Legislative Update
Volume 9 , Issue 4        
February 2, 2018
House Public Safety Committee to Hear E-911 Bill Monday
House Bill 751, this year's 911 legislation and an ACCG priority, will be heard by the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m. Please see the summary of the bill and the talking points which outline the highlights of the bill.
Law Enforcement Compensation Bill Introduced
Multiple pieces of legislation were introduced this week that include the recommendations of the Compensation of Police and Sheriffs (COPS) Task Force. These bills were introduced by senators who were members of the Task Force. Sen.Steve Gooch introduced  SB 366 which requires that counties perform a wage and compensation study for every employee of the sheriff’s office and law enforcement agency of the county at least once every five years. Failure for the county to conduct the study will result in the loss of the county’s Qualified Local Government Status.  Click here for a section by section summary. 

The other three law enforcement compensation bills are SB 367, SB 368 and SB 369. Please click each bill number to access a summary.
Internet Sales Tax Bill Moves Forward
One of ACCG’s legislative priorities for 2018 is to expand the collection of sales taxes from out-of-state retailers. As sales increasingly move from bricks-and-mortar stores to the internet, the state and local governments have seen flat or declining sales tax receipts because most out-of-state vendors do not collect Georgia sales taxes. In addition, Georgia retailers who do collect sales taxes are placed at a business disadvantage by those non-Georgia retailers who are not requiring customers to pay Georgia sales taxes.  HB 61 would require out-of-state retailers who do a minimum amount of business with Georgia customers to either collect Georgia sales taxes or send Georgia customers a tax form each year indicating the amount of each customer’s purchases in the prior year. HB 61 passed the House last year. On Wednesday, January 31, the Senate Finance Committee passed it with only one "no" vote. ACCG encourages its members to contact their senators and urge them to support HB 61.
DRIVES - New Equipment Costs to Counties
The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) is updating the equipment and connectivity requirements for its tag and titling system. The GRATIS system will be phased out and no longer supported and counties will be required to use a new system called DRIVES.

This memorandum was sent to tax commissioners notifying them of additional equipment costs that the counties will have to pay for if funds are not added to the state budget. 

As part of the DRIVES initiative, DOR sent out a survey to counties to learn about the equipment being used as well as internet connection speeds. While this information was used to request a budget appropriation, for the legislature to consider, the proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 included no appropriations to fund the equipment and network connectivity.

County officials should contact their legislators to ask them to appropriate the funds to implement this new, required system to process tags and titles at the county level on behalf of the state. Please consult with your tax commissioner and IT staff to determine the potential equipment costs that may be incurred by your county and notify ACCG Legislative Director Clint Mueller ( cmueller@accg.org) and your legislators about the financial impact.
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. 
ACCG Leadership Discusses County Priorities with Gov. Deal

ACCG President and Haralson County Chairman Allen Poole along with First Vice President Harry Lange (Harris County chairman), Interim Executive Director Dave Wills, and Legislative Director Clint Mueller met with Gov. Deal on Thursday, February 1. They met to discuss the Association's legislative priorities and other topics such as mental health, the opioid crisis, and funding for the new DRIVES System. ACCG is appreciative of the time the governor took to listen to county concerns.
Registration for the February 28 County Day at the Capitol Has Reopened!

Registration for the February 28 County Day at the Capitol has reopened. There is now room for additional county officials to attend this particular County Day. Please be sure to register as soon as possible if you would like to attend the February 28 event.

Also, please keep in mind that there is still ample time and space for you to register for the March 7 County Day at the Capitol. Please click here for more information on ACCG's County Days at the Capitol.
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.

GeorgiaPol.com - February 1, 2018

The Griffin Daily News – January 31, 2018

AJC's Politically Georgia - January 31, 2018

Marietta Daily Journal – January 29, 2018
To learn the latest about what's happening at the Capitol, register for an upcoming County Day:

February 28
March 7
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 2018 Legislative Toolkit when conversing with your state legislators!