Capitol Update: Week 3
The General Assembly was hard at work last week for Legislative Days 5 through 8. They passed an adjournment resolution, H.R. 31, that will take them through Legislative Day 13 on Monday, February 8th. Members and staff are being regularly tested for COVID and there remain concerns that the session may have to hit a pause at some point, as it did last year at the beginning of the pandemic.
Because of the urgency to appropriately fund the government through remainder of fiscal year 2021, the chambers have moved extraordinarily quickly to pass the Amended FY 2021 Budget. The House Appropriation Subcommittees all passed their bills out of committee on Tuesday morning, the full Appropriations Committee passed the entire FY 21 Amended Budget on Wednesday morning, and the bill was on the House floor on Thursday morning, where it passed by a bipartisan 149-20 vote. It was then immediately transmitted to the Senate and Senate Appropriations Committee began its hearings on Friday.
The version passed by the House made few changes to the Governor’s budget proposal. One change of note in the Georgia DOT budget was to provide additional funds to assist the Department in retaining and hiring additional personnel to help process the additional $322M in federal funds that Georgia will receive. GDOT’s headcount has been dropping steadily over the past decade, while significantly more projects have been funded as a result of the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170). You can follow the budget tracking sheet here to see the changes the House made to the Amended FY 21 Budget.
Legislation ACEC Georgia is following
By Rep. Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City), would exempt public mass transit, campus transit, and public school system buses from paying Georgia’s motor fuel excise tax. This bill would undermine the purposes of HB 170 and ACEC Georgia will oppose. STATUS: Referred to the House Ways & Means Committee.
The Week Ahead
The General Assembly will be in session Monday through Thursday this week, taking us through Legislative Day 12. The General Assembly will then meet on Monday, February 8th for Legislative Day 13, which is the last Legislative Day provided for in the current Adjournment Resolution (the agreement that sets out the legislative schedule).