This week the General Assembly was again in recess to work on the budget, and will reconvene on Monday, March 8. However, key committee meetings are ongoing and the following are the highlights from last week and a preview of next.
EDUCATION: Critical Education Vote Scheduled for Monday
On Monday, the House of Representatives will vote on SB 84, an important bill that will improve school board governance and education in the state. The bill passed the Senate last session and passed the House Rules Committee two weeks ago. Generally, the House does not pass Senate bills this early, so the House is clearly making this legislation a top priority.
This bill is the work product of the Commission for School Board Excellence, chaired by John Rice, vice chairman of GE Infrastructure; Gary Price, market managing partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Phil Jacobs, retired president, AT&T (formerly BellSouth) in Georgia. The Chamber formed the task force last year to study best practices in school board governance in light of Clayton County School System losing its accreditation. This year, Warren County School System is losing accreditation. The bill strengthens conflict of interest, ethics and training requirements for school board members and allows the state to intervene when a school system is on the brink of losing accreditation.
Assuming the bill passes Monday, there remain a few important differences to work out between the House and Senate, but we hope to do this through a procedural device and avoid a conference committee. The Metro Atlanta Chamber strongly supports SB 84 and will continue to work tirelessly for its speedy enactment.
WATER:Water Stewardship Act Unanimously Passes House Committee, Floor Votes up Next
The Governor's Water Stewardship Act of 2010, based on the recommendations of the Water Contingency Planning Task Force, continues to make progress through the General Assembly. This week, the House Natural Resource and Environment (NRE) Committee unanimously passed a substitute bill with amendments. The House...