Friday, May 06, 2016
NOTES FROM THE SENATE, MAY 6, 2016
GOVERNOR'S 16 VETOES-HIGHER IN NUMBER AND CONTROVERSIAL
Not since 2007, when then Gov. Perdue vetoed 41 bills, has there been such a wide range of vetoes covering both controversial issues and other "below the radar" issues, all with constituencies.
There are 16 vetoes covering 12 pages of explanations. Usually some of the vetoes are for local legislation where errors occurred or vetoes were requested by the author. It's somewhat unusual that none of the vetoes this year are local or technical in nature. They are all state-wide bills. In 2007, 8 of the 41 vetoes were local. In fact, since only 59 original Senate bills passed this year, the 4 bills vetoed represent 6% of all legislation passed by the Senate...and if you count the Religious Liberties bill whose final version came under a House number, that percentage is almost 8.5%.
During the Deal Administration, the number of vetoes has been relatively low ranging from 5 in 2013, but has increased each year since then to 11 in 2015, and then 6 of those were local. So, 16 vetoes of statewide bills is not only an escalation of the number of vetoes but does harken to 2007 when there was a huge blow-up at the end of the Legislative Session and Governor Perdue's 41 vetoes appeared to be the ending footnote. Incidentally, although there was a concentrated effort by the House at the time to overturn the vetoes, actual only one bill, a House bill, was restored by overriding the Governor's veto. That bill put the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office in code.
THE 16 VETOES AND BILL SUBJECTS
Veto No. 1-HB 757-The Religious Liberties Bill
Veto No. 2-HB 59-Waiver of government sovereign immunity
Veto No. 3-HB 316-Expanding eligibility of firefighters' workman's comp benefits
Veto No. 4-HB 219-Exempts pools at private developments from inspection
Veto No. 5-HB 370-Fine forgiveness for local officials Ethics filing failures
Veto No. 6-HB 659-Allowed consolidation of state, federal and local education funds
Veto No. 7-HB 726-Reduced little cigar taxes
Veto No. 8-HB 779-State regulation of drones
Veto No. 9-HB 859-Allows permit holders to carry weapons on college campuses
Veto No. 10-HB 916-Audited Medicaid reimbursements allowed despite clerical errors
Veto No. 11-HB 959--Allowed some technical courses to supplant core academic courses for high school graduation
Veto No. 12-HB 1060-Requirements of weapons policies in houses of worship
Veto No. 13-SB 243-Allowed Legislative Counsels to enter Judicial Retirement System
Veto No. 14-SB 329-Allowed Technical courses to replace core courses for HOPE qualification
Veto No. 15-SB 355-Provided an appeal process for secondary students not taking mandatory tests
Veto No. 16-SB 383-Allowed treatment of on-site billboard advertising as outdoors
The complete Veto List with narrative is at www.gov.georgia.gov/press-releases.
NET STATE REVENUES STAY POSITIVE-- UP 3.3%
April state revenues continued positive in April, a month in which there is also a large refund pay-out. With the new fuel tax revenues from HB 170, total state receipts were up 7.4%. Individual Income Taxes seemed to reflect the continuing release of slowed refunds showing only a 1.9% increase. Refunds, however, were actually flat, at minus 0.1%.
Net state Sales Taxes were up 1.6%. Corporate Income Taxes were down slightly at minus 0.8%. Tobacco taxes were up 13.8% and Alcoholic Beverages receipts were up 8.7%. Title Ad Valorem taxes were up 19.5%.
Motor Fuel Taxes were up $62.3 million, and Highway Impact Fees brought in $2.1 million. Hotel Motel fees totaled $15.08 million. All together, the three fuel sources totaled $79.58 million for the month.
STATE TOTAL UP 9.9% YEAR TO DATE
The $17.342 billion taken in the ten months so far this fiscal year is a 9.9% improvement altogether. Individual Income Taxes are up 8.8% and net state Sales Taxes are up 0.6%. Corporate Income Taxes are negative at minus 0.2%. Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverage taxes are up 4.3% and 4.0% respectively. Title Ad Valorem fees are up 15.5% or $104.3 million.
Motor Fuel Taxes so far this year have increased $516.6 million, and together with Impact fees at $12.3 million and Hotel/Motel fees at $121.01 million, all total $650.1 million, including the sales taxes now going to transportation from the general budget