Week 7 legislative update: Crossover Day coming soon


This past week the Georgia General Assembly convened for legislative days 25-27. With cross-over day (Day 30) looming, committee activity was incredibly busy this week with members seeking to move legislation to the Consideration Calendar to ensure it is eligible for consideration by the whole House on or before Day 30, the last day for consideration of House bills.

The House took up several important bills on the floor last week. One of the most significant measures came through the Judiciary-Non Civil Committee, on which I serve, which proposes several updates to our state’s sexual offender law.

Several aspects of the law are currently under court challenge, jeopardizing some of the most important protections afforded under the law. The measure was introduced to ensure these legal safeguards remain in place to ensure the safety of our children and communities from sexual predators.

I am pleased to report that the measure passed overwhelmingly and will ensure that our law enforcement community will be able to better focus its resources on tracking and securing the most dangerous potential offenders.

It is critical we continue to promote measures aimed at keeping our community safe, and this legislation will certainly be helpful in that regard.

The House also took up a much discussed measure to provide for the more effective and efficient collection of sales taxes. As our state seeks to balance its budget it is critical that we ensure we are able to identify and collect taxes from individuals that attempt to cheat our system of laws.

By allowing tax cheats to avoid paying what they owe, we simply shift more of the burden to honest taxpaying citizens to fund the critical functions of state and local government.

This measure will give county and city governments the ability to match businesses within the Department of Revenue’s list of businesses that have registered to collect and remit sales taxes to ensure that all businesses are remitting the required taxes. The bill was strongly supported by our local governments and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Last week, legislation I co-authored to promote water conservation in the state of Georgia took a final critical step to becoming law. On Monday the House took up an Senate bill that was identical to the measure we passed out of the House the previous week, providing for water conservation incentives and other measures aimed at promoting a culture of water conservation in the state of Georgia.

The legislation passed the House overwhelmingly and now will go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Also considered on the floor last week was HB 936, a measure requested by local school systems to provide more flexibility to use bus replacement money for bus refurbishment. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly.

This is one of several bills that have been passed this session to provide greater flexibility to school systems to use its diminished budget resources as it deems appropriate. I will continue to support measures that promote that objective.

Thank you again for the honor of allowing me to serve this great community. As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents and value the input.

[Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) was first elected to the District 72 post in December 2007. He is a law partner with Warner, Hooper, and Ramsey, P.C., in Peachtree City. His email is matt.ramsey@house.ga.gov.]