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Legislative Update from The Georgia Chamber

LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

The Georgia General Assembly convened Tuesday through Friday for legislative days 8-11. The General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, Feb. 11 for legislative day 12 and will work through Friday, Feb. 15.

This past week, the general assembly adopted an adjournment resolution dictating the schedule for the remainder of the legislative session. To view the resolution, click here.

 

GEORGIA CHAMBER ACTION

The Georgia Chamber has a new social media channel called Georgia Chamber Action.This allows an opportunity for supporters to directly engage on political and policy issues. Twitter and Facebook provide real-time updates from the Georgia Chamber Public Affairs team at the State Capitol.

Like and Follow to help the Georgia Chamber keep Georgia #1 for business, and to stay up to speed on Georgia Chamber priority bills and action alerts.

 

GOVERNOR KEMP ANNOUNCES STATE WILL PURSUE FEDERAL MEDICAID WAIVER

Late this week, Governor Brian Kemp announced his intent to pursue two federal waivers to address the state’s rural healthcare crisis and assist small businesses struggling with increasing premiums on the federal exchange.

The Kemp administration is expected to introduce legislation next week that will outline what a potential waiver pursuit would look like for Georgia accompanied by a statewide listening tour. Additionally, the Governor’s budget includes $1 million for the purpose of hiring a team of consultants to explore how Georgia can best draw down additional federal dollars while maintaining state flexibility.

Addressing Georgia’s struggling rural health care providers and safety net hospitals has been a Georgia Chamber legislative priority for the last three years and we look forward to working with the Kemp administration and the legislature to move this issue forward in 2019.

To read more about this announcement, click here.

 

LEGISLATION OF INTEREST

Senate Resolution 19: Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Senator Brandon Beach (Alpharetta)

Today, the Georgia State Senate passed SR 19, 54 – 0, which seeks to create the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics. For Georgia to remain economically competitive, it is imperative to develop a state-wide strategic plan to define Georgia’s future freight infrastructure and develop mechanisms to build and develop projects to meet those needs.

 

House Bill 59: Assistance for Students of Military Personnel

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative Dave Belton (Buckhead)

HB 59 provides eligibility for military students to enroll in a public school based on official military orders prior to establishing residency. HB 59 is currently being considered before the Academic Achievement Subcommittee of the House Education Committee.

 

House Bill 36: HOPE Tuition-Free Grant

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Bill Author: Representative Bob Trammell (Luthersville)

HB 36 focuses on a tuition-free grant for HOPE scholarship providing for certain eligibility requirements, limitations, and other matters related to the grant. The Chamber supports this bill as another tool to ensure a continuous pipeline of workforce-ready students throughout the state.  The bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.

 

House Bill 74: Firearms and Ride Share Networks

Chamber Position: OPPOSE

Bill Author: Representative Scot Turner (Holly Springs)

The Georgia Chamber supports safe, healthy, and productive work environments. As part of a safe working environment, the Chamber supports the rights of employers to determine appropriate policies and regulations regarding conduct on the company’s private property. HB 74 would make it illegal for ride share companies to prohibit drivers from carrying or possessing weapons inside the vehicle while they are active on the ride share platform. The organization opposes this legislation and believes that individuals employed by rideshare networks should be required to abide by the terms and conditions laid out by these networks.

 

STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 5 RUN-OFF ELECTION

On Tuesday, former city councilman Matt Barton (R-Calhoun) won the State House District 5 special election run-off. He will move forward to fill the North Georgia seat to replace late Representative John Meadows. Click here for the unofficial results from Tuesday’s special election run-off.

 

FRANKLIN PATTEN ENDORSEMENT

The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) encourages you to vote this upcoming Tuesday, Feb. 12, for Franklin Patten in the State House District 176 special election which encompasses portions of Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Ware Counties. Franklin Patten is the pro-business candidate who will work to keep Georgia the #1 state to do business. We ask that you join us in support of his candidacy. To view the press release on the endorsement, click here.

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE

The Georgia Chamber has begun engaging in 2019 special elections along with preparing for the 2020 election cycle. In 2019, the Georgia Chamber plans to continue towards growth and expansion of its political reach across the state. They will increase their involvement with members and local chambers on the political front as they prepare for the 2020 elections.

The Georgia Chamber PAC will host two confirmed events this year. The Macon PAC Dinner will be held at The Tic Toc Room on Aug. 12th (the evening before Congressional Luncheon), and the Cast & Blast Retreat at Dorchester Shooting Preserve will be held from Oct. 29th to Oct. 31st. If you are interested in attending a PAC event, contributing to the PAC, or need additional information, please contact Allison Plummer at APlummer@GaChamber.com. The Georgia Chamber asks that you consider supporting the Georgia Chamber PAC today. If you would like to donate online, click here.

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