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Under the Gold Dome: Day 6
Full coverage of the 2011 legislative session
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The Senate voted 52-0 to override former Gov. Sonny Perdue's 2010 veto of a zero-based budgeting bill that passed with bipartisan support.

Perdue vetoed the bill after the session ended, which allowed the override when lawmakers reconvened this year.

The bill would require a quarter of the budget to be zero-based each year, with the entire budget subject to zero-based budgeting every four years - the length of one gubernatorial term.

The state now operates under a continuous budget, where new spending programs approved by the General Assembly are automatically rolled over into the succeeding budget.

That allows, for example, a department to continue to receive appropriations for employee positions that are not filled.

The bill will go to the House of Representatives, which must also vote to override the veto by at least a two-thirds majority for the legislation to become law.

Gov. Nathan Deal has signaled support for zero-based budgeting.

The House adjourned before Senate concluded Thursday, meaning the veto vote will happen when both chambers come back into session at 1 p.m. Monday.

In the Senate, a number of key bills related to health care legislation were referred to committees during Thursday's legislative session.

Highlights

Senate Bill 22: Authorize the governor to apply for a federal waiver of the medical loss ratio requirements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

SB 23: Stop any legislative decisions related to the implementation and enforcement of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

SB 25: Stop all departments or agencies from implementing any federal health care reform legislation unless the General Assembly approves it.

Senate Resolution 54: Create the Senate Study Committee on Health Care Transformation, which will investigate the availability and affordability of health care insurance, access to health care services and the federal requirements for the states to implement the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

SR 55: Pass the Health Care Freedom of Choice Constitutional Amendment to the state constitution, which would prohibit any law or regulation from forcing a person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system.

Senate

Assigned to committee:

SB 24: Waive five hours of continuing education requirements for dentists who have completed 20 hours of volunteer practice for public, not-for-profit and nonprofit groups that provide dentistry services only to indigent patients.

SB 26: Allow permit holders to carry firearms during states of emergency, and stop law enforcement officers from seizing firearms during states of emergency.

SB 27: Under the Georgia Public Works and Contractor Protection Act, clarify how public employers verify employee work eligibility. After Jan. 1, 2013, only corporations approved under the IMAGE program of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can bid on public works contracts in Georgia.

House

Referred to committee:

House Bill 79: Close public schools on Nov. 11 of each year in honor of Veterans Day.

HB 80: Repeal Georgia code relating to annexation of unincorporated islands.

HB 81: Require the submission of a bill for a fiscal note when such bill has a significant impact upon anticipated revenues or expenditures of a local school system; to provide for cooperation by the Department of Education and the state school superintendent; to provide for distribution of the bill and fiscal notes to local school superintendents.

HB 82, 83: Additional versions of the fiscal year 2011 supplemental budget.

HB 84, 85: Additional versions of the fiscal year 2012 budget.

HB 86: Allow energy exemptions when sold or used for manufacturing.

HB 87: Enact the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, which would require private employers to use an employment eligibility verification system and allow law enforcement officials to investigate illegal immigration status.

HB 88: Stop lobbyists from reported expenses related to elected state officials and instead require elected state officials to report lobbyist spending for their benefit. Allow the State Ethics Commission to review these reports and punish violations.

House Resolution 57: Recognize the accomplishments of Rosa Parks, Ralph David Abernathy Sr., the Rev. Hosea L. Williams, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and the Rev. Joseph Everhart Boone and ask for their portraits to be placed in the Capitol.

Both chambers also passed various resolutions to recognize special days and people, including SR 56: Recognize the Auburn University football team for an undefeated 2010 season, the Southeastern Conference Championship, the 2010 BCS National Championship and a No. 1 BCS ranking.

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