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Wednesday, January 31, 2024 - Day 13
Prior Legislative Updates for this Year

ESP pension bill passes Senate, 49-1

Click on the picture above to watch the video
of floor action on passage of SB 105.
Final vote, 49-1.
Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, was the only Senator to vote against the bill.
The bill, SB 105, will lead to higher monthly retirement payments for school bus drivers, custodian, food service workers, and maintenance personnel in the future.  These education support professionals are covered under a state pension fund, the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).  The average monthly retirement benefit for PSERS retirees is $290 a month.

House Education Committee meets tomorrow

Two bills are on the agenda when the House Education Committee meets tomorrow.  The bills are:

HB 941, which, if passed, would allow pre-kindergarten programs, voluntarily offered by public schools, to be eligible for state funding for capital outlays, such as classroom construction, equipment acquisition, maintenance, renovation, and repair, and

HB 987, which would revise the definition of the statutory term "qualified local school system school" by reducing the minimum required millage rate or equivalent millage rate from 14 mills to 10 mills.

Senate to vote on sports betting bill;
proceeds would benefits HOPE and pre-k

State Senators tomorrow will vote on SB 386, a bill that legalizes betting on sporting events.  Proceeds from sports wagering would benefit the State Lottery, and, consequently, HOPE Scholarship and pre-K programs.

Bill to allow certain refugees in Georgia
to qualify for in-state tuition

The Senate Higher Education Committee heard a bill today to allow certain non-citizen refugees, special immigrants who worked for the U.S. armed services, and humanitarian parolees to qualify for in-state tuition in Georgia colleges and universities.  No vote was taken on the legislation, SB 264.  The bill has Republican and Democratic sponsors and was filed by Sen. Kim Jackson, D-DeKalb County.

Labor issues

The Senate Insurance and Labor Committee heard a bill today, SB 362, which states that an employer, to be eligible for state economic development incentives, may not extend or "voluntarily grant recognition rights for the ... employees solely ... on the basis of signed labor organization authorization cards if the selection of a bargaining representative may instead be conducted through a secret ballot election."

Further, an employer, to be eligible for economic development incentives, may not "voluntarily disclose an employee's personal contact information to a labor organization, or a third party acting on behalf of a labor organization, without the employee's prior written consent."

The bill passed the committee on a 4-3 vote, split along party lines.  The bill is backed by Gov. Brian Kemp. 

Kemp signs bill to add definition of antisemitism to Georgia law

Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation this week, HB 30, which adds a definition of antisemitism to state law, which could be used to prosecute certain hate crimes.  Georgia has a hate crimes law that allows higher criminal penalties for crimes motivated by certain types of bias.

Join your colleagues and fellow GAE members at our 2024 Day at the Capitol

Confirmed speakers include the chair of the House Education Committee, the state School Superintendent, the sponsor of GAE's waiver bill, and others.  Last year, GAE set a record for attendance at a Day at the Capitol event.  Let's set a new record this year.  Click on the graphic below to register.
The next Legislative Update will be Thursday, February 1
Senate convenes at 9 a.m. tomorrow
House convenes at 10 a.m. tomorrow
There is no session Friday
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