As the 2013 GA Legislative Session draws to a close, it looks like usual: a few good things may get done, several good things won’t get done, and a significant amount of energy was expended for non-prosperous ends.
We’re still monitoring two bills we like. The first is a cap increase for Student Scholarship Organizations (SSOs), originally HB 231, that is being attached to a Senate bill and headed for the Senate now. We are looking for Senate passage and a House “Agree”. The other bill would level the playing field for non-union shops to bid state and local projects. This is Representative Ed Lindsay’s legislation (HB 362) where, if the State pursues a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) they must allow non-union groups to bid the projects as well. This effectively ends a scenario where special agreements currently limit state and local governments from using anything other than unionized outlets on some project bids. The sister legislation, HB 361, involves paycheck protection and limits the behavior of union organizations in efforts to procure members.
Bills we supported that seem to already be dead for this Session are Civil Forfeiture Reform, fractional SPLOST, property tax billing reform, and removing Common Core from GA schools. Ethics reform is awkwardly lumbering along, as the House and Senate seem miles apart, but duty bound to do something, even if it’s mostly meaningless. The budget plans are different in each Chamber, but that, too, will get done. We hope they will be done with no new taxes, or any more fees.
Why do we need boots on the ground on the last day of Session this Thursday? Sometimes bills get amended onto related bills; often conference committees change bills significantly; many bills are passed or discarded. That means many moving parts to keep up with. We could use your help if you can volunteer for part of the day.