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Update Posted March 10, 2014

Crossover Day is Make or Break for Legislation

Monday, March 3, was day 30 on the legislative calendar – crossover day – the last day for bills originating in one chamber to crossover to the other with the exception of the budget bill.

This issue of the Legislative Update will review the status of bills affecting higher education at this important point in the 2014 session.

Other than the budget, the University System of Georgia has two key legislative priorities in this session: HB788 and HB516.

HB788 is the property tax exemption legislation for the USG P3 concept. This legislation was overwhelmingly approved in the House on Feb. 26 by a vote of 166-5. It now moves to the Senate where on Monday it was assigned to the Senate Higher Education committee.

“This is critical legislation for the System and our efforts to redirect our resources and attention more directly to the core academic enterprise of teaching” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “We are grateful to the House members for their support.” USG officials will be working with senators and the Lieutenant Governor on this initiative.

HB 516 the one time opt out of ORP/opt in to TRS legislation for USG employees. The bill originally passed the House with 92 votes on Feb. 17. Later that same day a motion was made to reconsider the House’s approval and this motion was approved and the bill “laid on the table.”

Unfortunately due to the press of other legislative business, and also due to the complexity of the issue, the University System was unable to schedule another time on the House calendar for debate. Since crossover day has come and gone, there will be no further action on this bill this year.

Looking at the budget, the Senate and House finalized the Supplemental FY 2014 budget and sent it to the governor immediately after passage on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The Senate is slated to vote upon its version of the FY 2015 budget on Day 33 – Thursday, March 6.

Status of Bills
Below is the status of all higher education bills at the end of crossover day. Six bills of interest to the USG crossed over.

Crossing over from the House to the Senate Higher Education Committees:
HB184– Nonpublic postsecondary institutions; meet certain requirements; provisions.
HB293 – Tuition equalization grants; private universities; nursing; provisions.
HB 490- Teacher health insurance plans; employers of librarians; expand board authorization.
HB 763 – Ga. Military College; legislative intent language regarding cert. study; revise.

Crossing over from the Senate to the House Higher Education Committees:
SB103 – State Board of Technical College System of GA; community colleges.
SB 241 – “Georgia Leadership and Service Admissions Act;” leadership/service recognition.

The following bills remain in committee.

Bills remaining in the House Higher Education Committee:
HB54 – HOPE: lower minimum grade point average for maintaining eligibility; provide.
HB75 – Military Junior College of GA; tuition assistance for certain students; provide.
HB111 – Tuition grants; children of officers killed in line of duty; provisions.
HB114 – Ga. Military College; legislative intent language limiting certain study; remove.
HB 456 – Scholarship organizations; qualified school or program; prohibit discrimination.
HB 565- HOPE; incarcerated individuals use GED vouchers 12 months after release; provide.
HB 697 – HOPE: revise amount of grants; equal student’s cost of tuition.
HB 726 – Education; provision related to applicability of the term “campus;” repeal.
HB 788 – Ad val. Tax; cert. property owned by University System of Georgia; provide exemption.
HB 810 – HOPE: home study student scores on college admission test; revise requirements.
HB 1039 – Pay As You Earn Education Program Act; enact.
HB 1040 – HOPE; certain students may qualify for grants without waiting 12 months; provide.
HB 1044 – Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth act; enact.
HR 547 – House Student Scholarship organization Study Committee; create.

Bills remaining in the Senate Higher Education Committee:
SB16 – Georgia Lottery Corporation; require to conduct/publish a biannual audit.
SB17 – Education; scholarships, loans, and grants; revise certain definitions.
SB59 – HOPE; lower the minimum cumulative grade point average.
SB107 – HOPE Scholarships; amount shall be accepted as full payment of tuition.
SB111 – Zell Miller Scholar; revise the definition.
SB112 – Zell Miller Scholar; change the requirements.
SB150 - Education; Board of Regents shall establish a process; veterans.
SB151 - Education; Board of Regents shall establish a process; receiving education benefit.
SB172 - Education; provide the civil rights museum as adivision of the Georgia Capitol.
SR 184 – Technical College System of Georgia; authorize the General Assembly; limitations.
SR 185 – Georgia Student Finance Commission; urge General Assembly; HOPE Scholarship.
SB 189 – Education; permit property institutions of higher education to participate.
SB 214 - Lottery for Education; winner anonymous; 25 percent of prize to Lottery for Education.
SB 262 - Georgia Student Finance Authority; legislative findings; definitions.
SB 266 - Education; provide for a ROTC grant; eligibility and amounts.
SB 274 – Capital Arts Standards Commission; designation of areas within capitol museum.
SB 300 – Education; revise the definition of Zell Miller Scholar.
SB 326 – Private Colleges and Universities Authority; authorize; meet by teleconference.
SB 330 – Education; authorize tuition grant assistance; students; Georgia Military College.
SB 394 – HOPE; restore the former HOPE teacher’s scholarship.
SB 395 – Education; student in Department of Juvenile Justice; HOPE scholarship.
SB 396 – “Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act.”
SB 398 – Lottery Proceeds; require that net proceeds equal minimum percentage.

Posted by John Millsaps
Published in: Senate Bill, House Bill, Legislation

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