Legislative Update: February 10, 2017

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JeffJones-GAOfficialHeadshot2015Trans4Web.pngOn February 7, 2017 just two days after our Atlanta Falcons valiant efforts fell short to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, both the Georgia House and Senate returned to the Gold Dome in Atlanta to begin the 5th Week (legislative days 13 – 16) of the 2017 session. By the end of next week, we will have completed 20 days or half of the 2017 session, and it seems there is still much work to be done.

Legislative

HB146 - (I voted YES) Fire Fighters Cancer Insurance bill passed overwhelmingly out of the House thanks to Rep. Micah Gravely (D67).  Last year, Rep. Gravely was able to get a Firefighter’s Workers Comp bill passed by the House and Senate, only to have Gov. Deal veto the measure.  I agree that this version of firefighter insurance is much better primarily because it allows our counties, cities and community to better project and manage the costs for the coverage. I am proud to support this important step to help our brave firefighters.

Also look at two Firefighter related bills that passed the House HB83 and HB84 (I voted YES to both) which seek to improve Firefighter Pension Fund management.

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Legislative Update: February 3, 2017

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JeffJones-GAOfficialHeadshot2015Trans4Web.pngOn Monday, February 3, 2017, both bodies of the Georgia General Assembly reconvened in Atlanta to begin the Fourth Week (legislative days 9 - 12) of the 2017 session.  Committee and subcommittee hearings are in full swing as we considered various bills that are making their way through the legislative process.  As I have mentioned before, 90% of the legislative debate occurs in sub-committees and full committees. If a bill makes it to the House floor for a vote, except in the rare occasions, the debate has already occurred in committee.

Constituent Services

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as your Rep is the occasional opportunity to help someone deal with a difficult situation with a State agency, or being able to give “my two cents” about problems citizens have shared with me. One such concern, that I share, is with poor traffic flow on Altama Connector (Home Depot plaza) where it intersects with the Spur 25. Even though it is time consuming, I enjoy it. As do I also the legislative process and maneuverings that occur daily in the General Assembly.

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Legislative Update: January 23, 2017

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JeffJones-GAOfficialHeadshot2015Trans4Web.pngOn Monday, January 23, both the Georgia House and Senate returned to the Gold Dome in Atlanta to begin the Third Week (legislative days 5-8) of the 2017 session.

Week Two was devoted entirely to Budget and Appropriations Hearings which are integral in the process of developing the 2018 budget do not count in the 40 day session. Read More>>

Constituent Services

This week issues ranged from, helping a Glynn County Iraq/Afghanistan Vet deal with VA medical issues in our dysfunctional VA system;  to assisting a deserving couple work through the DFACS bureaucracy to become foster parents, thus binging together brothers and sisters that had become separated;  to helping improve traffic flow at the intersection of the Spur 25 at the Altama Connector in Brunswick (Home Depot/Chick-Fil-A center intersection). Dealing with these local matters, while simultaneously looking out for the interests of South Georgia in the context of state-wide legislative matters. Is a lot of work, and I enjoy doing it.

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Week 2 of the 2017 General Assembly – Budget and Appropriations Hearings

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On Tuesday, January 17, the General Assembly began one of the most important weeks of the 2017 legislative session as the House and Senate Appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings. During this week, the joint House and Senate Appropriations committees and subcommittees met and started the process of reviewing Governor Nathan Deal’s budget recommendations for the amended current and upcoming fiscal years in order to turn those recommendations into actual legislation that will ultimately guide our state’s spending.

Each legislative session, as required by our state constitution, we must pass a balanced state budget. After reviewing Gov. Deal’s budget proposals presented this week, members of the General Assembly will begin drafting two budget bills: the Amended Fiscal Year 2017 (AFY 2017) budget and the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) budget. The AFY 2017 budget is an amended budget for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, and uses a more accurate estimate of state revenue to account for any differences between the projected estimate and actual revenue obtained. The FY 2018 budget is a full budget for fiscal year 2018 that uses a projected state revenue estimate to guide state spending beginning on July 1.

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Rep. Jeff Jones Responds to Efforts to Protect Georgia’s Water Resources from Coal Ash Storage

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, January 18, 2017    
Contact: Betsy Lynch
(404) 656-3996
betsy.lynch@house.ga.gov

ATLANTA — State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) today issued the following statement in response to the City of Brunswick City Commission’s effort to draft a resolution asking state lawmakers to create stricter regulations governing coal ash storage:

“I applaud the efforts of the City of Brunswick’s City Commission to call for state leaders to protect our state’s pristine water resources.  I, likewise, encourage the Glynn County Board of Commissioners to consider similar efforts, as well as all communities throughout the state of Georgia that are impacted by coal ash storage. It is my intention to introduce legislation this session that seeks to protect our valuable, finite water resources from the potential damaging effects of long-term coal ash storage and the closing of existing coal ash ponds.

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January 16, 2017 - Legislative Update

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JeffJones-GAOfficialHeadshot2015Trans4Web.pngMonday, January 9, 2017, marked day-one of the 154th Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly, and the first day of the two-year 2017-2018 term (aka “biennial”). As such, all 180 members of the Georgia House of Representatives took the oath of office and were formally sworn in.

