TAG Capitol Update: March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016

       

 TAG CAPITOL UPDATE          Technology: Where Georgia Leads


HB 757: "Pastor Protection Act" / "First Amendment Defense Act" 

 

HB 757 includes the original Pastor Protection Act (PPA) plus the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and elements of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) without clear non-discrimination language. TAG opposes this legislation that would create discriminatory business practices against any organization or individual which could negatively impact the state. The bill passed through the House & Senate and the Governor will have 40 days following the final day of this legislative session (March 24) to either veto, sign or not sign the bill. Please click the link to send a letter of opposition to Governor Deal.


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HB 801: STEM HOPE Scholarship Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature

 

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R-Milton) introduced legislation refining the HOPE scholarship to reward Georgia college students for taking rigorous science, technology, engineering, and math courses. Under the legislation, a student completing a class selected for extra weight would receive .5 added to his or her grade for purposes of calculating the HOPE scholarship GPA. No extra weight would be given for an A or F. HB 801 was adopted by the House and adopted by the Senate on March 16. The bill is headed to the Governor's desk for his signature. 


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Senate Appropriations Committee Recommended Funding $10.5 Million Into Invest Georgia 

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee Recommendation for Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2016, and ending June 30, 2017 includes $10,588,143 into Invest Georgia Program and the Advanced Technology Development Center. Funding Invest Georgia is a step in the right direction to enhance technology-driven economic development, and to provide the state share to federal incentive and assistance programs for entrepreneurs and innovative businesses. It is imperative that the technology community send letters of support for Invest Georgia to provide early and growth stage investment opportunities. To send a letter of support to Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor, and House leadership. 

 


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Production Tax Credit: HB 285 Passed by the Senate Finance Committee

 

HB 285 contains additional entertainment tax credits for digital production and postproduction. The substitute contains numerous changes from the original bill. Important highlights include a cap of $6 million per year for the program and a limit of $150,000 per production company, a cap on the amount of qualified salary of $80,000 for each employee, a transferable 30% film tax credit for qualified productions which spend less than $500,000, and requires that the production company certify that it has an office in Georgia. This bill primarily supports smaller production companies in Georgia.


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Unmanned Vehicle Legislation: HB 779 Passed by the Senate

 

HB 779 was adopted by the Senate on March 16 with major amendments to the bill. Section 1, 16-11-212 & 16-11-213 in Section 2, Section 3, and Section 5 were removed from the previous version of the bill. Language from Senator Judson Hill (District 32) HB 325 was attached to the bill. Specifically, the county & municipality preemptive and the Georgia Unmanned Vehicle Systems Commission language was added. This allows the State to identify the benefits, including job creation, a cleaner environment, positive economic impacts, increased public safety, and enhanced efficiencies.

  

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Scam Alert-Department of Revenue Phone Line Spoofed 


Please be advised that one of the Georgia Department of Revenue's phone lines has been subject to Caller ID spoofing.  The Department of Revenue (DOR) was first made aware of this scam on Thursday, March 10th.  When a telephone number is spoofed, the Caller ID of the caller will appear to be coming from a valid number. Other State agencies have also been victims of phone line spoofing. Earlier this month the Office of the State Treasury's main phone line was spoofed. 

          

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Retraining Tax Credit

 

Retraining tax credits enable Georgia businesses to offset their investment in employees. Whether retraining workers to use new equipment or new technology or upgrading the company’s competitiveness with ISO 9000 training, companies can afford more training, more often, thanks to Georgia’s tax credit program. Businesses can receive a tax credit of 50 percent of their direct training expenses, with up to $500 credit per full-time employee, per training program. The annual maximum of the credit amounts to $1,250 per employee.

 

  

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April 7th CompTIA Webinar: The Ultimate Disruptor: The Challenges and Opportunities of the Internet of Things and Smart Cities at the Nexus of Transportation

 

According to CompTIA’s Sizing Up the Internet of Things (IOT) report, projections estimate 50.1 billion connected devices by the year 2020 and $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add. The dramatic rise in computing power and storage capacity offered at ever-lower prices, coupled with the miniaturization of sensors and chips, robust wireless networks, IPv6, and a software-defined world, to name a few enabling factors, make this iteration of the Internet of Things different than prior eras. Click the link below for more information and to register.

  

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In This Issue

State:

HB 757: "Pastor Protection Act" / "First Amendment Defense Act"

HB 801: STEM HOPE Scholarship Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature

Senate Appropriations Committee Recommended Funding $10.5 Million Into Invest Georgia

Production Tax Credit:
HB 285 Passed by the Senate Finance Committee


Unmanned Vehicle Legislation:
HB 779 Passed by the Senate

 

Scam Alert-Department of Revenue Phone Line Spoofed

Retraining Tax Credit

  


Federal:

April 7th CompTIA Webinar: The Ultimate Disruptor: The Challenges and Opportunities of the Internet of Things and Smart Cities at the Nexus of Transportation


 

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TAG Capitol Contacts

Tino Mantella
President & CEO
Tino@tagonline.org
(404) 920 - 2027


Heather Maxfield
Vice President, Government Relations & Statewide
Heather@tagonline.org
(404) 920 - 2022


Joseph Santoro
Director of External Affairs
Joseph@tagonline.org
(404) 526 - 6049 

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