Week 10:  The Council's Weekly Capitol Update
This is the Legislative Week 10, 2016 Edition of the Council's "Under the Gold Dome,"  a weekly publication covering the 2016 Georgia General Assembly Session.  

The General Assembly completed Day 38 on Wednesday, March 16, with 2 working days left in Session.   The Session will  see a March 24th SINE DIE, as the General Assembly passed their current 2016 Adjournment Resolution, which you can view HERE.

The Council was honored with a privileged invitation Senate Resolution by Senator Brandon Beach, recognizing the work of the Council and our 31 year history.  You can see a clip below of the Lt. Governor and Senator Beach's remarks.  We would like to thank Senator Beach for the Resolution honoring the work of the Council.



Senate Bill 369, originally the "Fireworks" Bill, became the newly changed MARTA Bill, as Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones stripped the original language and presented the House Regulated Industries with the Substitute.  The Committee passed the bill on Tuesday and was passed by the House 159-4 on Wednesday, Day 38.   It is expected to be on the Senate Floor Tuesday, Day 29.  The Senate Rules Committee will meet Monday at 1pm to set the Rules Calendar for Day 39.

Highlights of the Bill Include:

1. Amends the MARTA Act to permit MARTA and the City of Atlanta to improve the transit needs inside the city.  MARTA and Atlanta will formulate a list of critical transit needs in the city and the city will be permitted in November, 2016 to ask the voters of Atlanta to approve an additional sales tax up to ½ penny to fund these additional transit projects in the city. The City of Atlanta will be able to call for the referendum that can take place as early as November, 2016, or, if so desired, November, 2017.

2. Amends HB170 passed last year to allow for two different transportation service districts in an effort  to address different transportation needs thereby allowing a transportation SPLOST for those Fulton County areas outside of the City of Atlanta and those areas exclusively inside the City of Atlanta.

3. For the Fulton County area outside of the City of Atlanta the different city mayors and county commission chair representing the citizens in unincorporated Fulton County may develop a list of transportation projects to address the critical needs in the different areas of the county.  A TSPLOST tax of up to 0.75% can be approved.  The overall list must be approved by these local officials representing at least 60% of the Fulton population outside of the City of Atlanta. The referendum may take place in any general election after July 1, 2016.

4.  For the City of Atlanta, the city may develop a list of transportation projects to address the critical needs within the city limits in Atlanta.  A TSPLOST tax of up to 0.5% can be approved.  The recommended list must then be approved by the County Commission in order to place it on the ballot for a referendum in Fulton County inside the City of Atlanta.  The referendum may take place in any general election after July 1, 2016.

5. The Fulton County Commission is charged with calling for a referendum after the local governments inside and outside the City of Atlanta submit a proposed list of transportation projects.  


Other legislation the Council will be working on and monitoring in the final week include:

Senate Resolution 1085, carried by Senator Steve Gooch creates the Senate Regional Transit Solutions Study Committee  in order to determine what role a region-wide transit system should play in relieving congestion in Atlanta, as traffic congestion in Atlanta is among the worst in the nation, by evaluating and proposing regional transit solutions. 

Also, the committee will determine whether one comprehensive regional transit plan, a county-by-county plan, or a city-by-city approach would be more beneficial to Georgia
. The Council supports this legislation

Senate Bill 346 , carried by Senator Brandon Beach, will exempt road projects under $100 million and that include no federal funding from the Environmental Policy Act passed the House Transportation Committee and is on the House Rules Calendar for Tuesday. The Council supports this legislation.

Senate Bill 206  The legislation was amended in the House to remove the prohibition from refusing service by a public or private water supplier based solely on a lien for a previous tenant or owner. Any real property owner, lender, attorney closing a real estate transaction for the purchase of the property or anyone who has executed a contract to purchase property can request and receive a statement of water charges past due, late charges and interest charged from the utility.   If the public or private water supplier does not deliver a statement within 10 business days, then the lien will be extinguished and will prevent them for denying water services to the new property owner or tenant.  The Senate must agree to the House changes next week for the bill to stay in current form.

