Georgia General Assembly Week In Review

April 3, 2015

Pardon Our Dust

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Week Thirteen Update

End of Session
The 2015 legislative session has come to an end. Many view the passing of the transportation bill to be one of the biggest successes for the session, as well as the legalization of possession of medical cannabis oil for approved patients. Governor Deal stated that he believes this legislative session could be one of the “most significant” sessions in recent times as it addresses three key issues: transportation, education and medication. Read more… 

Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, the legislature passed a transportation funding bill that will raise an estimated $900 million a year. The bill is aimed towards fixing the transportation infrastructure in Georgia. Among other things, the bill plans to raise funds by cutting tax breaks on jet fuel, and creating fees for hotel stays and alternative fuel vehicles. The majority of the money will come from increasing excise taxes 26 cents per gallon on gasoline and a 29 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Local governments are also allowed to tax gasoline as long as the cost of gasoline remains below $3 a gallon.

Medical Cannabis
House Bill 1, the bill that would legalize possession of cannabis oil, a form of medical marijuana, passed in the House almost unanimously on Wednesday. The bill was inspired by a 4-year old girl named Haleigh Cox whose parents took her to Colorado for the use of cannabis oil to control Haleigh’s seizures. Georgia is set to become the 24th state to allow the use of a form of medical marijuana if Governor Deal signs the bill. Read more…

Governor Deal’s education plan passed 121-47 in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Since the plan required a constitutional amendment, it required a two-thirds majority to pass, and received it by a narrow margin of 1 vote. The plan would allow schools that are “persistently failing” to be taken over by the takeover district that governor Deal has proposed. The bill will become a law if the Georgia voters support it on the statewide ballot in November 2016. Read more…