Legislature Roundup
January 22, 2014 04:20 PM | 711 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia lawmaker revises civil forfeiture bill 

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press

Georgia lawmaker revises civil forfeiture bill By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — A state lawmaker behind an effort to overhaul Georgia's civil forfeiture laws has made changes to his bill, which stalled last year amid objections from law enforcement.

Rep. Wendell Willard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that he's hopeful the bill will proceed and plans to bring it up in committee soon. Under the revised bill, the state's burden of proof remains the same, along with the $25,000 threshold under which authorities can seize assets without judicial approval.

Willard, a Sandy Springs Republican, initially sought to raise the burden of proof and lower the threshold to $5,000. The bill aims to establish procedures for the handling of seized assets and increase reporting.

Terry Norris with the Georgia Sheriffs' Association says his group is still reviewing the revised bill.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


House committee approves $41B revised Georgia budget

ATLANTA (AP) — A legislative committee has approved changes to a $41 billion spending plan for Georgia's state government.

The House Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to approve a revised budget for the financial year that ends in June. House lawmakers must still decide whether to approve it in a floor vote.

Every year, the governor submits a revised budget plan that, for example, reflects changes in revenue or spending by departments.

The committee made changes that give more money to hospitals treating poor patients, funds railroad repairs, hires an additional narcotics inspector and trims some spending requested by the state's court system. Lawmakers must still set a budget for the coming fiscal year starting in July.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia bill looks to block some from unemployment

ATLANTA (AP) — A state House subcommittee has approved a bill aimed at blocking seasonal workers of private companies from qualifying for unemployment benefits.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports House Bill 714, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Hamilton, of Cumming, passed the House Industry and Labor subcommittee in a party-line vote on Tuesday.

Hamilton and state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler have said private companies capitalize on unemployment to avoid paying impacted workers during their off seasons. Butler told the subcommittee that private firms encourage workers to apply for jobless benefits at the state's expense.

The bill has yet to be introduced to the full chamber.

The state in 2011 tried blocking certain seasonal employees from unemployment and had to pay qualified workers $8 million in back benefits.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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