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Posted: March 6, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Legislation moving forward

It’s now at the point in the legislative session where the General Assembly is pushing into the phase where we press to move bills out of each chamber (House and Senate) and over to the other before crossover day. Crossover day is legislative day 30, the last day we can pass a bill out of one chamber and still be able to move it in the other.

Here’s an update on some bills and resolutions.

HB 92 addresses the excessive cost early voting. It would shorten the early voting period to three weeks, since roughly 80 percent of early voting has occurred during that time period. Light turnout during the earlier weeks of the early voting period has resulted in per-vote-cast costs of $50 or even $100. It passed 148 to 20, including my "yes."

HB 172 would extend the period during which certain state mandates on local school systems are relaxed, to help them cope with the ongoing recession. The end date would be extended another two years, to 2015. The bill would also delay the date by which school systems need to decide on whether they want to participate in a more flexible regulatory agreement with the state. I supported the bill, and it passed by 128 to 42.

HB 179 seeks changes to how permits for clearing trees and other vegetation in front of billboards along interstate highways are issued. I have posted a more in depth review on my website – go to, and click on the HB 179 link) This was one of those rare issues where the party structures fall apart, with strong pro and con opinions on both sides of the aisle. We spent over two hours in debate, and the measure passed 98 to 69.

HB 192 proposes creating a temporary State Education Finance Study Commission, which would review the QBE funding formula that determines how K-12 education is financed in Georgia. The formula is now 26 years old and is thus not well suited to some of the changes in education that have occurred since that time. The commission would have two years to study the issue and recommend legislation. I voted in support, and the bill passed 160 to 3.


Reach Rep. Doug Holt (R-Social Circle) at, or at (404) 656-0152.

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