The first sections I discuss the procedural opening of the 2017-18 session and the Governor’s State of the State address to the joint session of the House and Senate.  Later in this email, I discuss legislative issues I am involved in.

Opening of the 2017 Session of the Georgia General Assembly

Bear with me a minute as I explain what happens in the opening days of each session of the Georgia General Assembly. You may have read previous emails over my first two years in office, explaining that the first few days of every legislative session is a combination of necessary procedural and ceremonial activity. By rule, and to make everything legal, we must formally call the 2017 session of the House of Representatives of the Georgia General Assembly to order; the Georgia Senate followed very similar procedures. The House formally nominated and elected the 2017-18 Speaker of the House Rep. David Ralston, (R-Blue Ridge), Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) was also re-elected to her respective positions.

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Georgia General Assembly 2017 Session Underway

The Georgia General Assembly convened today on Monday, January 9, 2017, the first day of the 2017-18 biennial session.  This is the first year of my second term as the District 167 State Representative, an honor I do not take lightly nor will I ever violate.  Representative Don Hogan, District 179, was sworn-in on Monday January 9, 2017, replacing Alex Atwood, who was elected to serve as Glynn County’s Chief Magistrate Judge.  I personally wish Representative Hogan the very best as he works to serve the constituents of District 179, and of course, Judge Atwood, as he works to serve the citizens of Glynn County.

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ICYMI: AJC: New fee on wire transfers could raise $100 million

By Jeremy Redmon The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
9:51 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2017
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Simon Escobar counts Mexican pesos Saturday, March 3, 2001, in Mexico City after picking up his monthly $100 from his son, Manuel Escobar, in Los Angeles. The Central Bank of Mexico calculates that $6 billion arrives through banks or wire transfers each year from the United States, generally in batches of $200 or $300. (AP Photos/Marco Ugarte)

Legislation in Georgia that would charge a new fee for out-of-state money transfers — a service many immigrants and refugees use to support their families abroad — could raise an estimated $100 million in annual revenue for the state, the measure’s sponsor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Filed by Republican state Rep. Jeff Jones of Brunswick, House Bill 12 would institute a $10 fee on transfers of $500 or less, and a 2 percent charge on those that exceed $500. Those who pay the fee could seek reimbursement each year when they file their state income tax returns. Businesses would be exempted.

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Rep. Jeff Jones Receives One Hundred Miles Civic Leader Award

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Betsy Lynch
(404) 656-3996
betsy.lynch@house.ga.gov

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reps. Debbie Buckner and Jeff Jones Receive One Hundred Miles 100 Civic Leader Awards

ATLANTA – State Representatives Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) and Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) recently received One Hundred Miles Civic Leader Awards.  The award honors elected and civic officials who, through their actions and voice, positively influence policies and conservation efforts along the Georgia coast.

“Georgians can be proud of the good job they have done protecting and preserving our 100 miles of coastline,” said Rep. Buckner. “Now we must be diligent and continue to build on those successes and hard work.”

“Protecting the natural beauty and important ecological value of our marshes is a top priority for me,” said Rep. Jones, whose district includes the coastal counties of Glynn and McIntosh. “I believe protecting our coastline, while still allowing citizens’ access is not mutually exclusive.  We need to work together to protect our precious 100 miles of coastline and marshes.”

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Press Release: Georgia’s Underground or Shadow Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2016

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Georgia’s Underground or Shadow Economy

Out-of-State Money Wire Transfer Fee bill

By State Representative Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick)

 

The United States has a massive underground economy – reportedly over $1 trillion. This economy, referred to as our cash economy, includes cash transactions by drug dealers, prostitution rings and workers paid in cash for their labor. Georgia is not immune to this issue. Our state loses millions of dollars of legitimate tax revenue as do other states and the federal government as a result of this problem.

The Out-of-State Money Wire Transfer Fee bill, which I will introduce during the 2017 legislative session, proposes that wire transfer companies shall collect a fully refundable fee on out-of-state wire transfers. To be clear, this fee is 100 percent reimbursable as a tax credit when an individual files their annual Georgia Income Tax, or when the individual provides the proper paperwork. The bill also proposes that the wire transfer companies will receive compensation, similar to the “vendor compensation” paid by the Department of Revenue to vendors for their sales tax collection and reporting efforts.

Businesses, such as banks, wire transfer companies and realtors, are explicitly and specifically exempted from the fee.

According to conservative, unofficial estimates, money wire transfer fee legislation could generate between $30 and $40 million in net revenue annually in the State of Georgia after eligible individuals receive their 100 percent fee reimbursement.

READ A COPY OF THE PROPOSED WIRE TRANSFER FEE BILL [PDF]

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Representative Jeff Jones represents the citizens of District 167, which includes a portion of Glynn, and all of Long, and McIntosh counties. He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2014, and currently serves on the Interstate Cooperation, Motor Vehicles, and Natural Resources & Environment committees.

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