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Nonpartisan News from the Georgia Capitol
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2019 G eneral Session
Issue 2
January 28, 2019
   

UTGD Team 
 
Legislation Reporting Sally Fitzgerald 
LWVAF member 

Editor/Contributor
 Marla Bexley-Lovell LWVGA staff

Other Contributors  
Tracy Adkison
 LWVGA President
 Edna Kopetz
 LWVGA Member
Elizabeth Poythress LWVGA Board
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Report from the Capitol, Week 2
Submitted by Sally Fitzgerald, Capitol Reporter

Session Cheat Sheet
 
HB = House Bill                                         SB = Senate Bill 
HR= House Resolution                              SR = Senate Resolution
NNS = Needs No Signature                      TGFS = To Governor for Signature
DV = Differing Versions                             DOE = Department of Education
CA = Constitutional Amendment*              BOLD Bill Number = final passage * Requires a 2/3s vote in each chamber and a majority      

 
The General Assembly had no legislative days this week.  They did hold joint Appropriations Committee hearings on the budgets, that for the current year amended, FY19, and for the next year, FY20.  Budgets run from July 1 to June 30 and are designated by the year in which they end.
 
The FY19 budget has already been amended once, during the special session held in mid-November.  The damage caused by Hurricane Michael was so devastating, about $2 Billion, that it was necessary to pay some bills immediately and the current budget did not provide for that.  There were crops in the fields that were destroyed, trees growing food that was about to be harvested and other trees grown for sale.  Also, the infrastructure damage needed clearing and repair, and wages needed to be augmented.  Those amendments amounted to about $500 million, and included grants to farmers and tree growers, and tax credits for their losses.  State-owned equipment and other assets needed repair and often replacement, and lots of overtime wages were incurred.  That special session enabled the funds to be available ASAP rather than waiting for the start of the regular legislative session.
 
Thus, the amended FY19 budget being addressed now is somewhat pared down.  It includes a couple of large ticketed items which were removed to provide funds for the Hurricane relief but are now being addressed, such as the Mercer medical campus in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Tech Aviation School in Paulding.
 
The FY20 budget is a different story.  There is a new governor with differing priorities and campaign promises to be kept. The state's revenue situation is very good, but there is fear that it may not last, so caution is advised.  As always, LWV following the money.
 
Because readers have many interests, items over $1 million were examined and most are listed here.
 
The General Assembly returns next week for four days, Monday through Thursday, then takes a long Super Bowl weekend, returning on Tuesday, February 5 for Day 9.
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NEW LEGISLATION
 
BUDGET
 
HB 30  Ralston - 7     H.Appropriations
Amended FY19 budget:  All amount in millions.
*Administrative Services  $5, injury claim reimbursements.  One-time
*Behavior Health & Development Disability, $1.4, Development Disabilities
     "                                                                           7.1, Adult Mental Health
     "                                                                           8.4, Mental Health counselors in every high school
     "                                                                           7   , Direct Care Support Services in state hospital system
*Community Affairs, One GA Authority, $14, statewide water planning
*Community Health, $5.7, Replace Medicaid Management Information System, 10% of total needed
     "                               1,     consultant to review and analyze Medicaid waiver options
     "                             18.8, state share of Disproportionate Share Hospital Payment
     "                               9,     Medicaid - Aged, Blind & Disabled
     "                               2,     Medicare B premiums
     "                               5.2, Gene Therapy drug coverage
     "                               2.5, add 10 long term acute care and 3 intermediate rehab facilities as Medicaid providers
     "                               1,    Medicare drug plan claw back
     "                             24.8, Medicaid-Low Income growth
     "                               5.8 , Medicaid Hospital Inpatient prospective Payment System reimbursement model
     "                           (14.5), Revenue loss from hospital provider payments
     "                               9.3, Mercer School of Medicine, four year campus in Columbus
*Education, $3.5, Audio-Visual technology & film grants to rural school systems for student course work
     "             (18.2), Charter School adjustment for local effort
     "               89.7, QBE adjustment for growth in enrollment
     "               39.3, supplement for state commissioned charter schools
     "               68.9, school security, about $30,000 per school
*Human Services, $10, Out-of-Home care
*Natural Resources, $ 5.6, hazardous water cleanup
     "                                 1, Wildlife Endowment Fund, from lifetime sportmen's license fees
*Public Health,  $  5, from Super Speeder Funds and reinstatement fees
*Public Safety,  $   1.6, retirement and leave payouts, 1-time
     "                         1.2, Peace Officer Standards & Training Council, equipment & scan certification &
                                           Disciplinary files
*Revenue, $ 35.8, Forestland Protection Act
*Student Finance Commission, $ 3.6, Dual enrollment
     "                                                    2.7, HOPE for private schools
*Technical Colleges, $ 35, Chattahoochee Tech, establish Aviation Academy at Paulding Airport
 
