Town Hall Meeting - Monday, 2/27 at 7:00 PM

2.23.2017
Staff

Greetings:

Today marks the 21st Legislative Day. Crossover Day has been moved to Day 28 from Day 30. Crossover Day is the day when bills must pass either the House or the Senate to remain viable.

You can track bills at the following link: legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx

Town Hall Meeting This Coming Monday, 2/27:
To update you on the legislative session, I will be holding a town hall meeting next week. The meeting will be next Monday, February 27th, from 7:00-8:30 PM at Henderson Mill Elementary School, 2408 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta 30345.

We will talk about several important issues being addressed this session, as well as a couple of citizen-initiated efforts concerning possible annexation and incorporation of parts of the 81st House District. Dr. Carolyn Bordeaux of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University will give a very informative presentation on the FY 2018 budget. Please join us.

Legislative Session Update:
Since my last newsletter, the House has approved several notable bills, including the FY 2018 budget. You can read an analysis of the budget from the AJC here.

I'm pleased that this budget adds four scientist and two technician positions at the GBI to help deal with the rape kit backlog and ensure that kits will be processed more quickly moving forward. Here is a news clip about this issue that includes my comments.

One bill that could have significant impact on the communities in the 81st district in coming years is HB 160. This bill creates an advisory mass transit commission that will study transit governance and funding over the rest of 2017 and make specific long-term recommendations. This would potentially lay the groundwork for a mass transit investment bill. Since Georgia is one of the few states that do not currently provide regular funding for mass transit, this could have a significant impact on Atlanta-area transit.

Two other notable bills that passed this last week are HB 1, which authorizes space flight operation in Georgia, and HB 9, which makes "upskirting" explicitly illegal, fixing a significant gap in state law.

Miscellaneous Updates:
The other week, I sent an open records request to Secretary of State Brian Kemp regarding ongoing claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election, requesting an account of any known instances of voter raud that occurred in Georgia this past November. Secretary Kemp responded that out of the roughly 4 million votes cast in Georgia, there are fewer than 10 incidents of possible double-voting that his office is investigating. You can read Secretary Kemp's letter here and read the DeKalb Champion's coverage here.

In case you missed it, the most recent round in the ongoing "water wars" ended in Georgia's favor this past week. This most recent lawsuit was filed by Florida in 2013 and called for a cap on the water that Georgia would be permitted to consume from Lake Lanier. In short, since the flow of water is determined by the Army Corps of Engineers, and since the Corps was not named as party in the lawsuit, the Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court determined that the Court would not be able to achieve a meaningful result for Florida by hearing the case. You can read the AJC's coverage of the result here.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you next Monday.

Very truly yours,
Scott



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