The state Legislature in Georgia has had higher than normal off-session activity with multiple hearings coupled with budget committee meetings (and 13 hearings in the current week alone!). These hearings have touched a wide range of issues surrounding transportation, insurance, education, fraud issues, rural development and business regulations. It’s important to stay engaged in these hearings … while legislators cannot pass bills until the Legislature is in session, these hearings are where many of the issues that will be tackled in January take shape. And more are pending as of press time, but some of note from the past two weeks include:
Economic Development: This week the state House held three lengthy hearings on the possibility of creating legalized gaming in Georgia (outside of the lottery). These hearings were directed at the potential of casinos in the state, and touched on a wide range of economic, social, business, and tax issues, as well as the state’s desire to look towards income sources. And while these hearings were focused on weighing both sides of the issue, it’s important to stay aware of what changes may be pursued in the upcoming state session, as once that legislative train starts rolling, it’s near impossible to stop!
Housing Issues: On October 10th the House held its second hearing on analyzing “Workforce Housing,” meeting in Tifton so as to shift the hearings around the state. And while the focus of the study committee is directed at local code and aesthetic requirements on homes, this second hearing touched on foreclosures, federal tools for homeownership, and what materials should or should not be used when building a home. LSCU spoke with the Representatives on the committee to ensure that they know the issue from a credit union perspective, and that it is monitored to protect against lending obstacles or barriers to helping those seeking a mortgage.