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Capitol Update: Week 7

Capitol-Update_Header-Week-7

The General Assembly was in session last week Monday through Friday for Legislative Days 20-24. On Friday, the House and Senate finally agreed to a new Adjournment Resolution which sets out the schedule for remainder of the 2021 legislative session. Crossover Day (the day by which a bill has to have passed out of either the House or the Senate in order to be eligible for consideration by the other legislative chamber) is scheduled for next Monday (March 8th) and Sine Day (the final day of the 40-day legislative session) is scheduled for March 31st.

HB 476 – The Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Act of 2021

HB 476 by Rep. Dale Washburn (R-Macon) was passed out of the House Regulated Industries Committee by a unanimous vote last Tuesday and passed out of the House Rules Committee on Friday. It will be voted on by the full House sometime today.

HB 476 was introduced at ACEC Georgia’s request and is also supported by the Surveying and Mapping Society of Georgia (SAMSOG). If passed, it will make the PELS Board an independent state agency, with its own separate budget, its own executive director and staff and its own attorney and investigators to investigate and enforce violations. This legislation was modeled on the existing arrangements for the Georgia Real Estate Commission and the Georgia State Board of Accountancy and will provide the financial and operational independence needed for the PELS Board to properly serve the 23,000 Professional Engineers and 1,200 Land Surveyors whose licensure is critical to protecting the health, safety and welfare of Georgia’s citizens and our built environment.

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 premise underlying the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170) – that all users of Georgia’s roads and bridges should contribute toward their upkeep. ACEC Georgia is opposed to this bill. STATUS: Assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee.

The Week Ahead

The General Assembly will be in Session on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. The focus will be on passing legislation out of committee and getting bills passed by either the full House or Senate before the end of Crossover Day next Monday. Next week the legislature will be in Session Monday through Thursday.