Weekly legislative update: budget, business, athletics
This week the House of Representatives spent time in committees and on the floor discussing bills that passed the Senate and were delivered to our chamber on Crossover Day. Concurrently, the Senate spent the week considering bills that we sent to them. Because we are in the countdown to the last several days of the session, we remain vigilant about using our time wisely in order to address matters that have come before our legislative body for the betterment of Georgia.
The House rejected the Senate version of the fiscal year 2017 budget which is typical since both bodies hardly ever reach a mutual decision on every specification the first time around. This is actually a positive because it means that members of both chambers are going through the budget with a fine-tooth comb and are serious about approving a budget that is in the best interest of our state. This extensive document is currently in conference committee where differences will be discussed and details will be determined.
A bill titled “Protecting Georgia Small Business Act” passed soundly and will be sent to Gov. Deal for his signature. This bill states that neither a franchisee nor the franchisee’s employees are considered employers of the franchisor. The intent of this bill is to give business owner’s control of their enterprise without excessive federal overreach. Small businesses in Georgia fuel our economy, add depth to our state’s culture, and, for many, fulfill the American dream. It is good to have legislation that facilitates small businesses rather than obstructs hard-working, innovative Georgians.
Senate Bill 309 allows high schools that receive state funding to play in scrimmage games or other athletic competitions with nonmember schools. The Georgia High School Association had prohibited member schools from any competition with nonmember schools.
This legislation will allow schools who wish to engage in scrimmages or other activities to do so if both schools agree and all safety rules are obeyed. This bill also addresses religious expression on uniforms and says if the rules of the sport allow any personal expressions, religious expression cannot be prohibited.
In other words, officials will not be allowed to pick and choose what expressions are allowed and supports the right for religious expression which is meaningful to many of our student athletes. SB 309 overwhelmingly passed the House.
On a personal note, qualifying for the 2016 primaries and general election ended at noon on Friday, March 11, and I am the only qualified candidate for House District 69! I am grateful for the confidence you have shown in my leadership and I look forward to continuing to serve the fine Georgians in my district.
With this honor you have bestowed upon me comes great responsibility. My pledge to you is that I will continue to work to find the best solutions to the problems we face, not necessarily the simple solution or the bumper sticker solutions, but the right solutions to keep Georgia the number one place to do business and the best place to live, work and raise a family. I ask for your continued prayers as we complete this session and as I look forward to representing you for another term.
As we continue the legislative session, your concerns, questions, and input are very important to me and invaluable as I strive to represent you to the best of my ability. It is truly a great privilege to serve you in the State House! Please contact me with your thoughts 404-656-5087 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for allowing me to serve you!
Ernest Fannings Contributing columnist Here’s a few common situations. See how many seem familiar to you. Situation A: you have... read more