2014 State Legislative Session Enters Final Stretch

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Teri Nagel
Government and Community Relations

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In spite of all of the winter weather, the state legislative session has pressed on, resulting in many opportunities to spread the word about the noteworthy things happening at Georgia Tech.

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In spite of all of the winter weather, the state legislative session has pressed on, resulting in many opportunities to spread the word about the noteworthy things happening at Georgia Tech.

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In spite of all of the winter weather, the state legislative session has pressed on, resulting in many opportunities to spread the word about the noteworthy things happening at Georgia Tech.

“Georgia Tech has had a strong presence, thanks in large part to President Peterson, who every week has actively engaged with state leaders to discuss Georgia Tech priorities,” said Dene Sheheane, executive director of Government and Community Relations.

Here are just a few of the Tech-related highlights from this legislative session thus far:

  • Campus construction projects, including the Library Renewal Project ($1.7 million for planning and design) and the relocation of Environmental Health and Safety operations ($4.5 million), were supported in the House version of the FY15 budget; the Senate is expected to vote on March 6. Both projects also will receive Institutional funding to leverage the state support.
  • Tech is working with colleagues in the University System of Georgia (USG) to secure new systemwide funds for day-to-day operations and for major building maintenance ($47 million and $60 million, respectively).
  • Once again, Institute students are serving the General Assembly as part of the Georgia Legislative Internship Program. Six students were selected this year, providing support to legislative offices including the Offices of the Speaker of the House and the House Education Committee Chairman. Several more students and young alumni are also working full time at the Capitol, in the Governor’s Press Office, the Senate Rules Committee, and the Office of the Chancellor, to name a few.
  • Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) experts presented on autonomous vehicles to the Joint Science and Technology Committee at the invitation of the House and Senate Chairmen.
  • Allen Ecker, a Tech alum who played football under Coach Bobby Dodd, and who helped start Scientific-Atlanta while working at GTRI, was recognized by the House of Representatives for his contribution to economic development.
  • Governor Nathan Deal’s budget includes a recommendation for a merit salary increase for state employees in the coming fiscal year.  Pending final approvals, faculty and staff at USG institutions including Tech could be eligible for the merit increases.

Additional potential legislation being monitored by the Institute include HB 516, which provides a one-time opportunity for members of the Optional Retirement Plan to switch into the Teacher’s Retirement System; HB 788, which would extend an existing tax-exemption of USG property to private partners who operate student housing and other services for public colleges and universities; and HB 875, which would change current provisions related to the carrying of weapons and maintain the prohibition of concealed carry on college campuses.

Monday, March 3, is Day 30 of the session, commonly known as Crossover Day, when legislation must pass at least one chamber for it to become law. (This session is expected to end by March 20.)

“It’s important to keep in mind that all these measures are fluid,” Sheheane said. “A bill must be passed in the chamber where it originated by the 30th day of the session, which is Monday, before it crosses over to the other chamber for consideration."

The bi-weekly Capitol Buzz newsletter is the best way to stay up-to-date on legislative items of interest to Tech. Click here to access it. 

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Institute and Campus
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Campus and Community
Keywords
Government Relations, Legislative session, legislative update, Office of Government and Community Relations
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  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 3, 2014 - 4:19am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:15pm