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Under the Gold Dome: Day 21

Full coverage of the 2011 legislative session

POSTED: March 2, 2011 11:54 p.m.

Highlights

The state Senate on Tuesday approved a zero-based budgeting bill, 51-0, which is their second attempt at the legislation after a failed veto override earlier in the session.

Zero-based budgeting would require each state agency to justify each line item in its budget at least once every four years. The state now uses a system in which last year's figures are carried over to the current year without a line-by-line accounting.

Both chambers passed a zero-based budgeting bill last session, but former Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed it in 2010, saying he thought it would not be effective. The Senate tried to override it, but House members decided to move forward with new bills this session.

In the House, Gov. Nathan Deal's HOPE scholarship changes passed 152-22 Tuesday, just a week after House Bill 326 was filed.

The scholarship, which traditionally covered college tuition for students who earned a 3.0 grade point average in high school, will now be tied to revenue from the Georgia Lottery. The bill will award the scholarship at 90 percent of current tuition rates.

Those who graduate high school with a 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT score would see all tuition covered under a new Zell Miller Scholarship, named after the former governor who created the program.

Students would be required to maintain a 3.3 in college to keep the full award.

Senate

Senate Bill 166: Revise the requirements for continuing care providers and facilities and define the insurance commissioner's enforcement powers.
SB 167: Reduce weekly unemployment compensation benefits by benefits received from a public retirement system.
SB 168: Dedicate the Georgia Move-Over law in memory of Spencer Pass.
SB 169: Provide a homestead exemption for ad valorem taxes used for county purposes in Bibb County.
SB 170: Provide a homestead exemption for ad valorem taxes used for city purposes in Macon.
SB 171: Provide a homestead exemption for ad valorem taxes used for education purposes in Bibb County.
SB 172: Require a home study by an evaluator before adoptions.
SB 173: Create a board of elections and registration for Hancock County.
SB 174: Require all jails to participate in the Department of Homeland Security Secure Communities initiative, which is a federal program that tracks immigration status under 287(g) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
SB 175: Create the Citizens' Redistricting Commission, which would include seven members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, House speaker and other leaders to talk about the apportionment of House and Senate seats.
SB 176: Allow agencies to conduct meetings by teleconference as long as they follow open meetings and open records laws.
SB 177: Adopt the Health Care Compact, which restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to states. It would allow Georgia to create laws that are better suited to the state's needs, including amendments to the federal health care law passed last year.
SB 178: Require regulation and licensing of assisted-living communities.
Senate Resolution 263: Require legislative and congressional reapportionment to be done by an independent, nonpartisan commission instead of the General Assembly.
SR 265: Create the Joint Study Committee on State-Local Government Mandate Review to study numerous mandates on local governments that involve programs, reporting requirements and regulations.

House

House Bill 393: Provide a homestead exemption for ad valorem taxes used for city purposes in Hiawassee.
HB 394: Allow for deannexation of property previously annexed.
HB 395: Give preference to businesses owned by disabled veterans for state purchasing contracts.
HB 396: Provide a new charter for the city of Peachtree Corners.
HB 397: Comprehensively revise laws regarding open meetings and open records by increasing fines and penalties for improperly closing meetings.
HB 398: Correct typographical errors for Fulton County Board of Education pensions and retirement.
HB 399: Require corporations to file name and address registration with the Secretary of State's Office.
HB 400: Exempt restrictions for withdrawals from Tennessee River interbasin transfers.
HB 401: Enact the Presidential Electibility Assurance Act, which would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before landing on the Georgia ballot.
HB 402: Change provisions relating to disclosure and dissemination of criminal records and inspection, purging, modifying or supplementing of criminal records under the Georgia Crime Information Center to private persons and businesses.
HB 403: Revise income tax credit amounts for qualified businesses.
HB 404: Change the definition of "low-emission vehicle" to mean a vehicle that is "fully functional on an alternative fuel and can be propelled for at least 30 miles" for income tax credits.
HB 405: Require regulation and licensing of assisted-living communities.
HB 406: Allow taxpayers to make contributions to Georgia's pre-kindergarten program through income tax refunds.
HB 407: Update the population bracket for taxes in certain counties. In counties with a population between 700,000 and 740,000, taxes are delinquent by Oct. 15.
HB 408: Require automated external defibrillators in all schools.
HB 409: Revise board exams for a license to practice veterinary medicine.
HB 410: In Suwanee, allow the term of any elected city official to be declared vacant when an official qualifies for election to another office.
HB 411: Require the probate court judge position to be a nonpartisan election in Fayette County.
HB 412: Remove certain limitations on the use of a tax credit for research and development by a business enterprise.
HB 413: Revise the surplus line insurance law in Georgia related to the duties of the broker.
HB 414: Revise the duties of the Georgia Aviation Authority and transfer of certain personnel, aircraft and other assets from the Georgia Aviation Authority to the Department of Public Safety.
HB 415: Enact the Jury Composition Reform Act of 2011, which would create a modernized and uniform system of compiling, creating, maintaining and updating jury lists in Georgia.
House Resolution 424: Urge a feasibility study of Tennessee River basin withdrawals.
HR 425: Prevent discrimination in the public funding of social services by allowing religious or faith-based organizations to receive public aid.
HR 426: Create the House Study Committee on Procurement Policies of Georgia Departments and Agencies Regarding Businesses Owned by Minorities and Women to study of whether Georgia's state agencies are properly considering businesses owned by minorities and women when issuing contracts.

Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people.

 



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