Wow, what a action packed day and unusual crossover day.  This will be a different Friday News so please bare with my longer than usual report. (Not all legislative happenings)

Crossover Day: House Bills Only. Tomorrow I will review the Senate Bills that made it through.

The House chamber went to midnight tonight passing some key education bills. The Senate left much earlier. One of the most needed bills to crossover is the return to work HB 336 authored by Rep. Shaw Blackmon.  With some help from new House members that are friendly to education helped move this bill as it passed the House late this crossover night. Curiously, HB 1055 known as the Tim Tebow bill was not taken up by the House.   So it remains on the House Rules Calendar.

The supplemental FY19-20 Budget HB 792 has passed both chambers and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.  The final mid-term budget was hashed out by the conference committee. {(CC) in the document} You will find the Education budget on pages 77-89.  No major changes. Enrollment increase of 0.3% was funded at the rate of $104 million, RESA’s reductions were zeroed out.(all good news) Solid mid-term budget for all systems. You can review the remainder of the details in the doc.  The FY21 budget is now being scrutinized in the Senate. This is anticipated to be the focus when the Legislature decides to return and complete the final 11 days.  The session has been suspended beginning March 16, 2020, due to the concerns on the spread of Covd 19.

Governor’s Announcement: COVD19

The Governor held a press conference to talk about the statewide progression of the Covd 19 virus and some of the impact it was having on Georgia’s public health.  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta Mayor) joined the Governor to talk about closures of some events and provided some suggestions about avoiding large gatherings of people around the city.  Schools and communities are being impacted by the spread of the virus and the Governor has offered his support to local districts whether they decide to close or remain open during this incredibly difficult moment.  Many districts are choosing to close as a public health measure in varying degrees of days. (suggested up to 14 calendar days by Gov.’s office and Department of Public Health) This is a difficult time in our state and country but school district leaders must make decisions that will support the safety and welfare of their students, staff and communities.  There are still many unknowns concerning the virus but if you and your board decide to close your district the Governor and Georgia Department of Education are pledging their support to mitigate any negative educational impacts should be reassuring. No matter your decision, GSSA will stand with you as we all navigate this unprecedented urgent health challenge.  Call John Zauner at 678.382.3856 if you need to talk through any issues concerning Covd 19 and your response.  

Next legislative day 29 is Friday, March 13, 2020,  just to read bills -no voting or committees meetings.  I will keep you updated as we receive more information on the future of the legislative session.

There are many upcoming events sponsored by GSSA including Spring Bootstrap scheduled for April 22-23, 2020, at the Marriott Riverfront in Savannah.  We are in contact with the hotel and Savannah City officials on the impact of the current Covd 19 spread.  SO far, it remains “a go” but we will continue to consider the changing information which appears to be a daily event to inform our decision making.  Our individual institutes and programs will be continuously evaluated and communication will go out to effected attendees on the status of each institute or program.  We will monitor all of these events and provide the appropriate response as we get closer to each activity.

Have a good weekend!

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