This limited space does not allow me to include all of them, so as usual I will try to focus on those I believe will be of the most interest. All of these have passed the House and are now pending in the Senate.
HB 1023 is legislation I introduced to reduce the size of the Polk school board from nine members to seven members. These members will be elected from the new districts adopted by the school board following a series of public hearings; the changes would take effect next year. In addition to passing in the Senate, it will also have to be submitted to the Department of Justice for approval.
HB 811 addresses a number of fees collected by the state for various purposes. Many of these fees have not been spent on the designated purposes, and this bill addresses the problem by requiring this be done. If this is not done, a process would kick in to reduce the amount charged to the extent that the fees are not budgeted for the stated purpose.
HB 863 amends the existing preference given to Georgia resident small businesses when bidding on contracts with the state. Currently, this is limited to businesses with less than 100 employees or $1 million in annual revenue. HB 863 originally sought to increase this limit to 500 employees or $50 million in annual revenue, but it was withdrawn after it met resistance. The amended version that passed the House increases the limit to 300 employees or $30 million in annual revenue. I believe this is still too big to be considered a small business, so I voted against the bill.
Finally, HB 954 restricts the performance of abortions after the baby is able to feel pain, at approximately 20 weeks of pregnancy. Critics argued that this would force a woman to carry a baby to term even if it had died. This is not correct, as in our code abortion is a defined term that applies only when the baby is still alive. Thus, this bill would not affect a procedure to induce delivery of a baby that had died in the womb.
Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about these or other bills. You can reach me during session at (404) 656-0265 or by sending an email to email@example.com. As always, thank you for the honor of representing you in the Georgia House of Representatives.