TAG Capitol Update: March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016

       

 TAG CAPITOL UPDATE          Technology: Where Georgia Leads


Georgia Crossover Day 

 

The General Assembly is in recess today after a frantic Crossover Day on February 29th. Crossover Day represents the 30th legislative day by which bills must pass one chamber in order to be eligible for consideration by the other. Some of the state’s most controversial bills passed, while others didn’t survive.

            

 

TAG Government Relations had a Successful 2016 High-Tech Day at the Capitol

 

On February 24th over 70 TAG members joined us for a successful 2016 High-Tech day at the Capitol. The Georgia technology community representatives urged legislators to move on TAG’s legislative agenda priorities which focuses on five main policy areas: Business and Industry, Economic Development and Taxation, Education and Workforce, Procurement, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


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Postproduction Tax Credit: HB 285 Passed by the House

 

LC 34 4909S is the Committee Substitute for HB 285 which passed the House on Crossover Day February 29th. 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. Click the link to read through the committee substitute bill that passed.


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Unmanned Vehicle Legislation: HB 779 Passed by the House

 

HB 779 was adopted by the House on Crossover day sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R - Dawsonville). Rep. Tanner worked closely with industry to alleviate the concerns by removing Section 333 Exemption, the vague definition of Private Place, and adding more clarity on what shall be unlawful for any person. The Senate Science & Technology Committee meets Monday March 7th at 3:00pm to have a hearing only on HB 779. To read through the latest version of the bill click the link below. 

  

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Religious Freedom Bill: HB 757 Headed Back to the House


HB 757 was introduced in July with three main purposes. It cleared ministers from having to perform marriages that violated their religious beliefs, business owners could remain closed on Saturday or Sunday if working conflicted with their religious beliefs, and religious institutions did not have to rent facilities for ceremonies that violated their beliefs. The bill passed the house and passed the Senate with an amendment that blends the Pastor Protection Act with the First Amendment Defense Act, which critics have said would allow tax-funded groups to deny services to LGBT. TAG opposes legislation that would create discriminatory business practices against any organization or individual which could negatively impact the state.

 

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Georgia DCA and GARC Partner to Hire State's First Geospatial Information Officer

 

Georgia’s local governments, state agencies, and even the private sector, will soon benefit from the latest hire of the State’s first-ever geospatial information officer (GIO) through a partnership between the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions (GARC) and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). According to DCA and GARC officials, the overarching purpose of the GIO will be to leverage the use and application of geospatial data in public policy and decision-making to improve the overall safety and economic prosperity of the State of Georgia and its citizens. Click the link to view the official press release. 

 

  

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Work Opportunity Tax Credits

 

Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) are federal tax credits awarded to Georgia companies that hire individuals who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) coordinates the WOTC program which provides employers financial incentives when hiring workers from targeted groups of job seekers by reducing an employer’s federal income tax liability. The tax credit can be from $1,200 to $9,600 per qualified employee, depending on the target group. The most frequently certified WOTC is $2,400 for each adult new hire.

 

  

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U.S. Tech Industry Employment Surpasses 6.7 Million Workers 

 

The technology industry continues to be a major driving force in the U.S. economy, making up approximately 7.1 percent of the overall GDP and 11.6 percent of the total private sector payroll. In 2015, the technology industry added nearly 200,000 net jobs and now employs more than 6.7 million people. Click the link to read through the CompTIA Cyberstates 2016 report.

  

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2016 Georgia Primary Presidential Election Results


Hillary Clinton won the 2016 Georgia Democratic primary with 71.2 percent of the vote. Donald Trump won the 2016 Georgia Republican primary with nearly 39 percent of the vote. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz followed with 24.5 percent and 23.6 percent. Click the link to view the complete results.

  

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In This Issue

State:

TAG Government Relations had a Successful 2016 High-Tech Day at the Capitol

Postproduction Tax Credit:
HB 285 Passed by the House


Unmanned Vehicle Legislation:
HB 779 Passed by the House

 

Religious Freedom Bill: 
HB 757 Headed Back to the House

Georgia DCA and GARC Partner to Hire State's First Geospatial Information Officer


Work Opportunity Tax Credits

  


Federal:

U.S. Tech Industry Employment Surpasses 6.7 Million Workers

 

2016 Georgia Primary Presidential Election Results

 

TAG Government Relations Sponsor

 

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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