Overview of Gov. Deal’s Vetoes

Jon Richards covered the campus carry veto that is stealing the limelight, but there are 16 total bills that the Governor vetoed. He also used the line item veto on the 2017 budget (HB 751) and also disregarded some non-binding language in the same budget. The following is a synopsis of each of the bills that were vetoed. After the break you can see the full text summaries of the rationale for the vetoes from the Governor’s office.

  • HB 751: Line item veto and disregarding non-binding information of the fiscal year 2017 budget
  • HB 757: Domestic relations; religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right; provide
  • HB 59 creates a blanket waiver of sovereign immunity, with limited exceptions, as to claims seeking a declaratory judgment or injunctive relief against the state and local governments.
  • HB 216 expands the eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer, allowing such benefits for any firefighter in Georgia if a medical expert can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the cancer was caused from exposure to any risk factor while performing work related duties.
  • HB 219 would allow pools located at country clubs, subdivisions, condominiums and townhome associations, which are for 75 persons or less, to opt out of state inspections and regulations.
  • HB 370 would waive all fines, fees, and penalties in association with the failure to file, filing late, or filing incomplete campaign contribution disclosure reports and personal financial disclosure statements by locally elected officials and candidates from January 1, 2010 – January 10, 2014.
  • HB 659 at its core requires greater public transparency of financial information on both the local system and individual school levels. However, language in House Bill 659 also authorizes the Georgia Department of Education to conduct a pilot program wherein local school systems may spend and report federal, state, and local funds in a consolidated manner.
  • HB 726 would have a significant impact to the taxable base for cigars, loose tobacco and smokeless tobacco.
  • HB 779 involves the use of unmanned aircraft technology or “drones” which raises a unique concern requiring careful research.

More items and the full text of the vetoes are after the break.

  • HB 859 seeks to amend O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1, which relates to the carrying of weapons within school safety zones. It would add an exception to the prohibition of carrying or possessing a weapon in such school zones, to “any licensed holder when he or she is in any building or on real property owned or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college or university or other public institution of postsecondary education,” except for “buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, including, but not limited to fraternity and sorority houses…”
  • HB 916 – I support efforts to focus Medicaid provider audits on incorrect payment amounts, fraud, and abuse rather than identifying routine clerical errors. This bill, however, would modify the reimbursement policies of every department, agency, board, commission, or authority of state government. This is unnecessary and may interfere with the efficient processing of payments and sound fiscal management practices.
  • HB 959 is a comprehensive piece of legislation that, in its original form, sought to eliminate duplicative testing requirements for dually enrolled, AP, and IB students, encourage inter-agency cooperation, and clean-up other portions of Title 20, which I support. However, during the legislative process, language was added to the bill that mirrored the language found in Senate Bill 329, which I have vetoed for the reasons stated in my message for that bill.
  • House Bill 1060 is a bill that relates to the carrying and possession of firearms and other matters pertaining to firearms in general. It was presented as a housekeeping bill to clarify certain provisions that were contained in HB 60 that passed the General Assembly in 2014 and which became law upon my signature.
  • Senate Bill 243 would permit full-time attorney positions in the Office of Legislative Counsel to become a member of the Georgia Judicial Retirement System (GJRS).
  • Senate Bill 329 adjusts the established coursework rigor requirements of the HOPE Scholarship, and allows the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to identify strategic workforce needs for the purpose of updating technical college certificate program requirements.
  • Senate Bill 355 allows federal, state and locally-mandated assessments to be optional for certain students.
  • Senate Bill 383 would allow for an agritourism facility to receive a GDOT permit that would treat an on-premises advertising sign similar to a permitted outdoor advertising sign (e.g. a billboard).

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