Week 3 of the Legislative Session started
~for Legislative Days 7 through 10~
With 30 legislative days remaining the pace has picked up
as House committees met more frequently to consider proposed legislation.
With Georgia’s growing economy over the past several
years, not all parts of our state have experienced the same levels of
prosperity. The House is heavily focused
on improving economic opportunities for our state’s rural communities.
Last session, we adopted House Resolution 389, which
established the House Rural Development Council (RDC). Members of the RDC
traveled to many different rural communities across the state and met with
local leaders, studied issues specific to Georgia’s rural areas and explored
ways to encourage economic growth. The RDC closely examined the components of
economic development and related policy areas, such as education,
infrastructure, access to health care and economic growth incentives. Then, in
December, the RDC released the first of two reports outlining several
legislative recommendations that would boost rural Georgia’s economic
We saw the first rural development-related bill this
week: House Bill 735 - would create a tax credit for short line railroad track
maintenance expenditures to incentivize investment in rail infrastructure in
rural Georgia. This Bill is likely the first of many pieces of legislation that
we will consider this session to help Georgia’s rural communities grow. Since this bill was just introduced this
week, it will now make its way through the legislative process (passing in the
House before the Bill takes the same course in the Senate).
Georgia’s continued economic success largely depends on a
connected and efficient transportation network, which is why transit is also a
top priority in the House this session. During the 2017 session, we adopted
House Resolution 848, which established the House Commission on Transit
Governance and Funding. This commission is charged with studying our state’s
transportation needs and exploring ways our state can sufficiently plan and
provide for those needs. Like the RDC,
the transit commission held hearings across the state during the summer and
fall of 2017, and this session, we can expect to see legislation come up aimed
at meeting Georgia’s wide-ranging transit needs as a result of the commission’s
report. Both the transit commission and the RDC have worked diligently since
the end of the 2017 session to study pressing issues facing to our state, and
it is exciting to see initial proposals come to fruition in the form of
The House of Representatives worked with our counterparts
in the Senate and adopted another adjournment
resolution this week, which determined our Session Days for the remainder
of the 2018 legislative session.
Legislative Day 40 (“Sine Die”) is the final day of the legislative
session and will be Thursday, March 29.
Held its first meeting of the session on Thursday,
After Bills have been introduced AND passed out of their
respective committees, they must pass
out of the Rules Committee. The Rules
Committees determines which Bills should be debated and voted on the House
The General Assembly is constitutionally required to pass
a balanced state budget every year.
After we review Governor Deal’s budget proposals in our various
Appropriations subcommittees, my House colleagues and I will draft a bill for
the Amended The AFY 2018 budget,
(nicknamed the “small budget”), is an
adjusted budget for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30. The small
budget uses a more precise estimate of state revenue to account for any
differences between anticipated and actual state revenue. The FY 2019 budget
(nicknamed the “big budget”), is the state budget for fiscal year 2019
beginning on July 1.
This budget is based on projected state revenue for the
upcoming fiscal year. Once passed by the respective Appropriations
subcommittees, those portions of each budget will then go before the full House
Appropriations Committee, which will then review and pass balanced budgets for
AFY 2018 and FY 2019. We largely focused
on reviewing Governor Deal’s state budget recommendations last week during
joint appropriations committee hearings with the Senate - - this week the House
Appropriations subcommittees held several hearings at the Capitol to further
review the Governor’s budget proposals.
After the House Appropriations Committee passes complete
budgets for AFY 2018 and FY 2019, the measures will then go to the Rules
Committee, where they will be placed on the House calendar. Each budget then
goes to the House floor, where every member of the House will have the
opportunity to voice their opinions on each budget and ask questions before
Once the AFY 2018 and FY 2019 budgets pass out of the
House, they will go to the Senate and repeat this same committee process before
being voted on by all of the members of the Senate. By this point, each budget
will likely differ from its original versions as passed by the House. When this
happens, the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor will both appoint
a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate
versions of the state budgets.
Once the conference committee reaches an agreement, their
versions of the budgets will go back to the House and Senate for a final vote.
Both legislative chambers must vote on the conference committee’s versions of
the budgets to guarantee that all contents of the bills are fully agreed upon
by both chambers. Finally, if approved by both the House and Senate, the
budgets are sent to the Governor’s desk where Governor Deal can either sign or
veto the legislation. Once signed by Governor Deal, these budgets become law.
All legislation must go through this process before becoming state law.
The House celebrated National Guard Day at the Capitol on
Thursday by recognizing some our state’s most honorable citizens. Several men
and women of the Georgia National Guard visited the House Chamber and were
presented with House Resolution 902. The Georgia Department of Defense, which
provides military-ready forces to the president and disaster response forces to
the Governor, employs over 10,891 Army National Guard Soldiers, 2,746 Air
National Guard Airmen, 583 State Defense Force members and over 600 state
employees. Since 9/11, over 18,000 Georgia National Guard members have been
deployed overseas, and more than 200 are currently being deployed. These
courageous men and women have selflessly served our state’s citizens in so many
ways, and it was an honor to recognize their great contributions and sacrifices
for all Americans, and especially all Georgians, and welcome them to the House
My House colleagues and our Senate counterparts have an
aggressive and busy schedule and will be working diligently to pass meaningful
bills for Governor Deal to consider signing into law.
The House will be back in session
~ 10:00am ~
Visit the House website, www.house.ga.gov, for several
tools that might be useful to you throughout the legislative session:
• live stream of House proceedings
• live and archived committee meeting videos
• detailed information on all legislation we are
considering in the General Assembly.
I encourage you to visit me at my Capitol office, if you
ever find yourself in Atlanta during session.
My office is located across from the State Capitol, in the Coverdell
Legislative Office Building, Suite 411.
Feel free to call or email me with any concerns regarding current or
upcoming legislation: Sheila.Jones@house.ga.gov -
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your
With Student Pages from B.E.S.T. Academy: Marcus Copeland & Mouhamed Bah (Tue Jan 23rd)
Disability Day at the Capitol (Tue Jan 23rd)
Dr. Nikil Patel, Optometrist from my District (Wed Jan 24th)
Standing with my Constituent
Sickle Cell Day at the Capitol
(he lost his wife to this terrible disease)
(Wed Jan 24th)