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AFP GA Crossover Day at the Capitol - Wednesday, March 7

March 02, 2012 J

Join us for Crossover Day, this Wednesday, March 7 at your State Capitol – RSVP to joel.foster@afphq.org

Crossover Day is Day 30 in the GA Legislature, the day when nearly all bills that will be heard by the other chamber must have passed out of one chamber and “crossed over” for consideration. It’s a long and busy day, as Senators, Representatives, and committees work quickly to wrap up their bills and get them through, so they have a chance at becoming law. Since this is an election year, any bills not passed by this Legislature are “dead” unless reintroduced next Session.

While we have been significantly invested in efforts to secure a referendum on charter schools (HR 1162), there are a number of other bills and issues we’ve been involved in. Here’s a status update of what we’re following.

Zero-based Budgeting bill, would require each government agency to “zero out” their budget beginning point on a rotating basis to require them to justify every budget item. Vetoed by Gov. Perdue in 2010, different versions passed by House and Senate in 2011, this year it looks possible that it will make it out of conference committee for a floor vote.

A companion bill, GA Government Accountability Act, aka Sunset Bill, would require a Legislative Committee to determine which state agencies should be combined or closed, with each agency subject to periodic review of its core mission. Different versions passed by House and Senate in 2011, this year it looks possible that it will make it out of conference committee for a floor vote.

Tax reform efforts that began last year appear to be stalled.

HB 291, the Property Taxpayer Protection bill would stop local governments from including any number of fees to be added to the property tax bill, thus subjecting the property to tax sale for not paying the garbage bill, for instance. Status – appears stuck in committee.

HB 855 would phase out over 3 years the subsidy metro Atlantans pay on their phone bill to reduce costs for rural phone companies. Known as the Universal Access Fund, this antiquated subsidy narrowly avoided the chopping block 2 years ago, and since has ballooned. Appears to be headed for a House vote

SB 313, the Broadband Investment Equity Act would have made it more difficult for government entities to compete with private companies to provide broadband services. It appears to be stuck in committee.

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