2019 Legislative Session – Week 3

Dale Rutledge Session 2019 update - Week 3

During week 3 of the 2019 legislative session, the House and the Senate began their regular committee meetings—the first consisting of adopting rules and hearing presentations.

Bills at a Glance

The Council for Quality Growth has been tracking the development of Senate Bill 2, Senate Bill 17, House Bill 22, House Bill 23, and House Bill 100—HB 22 and HB 23 passed out of the House of Economic Development Committee last Monday. These bills are all related to allowing nonprofit telephone companies and electric membership corporations to provide broadband service to rural Georgia. The Council is also keeping an eye on House Bill 49 and House Bill 48. HB 49 would allow the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District to study whether there is value in interbasin water transfer from the Tennesee River as part of the Metro Water District’s conservation management plans. HB 48 concerns the proposed reinstatement of excise motor fuel & natural gas tax exemptions for certain public mass transit vehicles.

The Impact of E-scooters in Atlanta

If you’ve been to Atlanta recently, I’m sure you’ve noticed more than a few electric scooters parked on sidewalks. Last spring, Bird and Lime introduced their electric, shared scooters into Atlanta as a new form of transportation for anyone trying to cheaply get around the city in a more eco-friendly way. Now, we are seeing even more e-scooter companies preparing to provide this service as well.

Senate Bill 24 would require electric personal assistive mobility devices to be licensed under Georgia’s Motor Vehicle Law. This would require scooters to be titled and carry separate motor vehicle insurance making rental financially nonviable.

Data shows that 79% of people have a “positive perception.” According to the United States Department of Energy, 60% of car trips in the US are less than 6 miles and 40% of car trips are less than 2 miles. The study also shows that E-scooters could dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road.

If balanced with the proper safety considerations, e-scooters could do wonders for mobility in metro Atlanta considering its affordability, ease of use, and eco-friendly benefits. I’ll update you on this as it develops.

The House is currently working through the 4th week of this year’s legislative session. As we begin to pass even more pieces of legislation, I encourage you to reach out to me with any opinions or questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!