House Bill 1004, if passed in current form, c hanges current law to allow for the electronic filing of plats and maps.  All images of maps, plats, or plans submitted for filing shall be an electronic image of a single page certified and presented to the clerk electronically in conformance with all specifications set forth in any rules and regulations promulgated by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority.  The following can be electronically recorded: S ubdivision plats, Condominium plats, Condominium site plans, Condominium plot plans and Condominium floor plans.  Physical plats and maps are no longer required to be maintained in the superior court clerks office. This legislation is in the Senate Rules Committee and could see a vote on Day 39 or 40 next week.

Senate Resolution 1084, names the Council for Quality Growth and others to a newly created Senate Study Committee on vacant structures. Senator Janice VanNess is seeking to examine the current vacant property law with industry partners in order to identify ways to improve the current law. The Council looks forward to serving on this Senate Study Committee.  The legislation could be on the Senate Floor on Day 39 or 40 and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.


The Council recently published a White Paper on Transit and its Impact on Property Values and Economic Development.



Click HERE to Read the White Paper

Selected pieces of legislation of interest to Council Members are listed below and a running list of legislation of interest to Council Members is listed at the bottom of this email.
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Selected Legislation for Council Members to Watch: 

All  Legislation and Bill Summaries Listed at the Bottom of the Email



SOIL AND EROSION PERMITS

Senate Bill 326, requires local governments to issue or deny an application for a soil erosion and sedimentation permit  within 14 days, instead of the current 45 day window and would have required Level 2 designers and permit reviewers to be licensed in a field related to solil and erosion control. While the Council supports the concept of this legislation, there were concerns about local governments ability to adequately implement the proposed legislation. The legislation is currently in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee and will not pass in the 2016 Session.

STREAM BUFFERS

House Bill 966, requires that a stream buffer be measured from the ordinary high water mark, as opposed to the point of wrested vegetation. The ordinary high water mark is defined in the bill as the line of demarcation along state waters established by the water's fluctuation and indicated by a number of  physical characteristics, including a clear natural line impressed on the bank, changes in character of soil and the presence of litter and debris, among others.  The Council was opposed to the legislation and the impact it would have on development, due to the lack of clarity with the legislation and the lack of clarity in the proposal.  A substitute was introduced that removed the high water mark language and instead would have established the top of the bank would be the measure. The legislation failed to receive a vote in the House Sub-Committee and will likely not pass this Session and is currently in the House Natural Resources Committee.


REORGANIZATION OF DEKALB COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Senate Bill 378 proposing to reorganize the DeKalb County Government passed the State Senate on Friday amd highlights include the abolishment of the CEO position by January 1, 2019 and increases the Board of Commissioners to 8 members (from the current compisition of 7), while eliminating the two current super-districts and creates the position of County Manager.  The Commission Chairman will now be a county-wide  elected position, salaried at $153,000 with defined responsibilities, such as directing the work of the County Manager.   The legislation is now in the House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee for consideration.  The Referendum will occur on the November 2016 General Election ballot.  The legislation is currently on the House Rules General Calendar and could see a vote on Day 39 or 40.

TOWNSHIPS
Senate Bill 272, introduced by Senator William Ligon (R) and House Bill 785 ,  introduced by Representative Mike Dudgeon,  call for the statewide referendum to amend the constitution allowing townships to have zoning powers. Townships could levy up to a .5 mill property tax, annex and transition to cityhood.  Counties would have no say in the above decisions and counties must continue to provide all services and infrastructure to the area as they would any unincorporated area. Counties would have an opportunity to comment on township decisions, but there is nothing in law required that would give their comments the force of law.   This legislation will not pass in the 2016 Session.

The Council has concerns about both pieces of legislation as a direct  attempt to prevent development and keep Georgia from moving forward. 

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES
House Bill 592, introduced by Representative Brett Harrell,  allows for a professional license for structural engineers.   This legislation is currently in the Senate Regulated Industires Committee. The Council supports this legislation.


TRANSIT CID'S
House Resolution 830, introduced by Representative Buzz Brockway, provides for an amendment to the State Constitution that would allow for the creation of Transit Community Improvement Districts. 

A constitutional amendment was proposed by State Representative Buzz Brockway providing for the creation of Transit Community Improvement Districts (TCID). The proposal states that TCIDs would be administered by the Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) for the purpose of funding the extension of existing rail infrastructure, including rail lines, stations or terminals, cars and other associated capital expenditures. In order to create a TCID, the governing authority of the City or County or existing Community Improvement District in which the district is located must adopt a consenting resolution. 

