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Update Posted March 13, 2012

Status of USG Relevant Legislation after Crossover Day

• Governor’s Budget Recommendations
The Georgia House of Representatives voted Wednesday, March 7 to approve its version of the FY 2013 budget. The House version maintains the Governor’s formula recommendations for enrollment growth funding, M&O, health insurance and retirement.

The House recommended a total addition of $1.8 million to the University System budget for the following projects:

  1. Agricultural Experiment Stations - $600,000
  2. Medical College of Georgia Hospitals and Clinics - $583,453
  3. Regents’ Central Office SREB Dues - $105,000
  4. Georgia State University Teaching Program (pass-through item) - $25,000
  5. Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission - $501,000

The House also included language to reflect intent to begin phasing out the $19 million in start-up funds for Georgia Gwinnett College.

The House capital budget plan includes an increase of $58.8 million. Funds were added for the following projects:

  1. Valdosta State University – Health Science Building - $23.5 million
  2. Georgia College & State University – Historic Ennis Hall Renovation - $4.8 million
  3. Dalton State College – Academic Building - $7.5 million
  4. USG – State History Museum - $750,000
  5. University of Georgia – Griffin Food Technology Center – $2.5 million
  6. Kennesaw State University – Infrastructure Expansion – $6.5 million
  7. University of Georgia – Agricultural Extension Minor Capital - $4 million
  8. University of Georgia – Agricultural Experiment Station Equipment - $1 million
  9. Rock Eagle (MRR) - $2.5 million
  10. GMC – Health and Wellness Center (pass-through item) – $3.5 million
  11. Georgia Public Library System MRR Needs - $2.255 million

The Senate has not yet scheduled their vote on the FY2013 budget.

• House Bill 981
House Bill 981 has been assigned to the House Public Safety Committee chaired by Representative Ann Purcell. This bill did not pass the state House by crossover day. However, it could still be amended to another piece of legislation and pass in that form.

HB981, sponsored by Representative Stephen Allison, seeks to change the gun carry law. The bill, if passed, would allow those persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon into certain locations not previously allowed that are not under federal regulation including colleges, airports, churches and the state capitol.

• Senate Bill 396
On February 22, 2012, SB396 passed in the Senate. The bill is now in the House Governmental Affairs committee. Once the bill becomes law, the Board of Regents will assume responsibility for the Herty Center from its former trustees on July 1, 2012.

Sponsored by the Governor’s Floor Leader, Senator Ronnie Chance, the legislation transfers the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center to the Board of Regents. Georgia Southern University will be responsible for the governance of the Center.

• Senate Bill 458
On Monday, March 5, the Senate approved the SB458. The bill is now in the House Judiciary Non-civil committee.

Sponsored by Senator Barry Loudermilk and others, the legislation seeks to amend Georgia law “relating to the verification of lawful presence within the United States, so as to modify provisions relating to verification requirements, procedures, and conditions for applicants for public benefits; to modify the definition of a secure and verifiable document; to modify provisions relating to the Immigration Enforcement Review Board.” Under the bill, “public benefit” would include admission to and attendance at Georgia’s public colleges and universities.

At the Senate hearing, Chancellor Hank Huckaby, along with Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson, testified in opposition to the bill.

• Hope-related Legislation
Several bills related to the HOPE scholarship program were introduced into either chamber, however none survived Crossover Day, though these bills may be reintroduced at some other point.

Posted by Sonja Roberts
Published in: Senate Bill, Immigration, House Bill, Legislation