At the Capitol: Week of March 11

The 2024 session continues to tick by as lawmakers completed Legislative Day 35 on Thursday. With Sine Die staring lawmakers down, there are only a handful of days remaining on the calendar to finish business. Here’s a recap of what happened last week:

– A bill to lower the income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39% cleared the Senate Finance Committee this week. HB 1015 is sponsored by Rep. Lauren McDonald, R-Cumming. 

– Similarly, HB 1023, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Williamson, R-Monroe, matches the corporate income tax rate to the individual income tax rate. It also advanced from Senate Finance.

– The House passed the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act Thursday after it fell short last year. SB 233, authored by Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, would create state funded education scholarship accounts that families could use for private school and other educational expenses.

– After overwhelmingly passing the House, HB 1339, authored by Rep. Butch Parrish, R-Swainsboro, passed the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 43-11. This bill seeks to modernize CON laws and ease processes for hospitals.

– Legislation legalizing sports betting in Georgia that the state Senate passed last month got its first hearing this week in the state House. SB 386, authored by Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford, would allow the Georgia Lottery Corp. to oversee sports betting, awarding licenses to 16 sports betting providers.

– The Georgia House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at “swatting,” which means falsely reporting criminal activity that sends police to the homes or offices of targeted victims. SB 421 is also sponsored by Sen. Dixon. 

– Gov. Brian Kemp signed a measure allowing the new Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission to start its work. SB 332, authored by Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, allows the commission that was created last year to adopt internal guidelines and rules. 

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