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  • ACEC Georgia Capitol Update 2019: Issue 10
  • The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Tuesday at midnight.

     

    I am pleased to report that HB 493, Private Plan Review and Inspection, is on the way to the Governor's desk for signature.

     

    The clean House version of HB 516, Structural Engineer Licensure was also passed in the waning hours Tuesday night. I want to thank Michael Planer, President of PES Structural Engineers and Adrian Persaud, Principal at Uzun+Case for joining Sully and me at the Capitol to lobby in favor of the bill.  

     

    None of the transportation bills made it through conference committee. Several bills were combined originally on SB 131 and then on SB 200. The following bills will be back next year: HB 447, Delta Tax Credit; HB 511, Rural Transit; SB 131, Hartsfield Jackson Takeover or Oversight; and SB 200, GDOT bid appeals procedure. When SB 200 died, the restriction on Gwinnett to hold another MARTA referendum also died 

     

    Activity on additional bills we are following:

     

    HB 322, the procurement registry bill, is on to the Governor's desk.

     

    SB 131, Hartsfield Jackson Airport Takeover bill, is dead.

     

    HR 164 by House Rules Chairman Jay Powell (R-Camilla) was gutted in the Senate and passed 52-0. The House did not bring the Resolution up for an agree so this issue is dead for the session. As originally introduced by Chairman Powell, all fees collected for a specific purpose must actually go to that purpose rather than be redirected to the state's General fund. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee substitute gutted the bill and only included the option to dedicate the fees from the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (HWTF) and the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF).

     

    SB 200, GDOT bid appeals procedure, went to conference but neither chamber approved the conference committee report. 

     

    Full List of Legislation ACEC Georgia is Following:

     

    HB 23 - By Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville) would allow Electric Membership Corporations to provide broadband services. STATUS: Passed House 166-0. Senate Tabled on Day 39 because House passed SB 2 companion legislation.

     

    HB 30 - FY19 Supplemental. STATUS: Passed both chambers February 22, 2019 by 166-8 and 55-0. Signed by the Governor.

     

    HB 31 - FY20 Budget. STATUS: Passed House 155-13. Passed Senate 53-0. Sent to Governor.

     

    HB 42 - By Rep. Scot Turner (R- Holly Springs) - would prohibit professional licensing boards from suspending or revoking the license of a person who is a borrower in default under an educational loan issued through the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation or through a federal agency.   STATUS: Reappeared late into Day 40 as an attachment to SB 214 the Cosmetologist bill. Passed both Chambers. Sent to Governor.

     

    HB 184 - By Rep. Bret Harrell (R-Snellville) the negotiated Small Cell bill. Allow 5G to be collocated on poles located in the city/county right of way. STATUS: Passed House. Passed Senate Regulated Industries. In Senate Rules. Companion Legislation is awaiting Governor's signature. House passed SB 66 companion legislation.

     

    HB 315 - By Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta) would require that paid and unpaid consultants who work on bid requirements for RFPs, procurement orders or purchasing orders for local governments disclose any conflict of interest if they have a financial interest in the final bid package. We have worked with Rep. Newton on language. STATUS: Passed out of Government Affairs. Passed House 161-0. Amended in Senate Government Oversight. Passed Senate 52-0 and Passed House as Amended by the Senate. Sent to Governor.

     

    HB 322 - By Rep. Tom McCall (R-Elberton) would clarify when and how local governments must advertise bids on the state procurement registry. HB 489, which passed last year, set a very low bar for the advertisement of bids on the state registry which overwhelmed local governments. This bill would increase the bid threshold to advertise to $100,000. Additionally, this bill clarifies that construction bids must be advertised on the state registry for four weeks. ACEC, AGC, GMA and ACCG have worked jointly on this legislation. STATUS: Passed House 166-0. Amended in Senate Rules. House stripped Senate Amendment and a clean version passed both chambers. Sent to Governor.

     

    HB 422 - By Rep. Tim Barr (R-Lawrenceville) Amended Version would allow non-Local Issuing Authorities (LIA) two new options for soil and erosion plan review. Currently, a non-LIA government must use EPD for soil and erosion plan review. This bill would allow a non-LIA government to contract with an LIA government within their water district for plan review or allow a non-LIA to employ or contract with an individual with Level 2 Design status for in house plan review.   STATUS: Attached to HB 493 in Regulated Industries. Passed House 142-20. Striped out of HB 493 in Senate Regulated Industries on Tuesday. Dead for the session. Author is working with us, AGC and Soil and Water to craft a bill for next session.

     

    HB 447 - By Rep. Dominic LaRiccia (R-Douglas) merged with SB 131, the Hartsfield Jackson Airport Takeover bill in Senate Finance. This amended bill also increased the excise tax from $.005 to $.01. The Governor's floor leader objected to the amendment but the bill passed out of Senate Finance 5-4. STATUS: Passed Full Ways and Means. PASSED HOUSE 140-25. Passed Senate Finance. In Senate Rules. Now attached to SB 131 and HB 511. Passed House and is awaiting action in Senate. Died in conference committee on SB 200.