HB 31  Ralston - 7     H.Appropriations
All state employees were given a 2% salary increase which includes local government employees on a state salary scale such as education bus drivers, food service workers, school nurses and sheriffs and their deputies and tax commissioners.  Certified teachers got a $3000 raise.  These amounts are spread throughout the departmental budgets.
All funds appropriated in FY19 for hurricane relief were removed from the FY20 budget.
 
FY20 budget:  All amount in millions.
*Court of Appeals, $2, 15 law clerks.
*District Attorneys, $1.5, for 15 assistant DAs for Juvenile Courts
* Behavior Health & Development Disability, $45, Adult Mental Health Services
     "                                                                            17.8m Direct Care Support Services
*Community Health, $66.7, Medicaid-Aged, Blind & Disabled
     "                                  88,    Medicaid - Low Income
     "                                  27.4  PeachCare
     "                                    2.5  Graduate Medical Education
*Community Supervision, $1.5, Field Services
     "                                           2.6, Office of Transition, Sup[port & Reentry
*Corrections, $12.5, Health
     "                      6.6, State Prisions
*Driver Services, $1, License Issuance
*Education, $483, Certified Teacher raises
     "                     79, Equalization grants to low wealth school districts
     "               (116.8) increase in local fair share to be paid for by local school districts
     "                 198     QBE programs
     "            10.6 Billion Total Education Departmental Expenditures
*Human Services, $8.3, Child Welfare
     "                            1.5, Elder Abuse Investigations and Prevention
     "                            2.8, Elder Community Living services
     "                            1.8, Federal Eligibility Benefit services
     "                           10,   Out-of-Home Care
*Georgia Bureau of Investigation, $1.3, Forensic Scientific services
     "                                                         1.4, Regional Investigative services
     "                                                         4.5, other enhancements
*Juvenile Justice, $1.9, Youth Detention Centers
     "                           3.9,  Regional Youth Detention Centers
*Public Health, $3.6, formula grants to counties
*Public Safety, $7.1, field offices and services
     "                       1.4, Office of Public Safety Support authorized in 2018.
*Regents, $  1.8, Cooperative Extension services
     "                1.4, Cyber Innovation & Training Center
     "            141.2, Teaching
     "                1.2,  Georgia Military College
*Revenue, $3, Tax Compliance
     "                2.5, Taxpayer services
*Student Finance, $ 3.5, Dual Enrollment
     "                            10.8, HOPE, Private schools
     "                            67,     HOPE, Public schools
     "                              5,      REACH scholarship
*Technical Colleges, $6.7, Technical Education
*Transportation, $32.6, capital maintenance projects
     "                            3,     local maintenance and improvement grants
*BONDS, principal amount
     $935 in 20 years bonds
         21.2, in 10 year   "     , which includes $150 million for new voting equipment.
         93.5, in 5 year     "
       106, debt service, in cash
 
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Sally FitzGerald, Capitol Observer
sallyfitz@bellsouth.net
League of Women Voters - Atlanta/Fulton
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19.Wk2.25Jan


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