Update from the Gold Dome: Week 10
Update from the Gold Dome
By: Sen. Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga)
More bills from the House of Representatives are making their way into Senate committees and onto the Senate floor as legislative session moves into its final days. Now that Senate bills have been passed to the House of Representatives, our focus is now on reviewing and voting on House bills.
Here are some brief summaries on two House bills the Senate took action on last week:
House Bill 76 appropriates $21.8 billion for the state’s 2016 Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016. This bill, also known as the general appropriations bill, funds insurance benefits for 22,000 part-time school employees and their families. It also includes substantial increases in K-12 education across the state.
If this bill passes in the Senate, it will return to the House for their approval. It is very likely a conference committee will be appointed to work out differences between the two versions of the bill. Once a compromised version of the bill is settled, it will provide funding for the operation of the state government, including departments, boards, commissions, the university system, and other state funded organizations.
House Bill 170, known as the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, passed the House on March 5 and the Senate offered a substitution to the bill. This substitution is asking for a ten-year strategic plan that would outline the use of the transportation department’s resources. This plan has been approved by the Senate Transportation Committee and went to the Senate floor for a full vote on March 20.
Since the substitute version of the bill passed the Senate, it will now be transferred back to the House for their approval. In the Senate version of HB 170, there would be a 24 cent excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuels, which is lower than the 29.2 cent per gallon tax proposed in the House version and stabilizes the price of fuel. The Senate version also provides $250 million annually for the Department of Transportation to allow the department to free up a matching amount towards its motor fuel fund for statewide projects.
Please feel free to contact my office at any time to discuss pending legislation or address other concerns in our district. As always, I am honored to represent you in the 53rd Senate District.
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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 Atlanta office at 404.656.0057 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.