Today was Economic Development Day at the Capitol. Both chambers recognized the importance of job creation and work force development and pledged to promote business-friendly legislation in the coming weeks.
In addition, both chambers passed resolutions to adjourn after today's session and come back at 1:30 p.m. Monday. They will also adjourn at the end of Feb. 3 and come back at 1 p.m. Feb. 7.
A number of key bills were referred to committees in both the House and Senate during Wednesday's legislative session.
Senate Bill 14: Raise the age of mandatory education from 16 to 17.
House Bill 69: Allow counties to authorize Sunday alcoholic beverage sales from 12:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m., which is similar to SB 10 introduced Tuesday.
HB 77: House Speaker David Ralston introduced the state's supplemental budget for fiscal year 2011.
HB 78: Ralston introduced the state's fiscal year 2012 budget.
Assigned to committee:
SB 11: Extend the effective period of a continuing garnishment.
SB 12: Designate Georgia Mass Choir as the state's official mass choir.
SB 13: Designate driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the vehicle as a felony.
SB 15: Separate regulations of operators of private detective businesses and private security businesses from the Georgia Peace Officer Standard and Training Council, which is similar to HB 53 introduced Tuesday.
SB 16: Create a Board of Commissioners for Lowndes County.
SB 17: Establish the Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Health Insurance Benefits to review any proposed legislation containing a mandated health insurance benefit or provider and review existing mandated health insurance benefits or providers.
SB 18: Remove the restrictions of public officers and employees serving on the State Defense Force.
SB 19: Define forgery and fraudulent practices and create the crime of medical identity fraud.
SB 20: Prevent state departments and agencies from implementing parts of the federal health care reform legislation unless the General Assembly authorizes it.
SB 21: Under the Department of Revenue, no audit should be conducted after three years following the filing of a sales tax return. Senate Resolution 1: Increase public awareness about the dangers of celebratory gunfire and adopt tougher criminal sanctions for people who hurt or kill others by using celebratory gunfire.
SB 43: Request the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa without any conditions as soon as possible to enable America's alfalfa farmers to have access to genetically engineered alfalfa seeds in time for the spring planting season.
Referred to committee:
HB 70: Allow a license for mobile barbershops.
HB 71: Give local governments the power to allow bicycles on sidewalks.
HB 73: Allow local option sales taxes to be used for economic development.
HB 74: Give tuition grant assistance to Georgia Military College students, similar to the grant given to military students at North Georgia College & State University.
HB 75: Allow nonprofit organizations to sell alcoholic beverages without a license during a single function.
HB 76: Create the Georgia Certified Retirement Community Program under the Department of Economic Development to encourage retirees and those planning to retire to make their homes in Georgia. Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people.