Georgia lawmakers approved several bills Monday as the deadline loomed for Crossover Day, or the 30th day of the legislative session on Wednesday when bills must pass from one chamber to another to become law.
The House passed a zero-based budgeting bill, 126-45, which would require state agencies to justify their expenditures once every six years as opposed to the current system, which only requires department heads to explain budget changes.
Former Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed zero-based budget legislation last year and the issue became a hot topic in January as the Senate failed to override the veto. The Senate has already approved a similar zero-based budgeting bill this year.
Also a political hot item, the Senate passed an amended immigration bill that would require employers to check the immigration status of new hires.
The bill, approved by a 34-21 vote, will move to the House, where a similar bill passed earlier this month.
Senate Bill 259: Change compensation and reimbursement for Board of Natural Resources member expenses.
SB 260: Allow court clerks to provide for the scanning and electronic retention of wills and create a registry of powers of attorney.
SB 261: Create a special license plate supporting prostate cancer programs.
SB 262: Allow cities and counties to give a fine to a property owner who fails to correct a code violation.
Senate Resolution 393: Create the Senate Residential and General Contractors Licensing Study Committee to investigate the fees, proof of financial ability and written examination related to the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.
House Bill 530: Change how Forest Park officials are removed from office.
HB 531: Under income taxes, change the definition of "taxable nonresident" to include people who live outside of the state but earn financial gain or profit of more than $5,000.
HB 532: Allow for the taxability of compensation paid to entertainers and professional athletes.
HB 533: Allow judges, solicitors general or district attorneys to transfer funds from the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia to the Georgia Judicial Retirement System.
HB 534: Change eligibility requirements for probate court clerks.
HB 535: Allow the Veterans Service Board to establish a fee for residency in a facility of the Georgia State War Veterans' Home.
HB 536: Allow the Public Service Commission to regulate private emergency warning points to multipoint systems.
Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people.