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Gold Dome

January 15, 2019

Gold Dome Report - January 15, 2019

For the first time since 2007, the Georgia State Senate welcomed a new President today as Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan took his place on the rostrum for the General Assembly’s second Legislative Day. The Senate did not miss a beat with its new presiding officer, who had notably been through spring training over the last few weeks in preparation for his new role. In addition to assigning its first bills and resolutions to committee, the Senate released its much-awaited list of committee chairs, vice chairs, and members. Details on these new committee leaders and the session’s first pieces of legislation inside today’s #GoldDomeReport

In this Report:

  • Senate Appoints Committee Chairs, Vice Chairs
  • Joint Appropriations Hearing Schedule Set
  • New Legislation

Senate Appoints Committee Chairs, Vice Chairs

As the Senate assigned its first pieces of legislation to committee today, Senate leadership also released the names of the members who will chair and vice chair each of its standing committees. Appointees include the following:

  • Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee: Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Lee Anderson (R – Grovetown)
  • Appropriations Committee: Chairman Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia)
  • Banking and Financial Institutions Committee: Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John F. Kennedy (R – Macon)
  • Economic Development and Tourism Committee: Chairman Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan)
  • Education and Youth Committee: Chairman Sen. P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa)
  • Ethics Committee: Chairman Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R – Marietta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
  • Finance Committee: Chairman Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome) and Vice-Chairman Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell)
  • Government Oversight Committee: Chairman Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Marty Harbin (R – Tyrone)
  • Health and Human Services Committee: Chairman Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge)
  • Higher Education Committee: Chairman Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough)
  • Insurance and Labor Committee: Chairman Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson) and Vice-Chairman Sen. P.K. Martin (R – Lawrenceville)
  • Interstate Cooperation Committee: Chairman Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D – Dawson)
  • Judiciary Committee: Chairman Sen. Jesse Stone (R – Waynesboro) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens)
  • Natural Resources and the Environment Committee: Chairman Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen)
  • Public Safety Committee: Chairman Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla)
  • Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee: Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan) and Vice-Chairman Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
  • Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee: Chairman Sen. Bill Cowsert (R – Athens) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan)
  • Retirement Committee: Chairman Sen. Ellis Black (R – Valdosta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome)
  • Rules Committee: Chairman Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville)
  • Science and Technology Committee: Chairman Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Greg Dolezal (R – Cumming)
  • Special Judiciary Committee: Chairman Sen. Jen Jordan (D – Atlanta) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta)
  • State and Local Governmental Operations Committee: Chairman Sen. Greg Kirk (R – Americus) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Chuck Payne (R – Dalton)
  • State Institutions and Property Committee: Chairman Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Blake Tillery (R – Vidalia)
  • Transportation Committee: Chairman Sen. Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta) and Vice- Chairman Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)
  • Urban Affairs Committee: Chairman Sen. Lester Jackson (D – Savannah) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Steve Henson (D – Stone Mountain)
  • Veterans, Military and Homeland Security: Chairman Sen. Bruce Thompson (R – White) and Vice-Chairman Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus)

A list of the members of all the Senate standing committees is available online

Joint Appropriations Hearing Schedule Set

Although Capitol insiders are not likely to see Governor Kemp’s first budget proposals until Thursday, House and Senate budget leaders have set their schedule for hearing from state agency heads on their budget requests:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

  • 10:00 a.m.
    Chairmen’s Welcome
    Senator Jack Hill, Senate Appropriations Committee
    Representative Terry England, House Appropriations Committee
  • 10:15-10:45 a.m.
    Director Kelly Farr
    Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget
  • 10:45-11:10 a.m.
    Dr. Kenneth Heaghney
    State Fiscal Economist
  • 11:10-11:40 a.m.
    Superintendent Richard Woods
    Department of Education
  • 11:40-12:00 p.m.
    Commissioner Mark Williams
    Department of Natural Resources
  • 1:00-1:30 p.m.
    Chancellor Steve Wrigley
    Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
  • 1:30-2:00 p.m.
    Commissioner Matt Arthur
    Technical College System of Georgia
  • 2:00-2:30 p.m.
    Commissioner Frank Berry
    Department of Community Health
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m.
    Interim Commissioner Gerlda B. Hines and Interim Director Tom C. Rawlings
    Department of Human Services and Division of Family and Children Services
  • 3:30-4:00 p.m.
    Timothy C. Ward
    Department of Corrections
  • 4:00-4:30 p.m.
    Adjutant General Joe Jarrard
    Department of Defense
  • 4:30-5:00 p.m.
    Commissioner Jim Beck
    Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

  • 8:00-8:30 a.m.
    Chief Justice Harold Melton
    Georgia Supreme Court
  • 8:30-9:00 a.m.
    Commissioner Gary Black
    Department of Agriculture
  • 9:00-9:30 a.m.
    Director Homer Bryson
    Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
  • 9:30-10:00 a.m.
    Secretary Brad Raffensperger
    Secretary of State
  • 10:00-10:30 a.m.
    Commissioner Lynette T. Riley
    Department of Revenue
  • 10:30-11:00 a.m.
    Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald
    Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
  • 11:00-11:30 a.m.
    Commissioner Pat Wilson
    Department of Economic Development
  • 11:30-12:00 p.m.
    Executive Director Griff Lynch
    Georgia Ports Authority
  • 12:00-12:30 p.m.
    The Honorable Brian P. Kemp
    Governor of Georgia

Thursday, January 24, 2019

  • 1:00-2:30 p.m.
    2019 Federal Block Grant Hearings

New Legislation

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the House today:

  • HB 5, authored by Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta), amends Title 34 to prohibit employers from relying on the salary history of an applicant to determine the wage, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the initial hiring process. HB 5 does not apply to internal transfer or promotion with the applicant’s current employer. The bill was assigned to the Industry and Labor Committee.
  • HB 20, authored by Rep. Debra Bazemore (D-Riverdale), amends Title 16 to to provide that persons convicted of family violence offenses cannot possess or carry firearms. The bill was referred to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

The following legislation of interest was introduced in the Senate today:

  • SB 3, authored by Senator Michael Rhett (D-Marietta), amends Title 49 to provide for a program of premium assistance for qualified health care plans. The assistance program would require up to 5% of their personal income as a personal responsibility premium. This legislation also creates a Legislative Oversight Committee for Health Care Premium Assistance consisting of eight (8) total members: three (3) from the House, three (3) from the Senate, appointed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, respectively, and one (1) each from the House and Senate appointed by the Governor. The bill was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee.
  • SB 12, authored by Senator Michael Rhett (D-Marietta), amends Title 31 to require certain health clubs to have at least one functional automated external defibrillator (AED). The bill defines health clubs as any commercial enterprise with more than 3,000 clients that provides services or facilities for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement, or development of physical fitness or well being. SB 12 also provides for certain penalties for health clubs found in violation of the new code section. The bill was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee.
  • SR 11, authored by Senator Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), commends the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC) and recognizes January 17th, 2019, as Multi-Agency Alliance for Children Day at the State Capitol.