Capitol Update Week 5 - Title Fees and the Tennessee River

State Representative Brett Harrell reports on activities under the Gold Dome.

This week at the Cap

After more than six hours in Ways & Means Committee hearings, the House passed HB 80 by Representative Tom Rice modifying the new auto Title Fees that take effect March 1, 2013. The revisions take into account concerns voiced by those in the auto leasing industry as well as those that are avid auto enthusiasts and collectors of older and hobby automobiles. HB 80 passed 159-4 and is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new Title Fee and other helpful information is available at the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner's webpage

The House also passed HR 4 seeking to resolve the Georgia / Tennessee boundary dispute and allow Georgia access to the Tennessee River for drinking water and other purposes. The Tennessee River generates fifteen times the water flow as the Chattahoochee River and I believe is our only realistic 100-year water solution.

Next Week

The pace of proposed legislation presented on the House floor for a vote will begin to quicken next week. On Tuesday, the House will consider the following bills:

HB 35 Firearms; carrying and possession of by an administrator within a school safety zone 

HB 71 Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System; total percentage of investments permissible in real estate investments; increase

HB 122 Sexual Offender Registration Review Board; review and utilize records of Board of Pardons and Paroles in making assessments; authorize - I am a co-sponsor

HB 123 Parent and Teacher Empowerment Act; enact - sometimes called Parent Trigger

HB 124 Local elections; votes cast for disapproval of Sunday alcohol sales by retailers shall not nullify prior election results; provide - I am the author. 

HB 160 Mortgages; vacant and foreclosed real property registries; revise provisions

HB 178 Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act; enact

HB 235 Optometrists; revise definition of optometry; remove certain exemption

HB 290 Labor; employees use sick leave for care of immediate family members; allow  

In Committee

HB 159 my Property Protection Bill will be heard for the first time before the Public Finance and Policy Subcommittee of Ways & Means. For a detailed summary of the bill that would prohibit billing non-tax fees on your property tax bill click here.

As always, I remain appreciative that you allow me to serve as your state Representative. I encourage you to contact me with any comments or questions you have about the legislation being considered at the state Capitol.  You can reach me at my Capitol office at 404-656-0254 or on my cell at 404-966-5804 or via email at brett.harrell@house.ga.gov


 Thank you again,

 Brett Harrell  

Follow me on Twitter @brettharrell or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/voteharrell  

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Kenneth Stepp February 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Thank you Brett. Looks like a full plate. Glad to see the ad valorem tax in the rear view. Having responsible people armed in our schools would be a plus (my opinion), and HB-122 is important.
George Wilson February 18, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Some states are getting a jump start on a Progressive Agenda, where is Georgia? On Tuesday night, President Obama laid out his second term agenda in a State of the Union address that detailed specific policy proposals across a range of issue areas. But even as national conversations around the minimum wage, immigration, gun violence prevention, and early education began to get louder in the wake of the President's speech this week, states were already getting a jump start on many of these issues. State legislators across the nation know they do not need to wait for Washington to act. "Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour... let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on." - President Obama
George Wilson February 19, 2013 at 08:45 PM
A physician in private practice told me that many of her patients are too poor to get insurance. However, they would be covered by Medicaid—if only our governor had not opted out of the expansion that came through Obama care. I know how important this is for doctors and patients. Doctors will not stay in Georgia if other states provide this coverage and Georgia doesn't. The doctor shortage is bad enough. Georgia must do everything possible to provide this care. Urge the Georgia State Legislature and Governor Nathan Deal to do the following: Georgia must opt in to the Medicaid expansion through Obama care to protect physicians and hospitals from the financial impact of the uninsured. If we don't, doctors will go to a state that does provide for the poor rather than stay in Georgia. Also a recent study has indicated that 70,000 jobs would be created if this funding was accepted. This would have a multiplier effect on creating jobs all over Georgia and would increase tax revenues.
George Wilson February 21, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida reversed himself and announced that he would expand his state’s Medicaid program to cover the poor, becoming the latest — and, perhaps, most prominent — Republican critic of President Obama’s health care law to decide to put it into effect Mr. Scott now joins the Republican governors of Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota and Ohio, who have decided to join the Medicaid expansion. . “While the federal government is committed to paying 100 percent of the cost, I cannot in good conscience deny Floridians that needed access to health care,” Mr. Scott said at a news conference. “We will support a three-year expansion of the Medicaid program under the new health care law as long as the federal government meets their commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost during that time." What is our Governor and legislature doing about this with only twenty days left in the session?


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