The TCID would be able to levy taxes, fees and assessments on nonresidential property, with the consent of the property owner, within the district to fund transit expansion and improvements through a cooperation agreement jointly executed by the TCID governing Board and the MARTA Board of Directors.

The Council has concerns with this legislation and have addressed them with the author and potential impact on existing CID's.   This legislation will not pass in the 2016 Session.

REPEAL OF HOTEL/MOTEL TAX
Senate Bill 252, introduced by Senator Josh McKoon (R), would repeal the $5 hotel/motel tax that was levied in 2015 with the passing of HB170. This legislation will not pass in the 2016 Session.   The Council opposes this legislation. 

EDUCATION IMPACT FEES
Senate Resolution 624 , by Senator Michael Williams (R) from Forsyth County, currently in the Senate Education and Youth Committee, proposes a Constitutional Amendment  to allow for the collection of impact fees by a local school board.  The fees could be imposed if the local jurisdiction has seen a 15% enrollment growth in its school system in the preceding 5 years. 

Legislation was dropped by Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R), who also represents Forsyth County, House Resolution 1017 and House Resolution 864 from Forsyth on Thursday that would allow for the same.

HB894, also sponsored by Rep. Mike Dudgeon,  is the enabling legislation for HR864, the Constitutional Amendment to allow for education impact fees.  The legislation allows school boards to impose impact fees if there has been enrollment growth by at least 15% over the preceding five-year period by adoption of a resolution and creation of an impact fee advisory committee, comments from local governments and adoption of an impact fee schedule. The fee shall be valid for three years and can be extended for additional three year periods as long as the system meets the conditions to levy.

The Council understands that impact fees are a viable and effective way for local governments to fund the expansion of government services needed as a community grows. However the Council has concerns with the proposed legislation and the unintended consequences that it would have on the development community.  

Cherokee, Fulton and Forsyth, if the legislation were to pass the General Assembly as a constitutional amendment in November would be eligible to impart education impact fees. The Council will work with members of the General Assembly as this legislation works it way through the Session.

Senate Bill 344 did not receive a vote in Committee and will not see passage in 2016.  House legislation on the same issue did not pass out of Committee and will not see passage this Session.

To learn more about Impact Fees in Georgia, Click HERE
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The Council sends to its members "Under the Gold Dome" weekly on Friday during the Georgia General Assembly Session and Council Members are encouraged to contact James Touchton, Director of Policy & Government Affairs with any questions.
 
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James Touchton
Director, Government Affairs & Policy
JT@CouncilforQualityGrowth.org
770-823-0781 (Cell)
Georgia Senate Press Office: Senate in a Minute

During Session, the Georgia Senate Press Office films a daily recap of the Georgia Senate's actions.  


 

CLICK HERE to view the daily recaps for the 2016 Session.

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House of Representatives Floor Notes


 

Each Session day the Georgia House publishes a recap of the legislative day that occurred in the House.  

 

CLICK HERE to view the daily recaps for the 2016 Session .

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Council's Legislative Bill Tracking
Below is a listing of filed bills, including their sponsor, location, and bill analysis.  This represents legislation the Council is actively involved with or that remains of interest to Council Members.  

If you have a specific question about a piece of legislation, email   Director of Government Affairs and Policy at JT@CouncilforQualityGrowth.org

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House Bills
 
House Bill 4:  Inter-basin Transfers
Sponsor: Rep. Harry Geisinger (R) 
House Committee: Natural Resources and Environment
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill removes the restriction in Georgia law for inter-basin water transfers from all rivers with an annual average flow of 15 billion gallons of water a day,  if the county where the river flows agrees to the water withdrawal.
Council Position: Support
 
House Bill 14 : Acceptance of Federal Funds with General Assembly Approval
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Turner (R)
House Committee: Appropriations
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would prohibit any local government or agency or state agency, bureau, board or commission, public entity, department or office from accepting federal funds without the expressed approval of the General Assembly.  This could be interpreted to include Community Improvement Districts.
Council Position: Oppose
 
