Mullis: Georgia legislature in the home stretch

ATLANTA — The Georgia General Assembly is now entering the homestretch of the legislative session, and legislators are just days away from a significant deadline. Monday, March 3 is the 30th day of the legislative session, also known as “Crossover Day.”

This is the last day for Senate bills to transfer to the House for consideration, and vice versa. Any bill that does not receive a passing vote in its original chamber cannot move on in the legislative process and must be revived the following year of the biennial session.

With this deadline in mind, Senators have been working tirelessly at the Capitol. As we debate—and sometimes amend—various bills, I remain focused on the future effects of legislation. How these bills will affect the livelihood of Georgia citizens and impact our state’s economy always stays in the forefront of my mind.

The Senate took legislative action on a number of bills in several different policy areas last week. Some of the more notable bills include:

FY2014 Amended Budget The Senate passed the Final Amended Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, also known as the supplemental budget. The $20.2 billion supplemental budget runs through June 30, 2014, and includes increases to K-12 education and the State Health Benefit Plan. Status: On Governor’s desk.

Senate Resolution 415 SR 415 is a constitutional amendment limiting the power of the Georgia General Assembly to raise the state income tax above its current rate. Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 93 SB 93 allows the use of suppressors on legal hunting firearms and suspends hunting privileges of a person convicted of violating certain hunting regulations. Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 167 This bill is a combined substitute of both SB 167 (Student Right to Privacy Act) and SB 203 (An Act to Restore Educational Authority to Georgia Citizens). SB 167 allows Georgia to move away from national standards, currently known as the “Common Core,” and limits the collection and sharing of student data. The bill also provides new protections for the privacy of students in order to prevent life-long data tracking. Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 343 SB 343 creates the High School Athletics Overview Committee and also amends portions of Georgia code related to the athletic association participation in the Quality Basic Education Act. Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

Senate Bill 397 This legislation requires insurers to cover children six years of age or younger who are diagnosed with an ASD. Coverage for applied behavior analysis may be capped at $35,000 annually. Status: Passed Senate; under consideration in House.

I am never too busy to discuss pending legislation or your district concerns. Please feel free to contact either my district office or my Capitol office at any time– my door and phone lines are always open. As always, it is an honor and a privilege to represent District 53 at the Georgia State Capitol.

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Sen. Jeff Mullis serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate District, which includes Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Chattooga County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov.

About the author

Jeff Mullis

Georgia state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate District, which includes Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Chattooga County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at jeff.mullis@senate.ga.gov.