commissioners and county staff from all across Georgia to explore topics such as broadband access, E-911 Funding, and Tax Reform. 

County officials are encouraged to attend one of  three scheduled District Days - February 22, March 1, or March 8 - to get fully engaged in the legislative process and to let the collective voice of county government be heard.  The first District Day is now under one month away, so contact your county clerk to register for the day that best fits your schedule. Furthermore, ACCG is hosting the first-ever Newly Elected Commissioners Day at the Capitol for Georgia's newest county elected officials on February 9. New county commissioners will receive an introduction to the legislative process along with significant information from the ACCG policy staff. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to hear directly from Georgia House Speaker David Ralston as he will serve as the keynote speaker during breakfast.

Don't miss these dynamic opportunities that connect Georgia's county leaders with their state counterparts. Attend a meeting to do your part to help advance Georgia's counties!

Watch This Week's Legislative Roundtable
Did you miss this morning's Legislative Roundtable? Don't worry, ACCG has you covered! Click here to access ACCG's Facebook page that features the first Legislative Roundtable. 

Please remember to tune in every Friday at 8:30 a.m. via Facebook Live as ACCG will regularly host these live broadcasts to inform county officials about significant issues as they move through the legislative process. Friend the association on Facebook (facebook.com/gacounty) to join the conversation. Feel free to ask questions and  share your concerns as you're watching. You may also send inquiries to the ACCG policy staff via email once the Roundtable has concluded.
    To learn the latest about what's happening at the Capitol, register for one of the upcoming ACCG District Days:

    February 22
    March 1
    March 8
    ACCG is YOUR county association 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 2017 Legislative Toolkit when conversing with your state legislators!