After the passage of HB 520 in the House with an overwhelming vote of support (163-3), we waited for over a week to receive the sub bill from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. On Tuesday night, Representative Todd Jones and I went on GA Lawmakers with Donna Lowry to explain one final time why the bill is so important for the state of Georgia.
On Wednesday afternoon, we learned that the Senate Health and Human Services Committee had made alterations to the bill. The Committee called for a hearing only, which means that they did not vote on the bill. We shall wait and see if it moves out of Committee to the Senate floor for a vote. We hope it does.
Chairman Billy Mitchell, Representative Omari Crawford and myself introduced this week a bill to remove the official designation of Stone Mountain Park as a Confederate Memorial as well as remove the word "Memorial" from official title. The bill also removes the requirement that vendors sell Confederate paraphernalia at the park. Finally, the bill discontinues the active preservation of the Confederate carvings of Robert E. Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Jefferson Davis. The bill, HB 794, will go before the House in the 2024 Session. Watch the WSB news segment on the bill from Tuesday, March 21st here. Watch the excellent Atlanta History Center 2023 documentary Monument below.
Question from last newsletter: Should Georgia election workers allow people 70 and over to go to the front of the voting line?
Yes - 80.8% (135 voters)
No - 19.2% (32 voters)
Thanks to DeKalb County officials for joining us and celebrating DeKalb County's Bicentennial in the Capitol Rotunda. I appreciated CEO Mike Thurmond's special recognition of me and my work as a Legislator.
Four City of Decatur local bills, House Bills 632-635, are headed to Governor Kemp for signature. As stated in the March 16 issue of Decaturish, they do the following:
The annual cost of the proposed homestead exemptions is estimated to be approximately $1.05 million.
CITY SCHOOLS OF DECATUR
City Schools of Decatur have two bills, SB 287 and SB 288, which have passed out of the Senate and are now awaiting a vote in the House. As stated in Decaturish, the school district is working to update its senior homestead tax exemption as well as redistrict school board election districts. If these bills are passed and signed by the Governor, the tax exemptions will be on the ballot in November as a referendum.
The current exemptions for school taxes are:
The school board is aiming to extend the senior homestead tax exemption for an additional five-year period. For more information, read the entire Decaturish article at https://decaturish.com/2023/03/state-legislature-passes-decatur-homestead-exemptions-legislation/
CITY OF BROOKHAVEN
HB 729, a bill to extend Brookhaven's homestead exemption, proposes that local exemption be based on the purchase price plus 75% of the change in value between purchase and the taxable year. If passed and signed, the bill would be voted upon as a referendum in November. The bill is presently pending in the House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee.
I know there are many bills which interest you. I always want to hear from you!
Thanks to my Emory Bioethics intern Joy Emenyonu for orchestrating an April 4th Town Hall at Emory University with students and faculty. Joy planned this event in coordination with Emory Fair Fight U, Young Democrats, and Emory Law School Democrats. I look forward to it!
MARCH 29 - SINE DIE
Please mark your calendars for a final Town Hall on Thursday, April 20th. I will post more details about this event in a more comprehensive Session finale newsletter following Sine Die.
You can search for and track bills, watch the House (or Senate) in Session, watch committee hearings, monitor legislation by committee, and find contact information —- all on the revamped General Assembly website. Here are quick links:
Make your views known and tell me what issues interest you the most.