2019 Legislative Session – Week 9

We are fast approaching “Sine Die,” the last day of the 2019 legislative session. The House will adjourn on March 29th. In the last 32 legislative days, the House has passed over 160 pieces of legislation! As we draw near to the end of session, I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions. Keep reading to learn what the House passed in week 9.

House Bill 316: Paper Ballots

House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Barry Fleming (district 121), changes our voting method by introducing a ballot-marking device with a paper ballot that can be audited. This bill also extends the notice period required for the closing or moving of an existing voting precinct, implements extensive corrective measures for absentee ballots, and extends the amount of time a voter can be inactive before being removed from Georgia voter rolls. Our new voting system will:

-use secure touchscreen ballot markers that are not connected to the internet,
-produce verifiable paper ballots that voters can verify before submitting,
-have the ability to be audited to ensure accuracy,
-and will provide greater accessibility for disabled voters and voters who speak foreign languages.

Passing the Amended Budget

Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, and leaders from the House and Senate gathered to sign the Amended Budget for Fiscal Year 2019. This budget allocates funds for public education, expands school security initiatives, increases access to healthcare in rural Georgia, and helps farmers and agri-businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael.


Thank you for visiting my blog to learn about what your representatives are working on for the state of Georgia. As the General Assembly works to pass more legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and concerns. Please return to my blog next week for more updates on this year’s session.

Capitol Address
601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.
18 Capitol Square SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
404.656.0254 – Office
District Address
P.O. Box 1162
McDonough, GA 30253

Emaildale.rutledge@house.ga.gov

2019 Legislative Session – Week 7

Last week, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The General Assembly spends a considerable amount of time in committee meetings, discussing the needs of our state to pass a budget that will help Georgia prosper.  Keep reading for more details on this measure and feel free to email me about any budget questions you may have: dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov

Passing the FY 2020 Budget

House Bill 31 is set by a revenue estimate of $27.5 billion—a 3.95% increase over the FY 2019 current budget. Below are a few highlights from the FY 2020 budget.

-Recognizes an increase of $38.6 million in new revenue for transportation—an increase of 7% over the current year budget.

-Includes $2.4 million to establish the initial budget for the ATL authority

-Provides $300,000 for the creation of the Blight Removal and Code Enforcement (BRACE) program, which gives grants to communities with a population of 2,500 or less to initiate a free, neighborhood-level cleanup for areas with the most code violations and blight

-Includes a $2,775 pay raise for certified teachers and certified personnel

-$174,000 has been appropriated to hire two school safety threat assessment trainers to work with local school systems to develop threat assessment plans. This allocation is a result of recommendations from the 2018 House School Security Study Committee.

-Includes $78.4 million in the Department of Community Health for Medicaid growth

For more news and highlights about the budget, visit: http://www.house.ga.gov/budget/en-US/newsandhighlights.aspx

Visit the Georgia House of Representatives website for more information about pending legislation, session photos, committee appointments, and several more resources.  There are also  Video Broadcasts of session available weekly.


Thank you for visiting my blog to learn about what your representatives are working on for the state of Georgia. As the General Assembly works to pass more legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and concerns. Please return to my blog next week for more updates on this year’s session.

Capitol Address
601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.
18 Capitol Square SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
404.656.0254 – Office
District Address
P.O. Box 1162
McDonough, GA 30253

Emaildale.rutledge@house.ga.gov

 

2019 Legislative Session – Week 4

In week 4 of the 2019 legislative session, the House passed the Amended Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. Passing a balanced Amended Fiscal Year budget has been one of the top priorities for the General Assembly as it guides our state’s spending for the remainder of 2019. A big focus for this amended budget is student well-being with funds allocated for school security grants and mental health services. Below are just a few highlights from the budget.

House Bill 30: Passing the AFY Budget – Highlights 

-$8.4 million in additional funding is allocated for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to expand the Georgia Apex Program. This program provides support counselors for high school students struggling with mental health issues.

-$10 million is allocated for emergency disaster relief assistance to Georgia farmers who were affected by Hurricane Michael in October. This is in addition to the $55 million appropriated to the Georgia Development Authority to assist farmers as decided during the 2018 special session.

-$1 million is allocated for the Department of Community Health to craft state flexibility options for our state’s Medicaid Program under the federal waiver program.

-$69.4 million is allocated towards providing school security grants of $30,000 each for 2,314 schools including charter schools, college and career academies, GNETS facilities, and the three state schools.

For more information on our state’s budget allocations, visit the Georgia House of Representatives Budget & Research Office webpage. There you can find the final version of the AFY 2019 Budget.

House Resolution 1: Honoring Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

House Resolution 1, carried by Speaker David Ralston and Majority Leader Jon Burns, names the forthcoming new state appellate judicial complex the “Nathan Deal Judicial Center.” Considering Gov. Deal’s accomplishments in reforming Georgia’s criminal justice law, it makes perfect sense that the center would bear his name. Deal has saved Georgia taxpayers millions in additional prison spending, reduced the minority prison population, and has created solutions to treat nonviolent offenders who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness. 

Under his leadership, Georgia has consecutively earned the title of “No. 1 State in which to do business.” During his time as Governor, Georgia has seen significant improvements in transportation, education, and success for small business owners. I believe he has set a precedent that our state will frequently refer to, and I look forward to seeing how much more Georgia will grow as a result of his service the betterment of our state.


The 5th week of session is underway. As the General Assembly works to pass more legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and concerns. Thank you for reading and please return to my blog next week for more updates on this year’s session.

Capitol Address
601-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.
18 Capitol Square SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
404.656.0254 – Office
District Address
P.O. Box 1162
McDonough, GA 30253

Email: dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov