Georgia Legislative Report | House District 160
January 31, 2015

Thursday, Jan. 29, was the eighth legislative day of the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly. 

 

Please feel free to contact me throughout the session with your thoughts on pending issues, or whenever I can be of service. My legislative office is located at 401-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334; phone 404-656-7855 or email jan.tankersley@house.ga.gov.

 

Jan Tankersley
State Representative

House leaders introduce plan to generate transportation funding

Georgia State Capitol

This week, members of the House of Representatives leadership introduced legislation that would provide an additional $1 billion per year in revenue, which would be used for infrastructure maintenance and improvements in Georgia's transportation system.

 

If approved, HB 170 would be the House's response to the report of a special Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding, which concluded that Georgia needs a minimum of $1 billion to maintain the state's existing roads, bridges, air and transit system infrastructure.

 

Key elements of the proposed legislation include:

  • Converting the current 7.5 cents-per-gallon state excise tax on gasoline, which when combined with sales tax amounts to a total of about 27 cents per gallon, to a consolidated excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon, with no sales tax added. The excise tax would be indexed to account for increases in vehicles' gas mileage. Cities and counties would each be allowed to levy a local excise tax of 3 cents per gallon, if approved by voters in local referendum, to account for the loss of local sales tax revenue.
  • Implementing an annual fee on electric or natural gas-powered vehicles, which also use the state's roadways but are not subject to gasoline taxes. The fees would be $200 for personal cars and $300 for commercial vehicles and would not be charged on hybrid vehicles.
  • Adding $100 million to the bond package in the state budget to finance transit projects.

The study committee's report noted that Georgia currently ranks 49th in terms of state spending per capita on its roads, and additional investment is needed to relieve costly highway congestion and prepare for continued growth and increased use of freight and shipping lanes.

 

Rep. Tankersley addresses her colleagues from the well of the House of Representatives. 

 

Amended FY 2015 budget approved

 

The House voted unanimously Jan. 29 to approve amendments to the state budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2015, which ends June 30. Changes to the $20.9 billion budget add $276 million worth of appropriations, including $128.5 million to local school systems to cover enrollment growth.

 

Other amendments include $4.9 million for 103 new child welfare case workers and $4.9 million for medical cannabis trials at Georgia Regents University.

 

For the first six months of FY 2015, state revenues have increased by 5.7 percent over the same period last year. The supplemental budget legislation (HB 75) now goes to the Senate for its consideration, while the House Appropriations Committee turns its full attention to the proposed $21.8 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, which starts July 1.

 

Medical cannabis shipments tied to legislation's fate

 

Supporters of legislation to allow the use of cannabis oil strictly for the treatment of medical conditions have announced that a major manufacturer of the substance is planning deliveries to Georgia if HB 1 is successful.

 

In its current form, the legislation would provide immunity from criminal prosecution for persons who possess cannabis oil, a derivative of marijuana which has been effective in the treatment of certain conditions, including children's seizures. The sponsors of HB 1 said the manufacturer would ship the substance directly to Georgia families.

 

The bill is now under consideration in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

Rep. Tankersley at work in the House chamber with fellow Rep. Penny Houston. 

 

Rep. Tankersley's Legislation
Recent action on legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Rep. Jan Tankersley:

HB 152 Alcoholic beverages; holders of certain alcohol licenses and those who issue such licenses; impose certain requirements (referred to House Regulated Industries Committee)

HR 75 Van Wagenen, Maya; 16-year-old teen author; commend and invite to House (adopted by House)

HR 111 Georgia Southern University Day at the Capitol; February 3, 2015; recognize and invite to House (adopted by House)

Click here for all of Rep. Tankersley's 2015-2016 legislation.

Contact Rep. Tankersley
At the Capitol: 401-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

In the District:
P.O. Box 187, Brooklet, GA 30415

Phone:
404-656-7855