News from under the Gold Dome

by | April 13, 2018 12:32 pm

by REP. BUTCH PARRISH, District 158 

   Hello!

   On Tuesday, March 27, we reconvened for the 12th and final week of the 2018 legislative session, and on Thursday, March 29, completed Legislative Day 40 and adjourned sine die. Legislative Day 40 is commonly referred to under the Gold Dome as “sine die,” a Latin term meaning “without assigning a day for further meeting.” Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting legislation from the 2018 Legislative Session.

   Over the next 40 days, Gov. Deal will review and sign or veto measures that received final House and Senate passage this session. Any bill the governor signs will become law, and any legislation not signed or vetoed within this 40-day period will automatically become law as well.

   Senate Bill 127 and Senate Resolution 146 would protect several specific victims’ rights. SR 146, also known as Marsy’s Law, would place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to provide victims explicit rights in Georgia’s Constitution.

   SB 154 would broaden Georgia law to hold those in positions of trust and authority criminally responsible for taking advantage of and violating Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens.

   Under SB 401, the Office of Student Achievement would collect and monitor enrollment and student record data for dual credit courses and would annually measure and evaluate the dual enrollment program. The provisions in this bill would help our students to explore their strengths, skills and career aptitudes as they move through middle and high school and beyond.

In an effort to expedite statewide deployment of broadband services and other emerging communications technologies, the House passed House Resolution 1698 and Senate Bill 426.

   HR 1698 urges the House Rural Development Council (RDC) to examine how to best

   • Spur economic growth throughout rural Georgia

   • Explore ways to streamline and make equitable the use of public rights-of-way while preserving local control of and fair compensation for such rights-of-way

   • Examine new pole rates, rentals and pole ownership to level the playing field among current and future communications services providers

   In their study of how to best manage public rights-of-way, the resolution encourages the RDC to

   • Solicit input from the Georgia Department of Transportation, local governments, communications services providers and other relevant parties

   • Authorize electric membership corporations (EMC) to supply and operate broadband services in rural counties with a population of 50,000 or less if the EMC secures a certificate of authority from the Public Service Commission

   Senate Bill 402 contains numerous technical changes to facilitate broadband expansion in rural areas and creates a certification process for cities and counties to be designated “Broadband-Ready Communities.”

   Finally, before we adjourned sine die for the year, the House fulfilled our only legislative responsibility as outlined in Georgia’s Constitution. The final FY 2019 budget includes an additional $166.7 million for local school systems, $16 million for school security and $100 million in bonds for transit. These additional education dollars would fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education formula, which provides k-12 school funding.

      I remain dedicated to serving your interests as your state representative, and I hope that you will contact me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the 2018 legislative session or with any proposals or recommendations for future legislation.

   Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts or concerns on pending issues, or whenever I can be of service. My legislative office is located in Room 245 of the State Capitol, and you can reach me by phone at 404-463-2247 or email me at butch.parrish@house.ga.gov.

   You can also stay in touch by visiting our website at www.house.ga.gov to watch a live stream of the House in action, as well as archived committee meetings, and review legislation that we are considering. 

   Follow me on Facebook for updates throughout the year.

   I am honored to serve the 158th House District and to continue to represent you as the chairman of the House Health Sub-Committee on Appropriations. I also serve as a member of the Economic Development, Banks and Banking, and Rules Committees. Thank you for allowing me to be your representative.

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