GLMA Legislative Update

As summer draws to a close and schools open their doors to students and teachers, your GLMA lobbyists continue to monitor legislative happenings.

On August 1st, the Governors Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) issued a memo announcing that agencies will be directed “…to submit reduction plans of 6%, 8% and 10% for both Amended FY 2009 and FY 2010.”  Additionally, “State employee pay raises will be deferred until further notice.”  (Link to memo Here)

According an article published by InsiderAdvantage, pay raises for teachers who have already contracted with school systems appear safe.  Like many things in politics, however, this is another wait and see.  (Click here for InsiderAdvantage article)

During the session, the legislature voted to restore $50,000,000 to the austerity cuts in education.  As an appropriation, OPB can release up to $50 million toward restoring the cuts.  If revenue shortfalls and budget cuts continue, it is possible OPB may not release all of the restoration funds. Right now, conversations about the budget crisis are happening at a pay-grade above principals, superintendents and lobbyists.  We will keep you informed as information comes our way.

Upcoming Education Finance, Teacher Training and Tax Policy Meetings

The Senate Education Finance Study Committee has rescheduled its meetings over the summer, but now plans to meet August 20th. Sen. Dan Moody (R-Alpharetta) will chair the committee that was formed by SR 1213.  An agenda has not yet been set for this meeting.

The Joint House and Senate Study Committee on Teacher Training and Certification will meet on August 27th.  This study committee was created by HR 1103 and will be co-chaired by House Education Committee Chair, Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) and Senate Education Committee Chair, Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody). 

On September 11th, your lobbyists will attend a conference on Property Taxes and Proposed Policies.  Sponsored by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, it is expected to draw legislators and other key state budget leaders.  This event will serve as a networking opportunity where we hope to gauge the current financial climate and listen for upcoming legislation on the funding horizon.

The Legislative Session – 2008 and 2009

The 2008 legislative session was filled with controversy over tax and healthcare issues, along with several education issues including the most anticipated IE2 Task Force recommendations via legislation.  The IE2 Task Force legislation (HB 1209) passed, along with a return to work bill (SB 327).  We expect some of the more controversial issues to re-surface in 2009, and will be prepared.  The Amended FY 2009 and FY 2010 budgets will fall into the “controversial” category as all anticipate the budget cuts.

It’s time to rework legislative priorities for the 2009 session.  Send your thoughts to Lasa Joiner or Michelle Crider in the GLMA Executive Office: lasaj@jlh-consulting or michelle@jlh-consulting.com

Meanwhile, stay tuned…

Lasa Joiner & Michelle Crider

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Posted on August 11, 2008, in Communications and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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