House Bill 21 : Transit Authority
Sponsor: Rep. John Carson (R)
House Committee: Transportation
Senate Committee: Transportation
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill removes the population threshold for a local government to form a transit authority, changes the definition of "metropolitan area" to include an unincorporated city and the area "suburban to such city," and requires a new transit authority in a municipality to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with an existing transit authority before its formation.
Council Position: Support
 
House Bill 27 : Creation of City of South Fulton
Sponsor: Rep. Roger Bruce (D)
House Committee: No Committee Assignment
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill creates a charter for the proposed City of South Fulton, which would be subject to voter approval in a local election.
Council Position: Neutral
 
House Bill 33 : Code Enforcement Officers
Sponsor: Rep. Tom Taylor (R)
House Committee: Judiciary Non-Civil
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill makes it a misdemeanor to hinder or obstruct a code enforcement officer in the discharge of their duties.
Council Position: Oppose
 
House Bill 60 : Motor Fuel Tax and State Income Tax
Sponsor: Rep. Ed Setzler (R)
House Committee: Transportation
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would eliminate the "4th" penny on gas and shift it to the motor fuel tax, currently at 3%, while gradually raising the fuel excise tax from 7.5 cents to 22.5 cents by 2022 and a gradual decrease of the state's income tax rate to a flat 5.5% by 2022, down from the current rate of  6%.
Council Position: Support
 
House Bill 97: Prohibits Non-Disclosure for Local Agencies
Sponsor: Rep. Scot Turner (R)
House Committee: Governmental Affairs
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill prohibits local agencies from entering into non-disclosure agreements. According to the bill, all agencies shall fully disclose without delay, any communications regarding any terms and conditions of any agreement, incentive or offer made or entered into by the agency, directing the Attorney General to sanction any individual, on behalf of an agency, who enters into a non-disclosure agreement in violation of this proposed law. Furthermore, it allows any citizen, in addition to the Attorney General, to initiate civil action to compel the disclosure of any matters covered in a non-disclosure. 
Council Position: Oppose
 
House Bill 116 : Underground Water Supply Protection Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep. Alex Atwood (R)
House Committee: Natural Resources
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would prohibit the use of water aquifers in 11 coastal counties. While this has a local impact as of now, the Council has concerns this could have state-wide implications.
Council Position: Oppose
 
House Bill 214 : MARTA/GDOT Commissioner
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Jacobs (R)
House Committee: Transportation
Senate Committee: Transportation
Status: Combined with House Bill 213
This legislation restores voting privileges on the MARTA Board to the GDOT Commissioner until at least 2017.  Further, the latest version of the bill caps fines at $300 for violations of MARTA's Code of Conduct.
Council Position: Support
 
 
House Bill 369: Distribution of Sales and Use Tax
Sponsor: Rep. Randy Nix (R)
House Committee: Ways & Means
Senate Committee: Finance
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session

This legislation concerns conflicts that may emerge between cities and counties that do not reach an agreement on ESPLOST funding.  Currently, a city may refuse to reach an agreement with a county.  If this happens, the city can petition the county from getting its ESPLOST dollars.  In this bill, unless there is an agreement between the county and city, money may be disbursed based on the FTE formula.  This bill is still being worked on, and Rep. Nix is working with the Department of Revenue to work out some of the details.
Council Position: Neutral

House Bill 445:   More Take Home Pay Act
Sponsor: Rep. John Carson (R)
House Committee: Ways & Means
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
 
Currently the bill:
*    Cuts the income tax burden on Georgia families by over $2.5 billion
*    Households making $29,500 or more will see an increase in take home pay
*    Households bringing in $48,000 (the median Georgia household income) will keep $400 extra annually
*    Reduces income tax rate to 4% over a period of three years (2016: 4.5%, 2017: 4.25%, 2018: 4.0%)
*    Keeps itemized deductions and personal tax exemptions
*    Raises general state sales tax by 1% on January 1, 2017, which will raise the current tax of 4% to 5%
*    Phases in a grocery state sales tax over a four year period (2016: 0%, 2017: 3%, 2018: 4%, 2019: 5%) with each 1% contributing $130 million to the state budget.  Food stamp purchases will be exempt from the grocery tax.
*    Implements a flat communications service tax beginning on January 1, 2016: state telecom: 5%, state cable: 5%, state direct broadcast satellite (DBS): 7%, local telecom: 1.25%, school telecom: 0.75%, local cable: 2%
*    Increase the current cigarette excise tax over three years (2017: $0.45, 2018: $0.55, 2019: $0.65)
Council Position: Support
 
