We are now past the halfway mark of the 2012 legislative session. We continue to work in committees and on the House floor to ensure important legislation makes it through the House while there is still time. Just recently:
- HR 1162 also known as the Charter School Amendment, passed to amend the Georgia Constitution to clarify the state authority to establish state-wide education policy. The measure now heads to the Senate and if passed will be on the ballot in November for the voters to decide.
- HR 1325 passed urging Congress to repeal an outdated law so that illegal cell phone use can be more easily detected in prisons. Illegal cell phone use is a growing problem in Georgia prisons. They serve not only as a threat to other inmates but to the staff of our prisons, as cell phones are often used to initiate violence.
- HB 456 The Georgia Government Accountability Act, referred to as the Sunset Act, creates a routine schedule to review of all state agencies and executive branch subsidiaries that receive funds through a state appropriations Act.
- HB 844, a bill I sponsored on the Ways & Means Committee, passed by Committee Substitute in an effort to strengthen the weaknesses in the validation process under which the local development authorities issue Industrial Revenue Bond, bond anticipation notes and other financial instruments for the purpose of stimulating economic development and assisting new, expanding or relocating businesses to come to Georgia.
- HB 974, or "Caylee Anthony's Law", which would instate policy to aid Georgia prosecutors in penalizing criminally negligent parents who do not report missing or deceased children within a timely manner was also introduced.
- HB 824, Modernizing the Education Equalization Formula, provides additional funding city and county K-12 systems that have low property tax wealth per public school child. This is a separate grant to make up for differences in property tax digests across the state.
As we embark on Legislative Day 28, 13 bills are expected to be debated on the floor as Crossover Day (Day 30) quickly approaches.