Georgia Legislative Report | House District 160
March 7, 2015

Thursday, March 5, was the 27th legislative day of the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly. We are approaching the all-important 30th day, also known as Crossover Day as it is the final day for most legislation to pass either the House of Representatives or the Senate in time to be considered by the other chamber this year. Crossover Day will take place Friday, March 13.  


Please feel free to contact me 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.

 

For more information, please visit my new website at www.jantankersley.com.  

 

Jan Tankersley
State Representative

Scenes from the State Capitol
Rep. Tankersley, along with Rep. Jon Burns and Rep. Butch Parrish, welcome Ogeechee Technical College President Dawn Cartee, Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner Luke Teague and Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin to the State Capitol.  
Rep. Tankersley presents HB 312, which was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives on March 4.

Rep. Tankersley and Speaker David Ralston thank Dr. Michelle Zeanah, Statesboro pediatrician, for serving as Doctor of the Day in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Tankersley prepares to sign legislation as House Education Committee Chair Brooks Coleman looks on. 

Georgia State Capitol

Transportation funding legislation receives House approval

 

The House of Representatives dealt with one of the most significant issues of the 2015 legislative session March 5 by approving a plan to provide additional revenue to be used for infrastructure maintenance and improvements in Georgia's transportation system.

 

By a vote of 123 to 46, House members approved HB 170 in 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.

 

After substantial changes in the House Transportation Committee and the House Rules Committee, the major provisions of the legislation include the following:

  • Moving the state to an excise-tax only system on motor fuels. HB 170 calls for a 29.2 cents per gallon excises tax, to be indexed in future years to account for changes in vehicles' gas mileage efficiency. Sponsors of the measure said the excise tax would be a more stable and sustainable funding source than sales taxes on motor fuels, which rise and fall dramatically based on the price at the pump.
  • Special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) would continue to be levied on gasoline if renewed by the voters, but those revenues derived from motor fuel purchases would be dedicated to transportation purposes.
  • Local option sales taxes implemented for the purpose of rolling back local property taxes would no longer be collected on motor fuels, but the maximum rate on those sales taxes would be increased to 1.25 percent to account for the tax base loss to local governments.

Other provisions of HB 170 call for the recapitalization of the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank as a source for loans and grants, elimination of the sales tax exemption on jet fuels and an end to the Governor's authority to suspend the collection of state motor fuel taxes, except in emergencies and with two-thirds approval of the General Assembly.

 

HB 170 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

 

Other legislation approved by the House and sent to the Senate in the past week includes:

  • HB 71, which would require more public disclosure of information related to decisions of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • HB 190, which would require ride-sharing companies to carry $1 million worth of commercial liability insurance on their drivers.
  • HB 200, which would increase the income tax credit for electric vehicle chargers and compressed natural gas fueling appliances.
  • HB 213, which would remove the restrictions on how the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority can use sales tax proceeds.
  • HB 315, which would change the name of the Technical College System of Georgia to the Georgia Career College System.
  • HB 328, which would enact reforms recommended by the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform.
  • HB 339, which would extend for three years a state income tax credit for film, video or digital production companies.
  • HB 504, which would require college students residing in campus housing to sign a document stating they have been vaccinated against meningococcal disease within the past five years.

Unemployment rate declines to 6.4 percent

 

Georgia's unemployment rate fell from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent in January, its lowest point since July 2008 and nearly a full percentage point down from the 7.3 percent recorded in January 2014.

 

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said, "Our unemployment rate dropped for the seventh month in a row as we had 4,400 fewer jobs available than in December. We also had fewer new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, which is a measure of new layoffs. While we lost (temporary holiday jobs) in January, as we often do, we had the strongest January-to-January growth we've had in 20 years. And six of our job sectors grew at least 3 percent."

 

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

HB 312 Tobacco products; manufacturers and importers; remove certain bonding requirements (approved by House, referred to Senate Finance Committee)

HB 314 Professions and businesses; State Board of Barbers and State Board of Cosmetology; combine (favorably reported by House Regulated Industries Committee)

HB 509 Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council; provisions (under consideration in House Health & Human Services Committee)

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