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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

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