Friday, February 15, 2008

weekly update lunsford

State Representative John Lunsford's Weekly Capitol Update

February 15, 2008

Almost 50 percent over but the heavy lifting is yet to come

This Valentine’s Day marked the completion of the eighteenth day of the 2008 Georgia General Assembly session. Many important pieces of legislation have passed the House this year and while not all garner the excitement of tax cuts, water policy or guns, they are equally important, especially to the people affected by the policy.

For example, House Bill 297 is a piece of legislation passed to allow recreational vehicle conventions to invite out-of-state dealers and manufacturers to participate in these conventions if more that 2,500 vehicles are registered.

We also passed legislation that would allow narcotics agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to purchase creditable service for retirement purposes. H.B. 209 passed unanimously.

We unanimously passed H.B. 930, a bill that makes exemptions for disabled veterans and blind persons, from the payment of occupation taxes, administrative fees, or regulatory fees for certain activities are valid for ten years.

We also defined the role of “wax technicians” as it relates to cosmetology. The bill, H.B. 494, allows for the certification of master estheticians and wax technicians, as well as, establishing standards for the practice. It also allows for barber shops, which aren’t set up as a cosmetology shop or salon, to employ wax technicians. This is a safety issue for the General Assembly and the bill passed 136-18.

We created a legislative oversight committee for the Georgia Lottery Corporation and created a nine member board of directors. We also created some of the duties that the chief executive officer must perform. The Georgia Lottery provides the money for the HOPE scholarship and many pre-k educational programs and was established in the 1990’s by the Georgia General Assembly. This bill passed 119-32.

House Bill 579 established the ability of storage centers for mobile homes to file a lien for storage or rental charges against a mobile home beginning thirty days after vacancy or eviction. The definition of “lien holder” covers lenders on the actual mobile home rather than the land on which the home sits. But it sets up ways the land owner can put a lien on the home for costs associated with the home being set-up on the property. This bill passed 138-5.

In the effort to spur interest in tourism, we have created the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. This will allow for coastal areas that were involved in the short war which was fought against the British over trade issues, to have festivities honoring the heroism of the valiant soldiers and sailors. This bill easily passed 141-7. In addition, we also passed another tourism bill that would designate “agricultural tourist attractions” and provide for proper directional signs to those attractions. H.B. 1088 passed 154-1.

House Bill 1055 helped us in the area of professions and licenses that are controlled by legislative action. The state licenses doctors, accountants, real estate agents and barbers to name a few. This bill allows the designee of the division director to sign and attest orders and processes.

It also revised the requirements for interior designers, geologists, massage therapists, physical therapists and veterinarians. The bill was overwhelmingly endorsed with a 153-4 vote on the House floor. We also required all hospitals to offer any patient 65 and older, between October 1 and March 1, upon discharge, a vaccination to fight the flu. Flu and the complications from it, is a major cause of death for many seniors. The bill passed 151-9.

Another bill of statewide importance was HB969 which passed overwhelmingly in the house to clear up some oversights within the driver licenses process, this bill allowed home school parents to sign the completion requirements and attendance paperwork for first time license applications ,

I will keep you informed through weekly updates. Your opinions and concerns are important to me and I consider it an honor to serve you at the state capitol and in our district. If you would like to reach me, please call me at (404) 656-7573 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 401, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 or e-mail me at

No comments: