This week was very active with bills moving either through committee or on the floor of each chamber.  Just remember this is an election year and we are seeing a plethora of legislation all across the ideological spectrum. One of the popular themes is tax breaks for many and throw anything and everything at K-12 to see what sticks.  Even our political friends who are serving are noticing the frenzy. Here are some of the highlights from the end of this legislative week.

Lead with a Tax bill end with a tax bill:

HB 1019 – Rep. Matt Reeves – This doubles the homestead exemption from $2000 to $4000. Passed the House floor easily.  I expect this to sail through the legislative process.

HB 982 – Rep. Mathew Gambill – High Demand Career List – Relating to the current and future workforce.  I believe educators/teachers should be on the list. That was shared with those who have developed the list. That was Dr. Rob Brown’s idea.  Passed the House floor.

HB 995 – Rep. Bonner – ASVAB will be given to all 11th and 12th graders at no expense to the local districts. Passed

HB 579 – Rep. Carter Barrett – “Clean Up” language for the Special needs voucher bill.  The original bill was passed as SB 10 back in 2008. (this is an example there is no end game in the voucher world) GSSA and GAEL testified to improve the language in the bill.  Will continue to watch and work on the language to include some accountability. Passed out of subcommittee.

HB 808 – Rep. Cheokas – Exempt personal property tax  – Moves the exemption from $7500 to $50,000.  This could add to the significant decline in the tax digest in every county in our state.

SB 349 – Sen. Hufstetler – 3% cap on property valuations. This could have a devastating impact on local school budgets.  We agree that our residential property taxes have increased exponentially.  This approach will hurt local governments and services to our citizenry including schools and public safety.  GSSA along with our partner associations is meeting with the author and other committee members to raise the concern of the impact. You might want to have your CFO run the numbers for each of your systems and share them with your local representatives. Click Here is an example from some systems

The AFY24 Tracking sheet budget is available for review also known as HB 915.  The education budget is on pages 38-42 of the tracking sheet document.  The changes are highlighted in yellow. This has passed the floor of the House. I do expect this to move fairly quickly through to the Governor.  Remember, this is the Amended budget also called the little budget.  The FY 25 budget is working its way through the committee process. Albeit, much slower.

Quotes: You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.Henry Ford

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Fredrick Douglas

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