House Bill 514:  Creation of City of South Fulton
Sponsor: Rep. Roger Bruce (D)
House Committee: Governmental Affairs
Senate Committee: State and Local Governmental Operations
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill creates a charter for the proposed City of South Fulton, which would be subject to voter approval in a local election.
Council Position: Neutral 
 
House Bill 521:  Fulton County Homestead Exemption
Sponsor: Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R)
House Committee: Intragovernmental Coordination
Senate Committee: State and Local Governmental Operations
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would allow voters to double Fulton County's basic property tax homestead exemption to $60,000.  Aimed at putting money back in homeowners' pockets, this bill would a $353 property tax break for the owner of a $275,000 house, whereas the owner of a $150,000 house would pay no county general fund property taxes.  If passed, residents would vote on the measure during the 2016 presidential primary.
Council Position: Neutral
 
House Bill 522:  Fulton County Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption
Sponsor: Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R)
House Committee: Intragovernmental Coordination
Senate Committee: State and Local Governmental Operations
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would provide an additional $30,000 homestead exemption for senior citizens age 70 or older who have lived in their homes for more than 10 years.  If passed, residents would vote on the measure during the 2016 presidential primary.
Council Position: Neutral

House Bill 785: Creation of Townships
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R)
House Committee: Government Affairs
Status: In Committee
This bill calls for the statewide referendum to amend the constitution allowing townships to have zoning powers. Townships could levy up to a .5 mill property tax, annex and transition to cityhood. Counties would have no say in the above decisions and counties must continue to provide all services and infrastructure to the area as they would any unincorporated area. Counties would have an opportunity to comment on township decisions, but there is nothing in law required that would give their comments the force of law.  
Council Position: Neutral
 
House Bill 894: Education Impact Fees
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R)
House Committee: Ways & Means
Status: In Committee
This is enabling legislation for HR864, the Constitutional Amendment to allow for education impact fees.  The legislation allows school boards to impose impact fees if there has been enrollment growth by at least 15% over the preceding five-year period by adoption of a resolution and creation of an impact fee advisory committee, comments from local governments and adoption of an impact fee schedule. The fee shall be valid for three years and can be extended for additional three year periods as long as the system meets the conditions to levy.
Council Position: Oppose

House Bill 966: Stream Bufffers
Spsonsor: Rep. Johnnie Caldwell
House Committee: Natural Resources & Environment
Status: In Committee
This legislation requires that a stream buffer be measure from the ordinary high water mark, as opposed to the point of wrested vegetation. The ordinary high water mark is defined in the bill as the line of demarcation along state waters established by the water's fluctuation and indicated by a number of  physical characteristics, including a clear natural line impressed on the bank, changes in character of soil and the presecnce of lietter and debris, among others.  The Council was opposed to the legislation and the impact it would have on development, due to the lack of clarity with the legislation and the the lack of clarity in the proposal.  A substitute was introduced that removed the high water mark language and instead would have established the top of the bank would be the measure.
Council Position: Oppose
 
Senate Bills
 

Senate Bill 36 : Prohibits Aquifers in Certain Coastal Counties
Sponsor: Senator William Ligon (R)
Senate Committee: Natural Resources and the Environment
House Committee: Natural Resources & Environment
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill would prohibit the use of water aquifers in 11 coastal counties. While this has a local impact as of now, the Council has concerns this could have state-wide implications.  Further, the latest version of the bill requires that the Board of Natural Resources adopt regulations that provide for the protection and preservation of only the Floridan aquifer, no longer including any aquifer that provides high-quality drinking water. 
Council Position: Neutral
 
Senate Bill 85 : Development Authorities
Sponsor: Senator Brandon Beach (R)
Senate Committee: Economic Development & Tourism
House Committee: Governmental Affairs
Status: House Passed by Subsititute
The language of the bill was changed from the orginal language with none of the original language of SB85. The bill now states that any individual appointed to state and local authorities boards and councils, and commissions, shall be a United States citizen, or a natural or lawful permanent resident.
Council Position: Neutral
 
Senate Bill 140:  City of South Fulton
Sponsor: Senator Donzella James (D)
Senate Committee: State and Local Governmental Operations
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill creates a charter for the proposed City of South Fulton, which would be subject to voter approval in a local election.
Council Position: Neutral
 
Senate Bill 142: Permits for Infrastructure
Sponsor: Senator Brandon Beach (R)
Senate Committee: Regulated Industries and Utilities
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill regulates procedures governing applications for zoning and permits for critical infrastructure projects. This addresses local governments and specifically states that "no local government shall provide for a moratorium with respect to any critical infrastructure projects."  The latest version of the bill defines "critical infrastructure projects" as:
 
(A) Electrical power transmission lines;
(B) Electrical power substations;
(C) Water and sewage treatment facilities;
(D) Water reservoirs, water storage facilities, and sewer lines;
(E) Cellular telephone towers and emergency 9-1-1 system facilities; 
(F) Natural gas transmission pipelines and power stations; or
(G) In-ground fiber optics systems.
 
Further, the latest version of the bill made some concessions, now allowing for moratoria of 90 days or less for items (C), (D), and (G) in the event a court or other applicable law declares such a moratoria invalid.
Council Position: Support
 
Senate Bill 170:  Procedures for Disposition of Property
Sponsor: Senator Brandon Beach (R)
Senate Committee: Transportation
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
When property is acquired for public road purposes but later abandoned, the current law requires that private property owners sharing a common boundary must be notified.  Under the proposed bill, however, if the acquired property is located within a subdivision with a duly formed property owner's association, notice of abandonment of the property may be provided to the property owner's association in lieu of notice to the individual owner.
Council Position: Support
 
Senate Bill 191:  Prohibiting Local Governing Authorities from Adopting Ordinances
Sponsor: Senator Lindsey Tippins (R)
Senate Committee: Transportation
House Committee: Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications
Status: House Passed and Adopted by Substitute
This bill prohibits local government authorities from adopting or enforcing ordinances which mandate marking requirements or standards which are different from those contained in state law or the rules and regulations of certain departments of this state.  Instead of passing state marking requirements or standards for how to illustrate the presence of underground utility lines and allowing local governments to use the state standards or come up with their own, this bill requires local governments to comply with state standards.
 
The bill would amend Chapter 9 of Title 25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the same Code Section amended in last year's "Call Before You Dig" bill relating to blasting or excavating near utility facilities.
 
To view a summary of the legislation by the Senate Research Office, Click HERE.
Council Position: Support

Senate Bill 272: Creation of Townships
Sponsor: Senator William Ligon (R)
Senate Committee: SLGO
Status: In Committee 
This bill calls for the statewide referendum to amend the constitution allowing townships to have zoning powers. Townships could levy up to a .5 mill property tax, annex and transition to cityhood. Counties would have no say in the above decisions and counties must continue to provide all services and infrastructure to the area as they would any unincorporated area. Counties would have an opportunity to comment on township decisions, but there is nothing in law required that would give their comments the force of law.  
Council Position: Oppose

Senate Bill 326: Erosion and Sediment Control
Sponsor: Senator Rick Jeffares (R)
Senate Committee: Regulated Industries
Status: In Committee
This legislation  
requires local governments to issue or deny 
an application for a soil erosion and sedimentation permit  within 14 days, instead of the current 45 day window and would have required Level 2 designers and permit reviers to be licensed in a field related to solil and erosion control. 
Council Position: Neutral

Senate Bill 366: DOT Selection Process
Sponsor: Senator Steve Gooch
Senate Committee: Transportation
House Comittee: Transportation
Status: In House Committee
This legislation  authorizes the Department of Transportation to utilize an alternative method to the selection process by selecting the lowest priced proposal of a qualified professional service provider.
Council Position: Neutral

Senate Resolution 43 : Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee
Sponsor:  Senator John Albers (R)
Senate Committee: Finance
Status: Did not pass 2015; eligible for 2016 session
This bill creates a Study Committee to examine the current state tax exemptions and the impact on the Georgia economy, in order to understand the value and assess which exemptions help stimulate the state's economy and benefit all Georgians through job creation.
Council P osition: Support
March 18, 2016

The Council for Quality Growth | 770-813-3370 | jt@councilforqualitygrowth.org 
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