26 Mar Legislative News- Week 11
Week eleven of the Legislative Session saw plenty of action as the heat was turned up on many of the biggest issues of the year. Democrats and Republicans battled over voting legislation, taxes, and other topics that absorbed much of the oxygen in the building.
Even amongst the chaos, several agribusiness related bills moved forward, and others are still fighting for survival. Sine Die is quickly approaching as next Wednesday will conclude the 2021 legislative session.
BUDGET PASSES SENATE AND HEADS TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery presented the Senate version of the State Budget Tuesday morning, sending the budget process one step closer to conclusion. The House and Senate conference committee has been working all week to reconcile the differences in each chamber’s plan. Several budget items of importance to agriculture have discrepancies between the House and Senate budgets and will need to be reconciled prior to final passage.
- $565,000 for increases in salaries to key employees of Dept. of Ag ($508,000 in Senate Version)
- $241,000 for one soil scientist and one compliance officer to administer Soil Amendment program (Not included in Senate version)
- $333,000 for Market Bulletin funding to increase subscribers
- $157,000 for scheduled payments to Georgia Agricultural Expo Authority
- $2,000,000 to DNR for increased funding of Parks and Historic sites
- $2,800,000 Agriculture Experiment Station ($2,000,000 in Senate Version)
- $2,650,000 for Cooperative Extension Service ($2,000,000 in Senate Version)
- $5,770,000 in 20-year bonds for the renovation to Mobley Hall at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center in Covington.