Sunday, March 28, 2010

lunsford weekly update

Under the Gold Dome

State Representative John Lunsford's

Weekly Capitol Update

March 26, 2010


The Georgia General assembly adjourned on Friday, Crossover Day, and the thirtieth legislative day of the 2010 session.  We adjourned in the wee hours of Saturday morning and the tensions had grown worse as some who are running for higher office and the democrats debated almost every bill throughout the evening. This combined effort resulted in leaving many good pieces of legislation on the table. The ethics bill that prevented elected officials that owed taxes from serving was one of those measures. They    mini filibustered as much as they could; another causality was the hall of fame museums in Macon.   As we began the day on Friday, we had 36 Bills and Resolutions and more were added throughout the day.  As far as the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, subcommittee meetings will continue on Monday as we work to finalize the House version of the budget.  We will be in session for three days next week, and the other days working on committees.


HB 1023 the 2010 JOBS bill passed a it is a very important omnibus bill it was originally sponsored by Tom Graves of Ranger Georgia but was carried in the house by John Lunsford  , This bill is projected to bring over 254 million dollars in new wages to Georgia, by year two. It also removes net worth tax, helps balance the unemployment insurance pool, and many other items including tax credits for angel investors. Maybe the most important bill so far this session.


The construction industry has suffered during these tough economic times.  To ensure that additional costs are not placed upon some of those in the industry, especially homebuilders, the House passed HB 1196.  This bill states that building codes cannot require that fire sprinklers be installed in a single-family dwelling or a residential building that contains no more than two units.  The legislature understands that if this was required, it would place additional costs associated with building homes and would be an unreasonable requirement.


Teachers are an essential asset within all of our communities and schools.  We passed HB 1307 which relates to teacher certification and will temporarily suspend the professional learning requirements for a certification renewal for teachers and paraprofessionals for five years, beginning July 1st 2010. This bill will also not require that a course be completed in computer skill competency, as is currently required. 


Many of us get frustrated when driving and other vehicles are in the fast lane and are going below the speed limit and impeding the flow of traffic.  It is already currently a law that the person driving is suppose to move into the slow lane; however, we passed House Bill 1047  which promotes the  safe operation of the vehicle while driving, vehicles going slower in the fast lane can be a safety hazard.



In an effort to entice physicians to rural areas of Georgia, we passed HB 866, the Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Act.  This will allow rural hospitals, other health care entities, local governments, and civic organizations to receive matching grants from the State Medical Education Board for the purpose of attracting physicians to rural areas throughout the state. 


Gold Star specialty license plates are available for those who have had a family member that served our country and was killed in action.  The House unanimously passed HB 1012 to make this specialty plate also available to siblings and step-parents as it currently is only available to the spouse, mother, or father of a fallen service member.


Just as the state of Georgia provides tax credits for back to school purchases and energy-star appliances every year, we passed an additional credit for equipment.  The passage of HB 1069 will provide a tax credit in the amount of either a 25% credit of the cost of the equipment or $2,500 for taxpayers that purchase certain energy or water efficient equipment as part of a new construction or retrofit.  This will be available with federal funds granted to Georgia specifically for that purpose.


As the General Assembly continues to do the people’s work, session will continue until midnight or longer as we finish up Crossover Day on Friday.  Although a long day, the members stay to ensure that the work of the people is completed before we leave for the day.  We serve in the legislature always on behalf of those we represent.  On Crossover Day, legislation is given adequate time on the floor for debate and possible passage.  After passage by the House, legislation then goes to the Senate and the process is repeated.  Although seen as a long process for a bill to become a law, it helps to ensure that we continue to do the people’s work and only essential and necessary legislation makes its way through the process and awaits the signature of our Governor to become law.  With ten legislative session days left, I will continue to give legislative updates for the 2010 session. Should you have any ideas, questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact me (404) 656-0213 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 508 clob, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA  30334 or e-mail me at


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