      

    HB 493 - By Rep. Kevin Tanner (R- Dawsonville), Private plan review and inspection are currently allowed but only if the governing authority cannot perform their duty within the 30 business day period. This legislation would allow the owner of a project to elect to use a licensed professional engineer to conduct a plan review or inspection immediately without having to wait on the governing authority. STATUS: Passed Regulated Industries. Passed House 142-20. Passed Senate Regulated Industries. Passed Senate 54-0. Passed House 145-12. Awaiting Governor's signature.

     

    HB 511 - By Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) state wide transit mobility bill which builds on the transit bill from last year. This bill would establish a permanent funding source for transit by adding a sales tax to Uber/Lyft trips. It also creates a new transit division, GMobile, that would take over GRTA's duties and oversee ATL and SRTA. The bill creates mobility regions that can coordinate transit options and ask voters to tax themselves for additional transit funding. STATUS: Passed House Transportation as amended. Passed House 159-11. Senate Transportation gave several hearings only. Attached to SB 131 in House Rules. Passed House and is awaiting action in Senate. The bill died in conference committee on SB 200

            

    HB 516 - By Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain) would establish a new P.E. Structural Engineer license. This bill would alleviate a competitive disadvantage our Georgia structural engineers face when competing for bids against individuals from states that have already established the license. STATUS: Passed Regulated Industries. Passed House 164-4. Passed Senate Regulated Industries as Amended. Amended on Senate floor to include SB 204, regulation of MMA activities, at the request of the Secretary of State's office. Passed Senate 48-1. Awaiting an agree in the House. House stripped amended language and passed original version. Awaiting the Governor's signature.

     

    HR 37 - By Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), House Transportation Chairman, would create a joint House/Senate Commission on Freight and Logistics.   The goal of the Commission is to develop a state-wide comprehensive, strategic business plan for freight and rail to handle the increased import volume from the Port of Savannah. The Commission will also look at alternative freight routes and funding mechanisms.   Similar to SR 19, but the Commission members are different. STATUS: Passed House 169-1. Passed Senate 51-1. Awaiting Governor's signature.

     

    HR 164 - By Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) Constitutional Amendment that would allow revenues derived from fees or taxes to be dedicated to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were imposed. The House passed an identical bill last year by a vote of 166-1 and now Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan was a cosponsor of the bill. It did not receive a hearing in the Senate last year. STATUS: Passed House 169-1. Passed Senate Appropriations after they gutted the original intent of the bill. Passed Senate 52-0. Awaiting action in House. The bill is Dead for session.

     

    SB 2 - By Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) would allow Electric Membership Corporations to provide broadband services.   STATUS: Passed Regulated Industries. Passed Senate 53-1. Passed House 107-62. Awaiting Governor's signature.

     

    SB 17 - By Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) the Rural Telephone Cooperative Act, would allow Cooperative nonprofit corporations who currently provide telephone service in rural areas to also provide broadband services. STATUS: Passed Senate 55-0. Passed House 169-1. Awaiting Governor's signature.

     

    SB 66 - By Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) the negotiated Small Cell bill. Allow 5G to be collocated on poles located in the city/county right of way. STATUS: Passed Senate 53-0. Passed House 159-3. Awaiting Governor's signature.

     

    SB 92 - By Sen. Beach (R-Alpharetta) - would prohibit professional licensing boards from suspending or revoking the license of a person who is a borrower in default under an educational loan issued through the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation or through a federal agency. Same bill as HB 42. STATUS: Passed Senate Education. Passed Senate 51-0. Assigned to House Appropriations. Died but HB 42 companion language passed and is awaiting governor's signature.

     

    SB 131 - By Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson) "Georgia Major Airport Act" would allow the State to create an Authority to run Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Amended in House Rules to create an oversight committee instead of a State take-over. House Rules also attached HB 511 and HB 447. STATUS: Passed Transportation. Passed Senate 34-22. Amended in House Rules. Passed House and is awaiting action in the Senate. The bill Died.

     

    SB 200 - By Sen. Steve Gooch would require GDOT to establish an appeals process for bid rejection. STATUS: Passed Transportation. Passed Senate 54-0. Passed House Transportation. Amended in House Rules to prevent Gwinnett from putting the MARTA referendum on the ballot until 2026. The bill Died.

     

    SR 19 - By Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), Senate Transportation Chairman, would create a joint House/Senate Commission on Freight and Logistics.   The goal of the Commission is to develop a state-wide comprehensive, strategic business plan for freight and rail to handle the increased import volume from the Port of Savannah. The Commission will also look at alternative freight routes and funding mechanisms.   STATUS: Passed the Senate 54-0. House Transportation heard the bill last week and changed the Commission makeup to mirror the House version. House postponed bill from debate calendar. Senate passed companion legislation, HR 37 so no action needed on this bill.


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