Deal issues 2015 veto statements

May 12, 2015

Veto Number 1

SB 76  Senate Bill 76 would allow motorcycle and bicycle operators to enter an intersection without providing a definitive regard to the traffic signal in instances where the lightweight nature of their vehicle will not activate a traffic-control device. While I am sympathetic to the concerns and causes of motorcyclists and bicyclists, this legislation does not provide an adequate solution and presents a confusing exception to motorists. Furthermore, Senate Bill 76 would eliminate the current 15-inch height restriction placed on motorcycle handlebars. Motorcycles equipped with handlebars more than 15 inches in height pose a safety hazard due to the increased difficulty in steering and decreased control. In 2014, crashes involving motorcycles and bicycles accounted for 13 percent of the fatalities on Georgia roads, and I do not see how this legislation will enhance roadway safety. Therefore, in the interest of providing the necessary roadway safety Georgians deserve, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 76.

Veto Number 2

HB 439  House Bill 439, the Georgia New Markets Jobs Act, contains two major tax policy initiatives that affect the Georgia insurance premium tax. It provides for $55 million in tax credits against insurance premium tax liability for certain equity investments in qualified community development entities. During the legislative process, language was added to HB 439 authorizing the Invest Georgia Fund to sell up to $55 million in tax credits against insurance premium tax liability. Each of these concepts merit serious discussion standing on their own; however, the combination of these policy initiatives into one piece of legislation and the prospect of implementing these initiatives at the same time under our current budget environment would have too much of an impact on the general fund. It is my opinion that these initiatives require further study and, thus, I hereby VETO House Bill 439.

Veto Number 3

HB 510  House Bill 510 sets up a separate fund of the OneGeorgia Authority to be known as the Georgia Sports Commission Fund. The bill specifies that funding shall be provided by any source allowable by law. The OneGeorgia Authority already has an existing mechanism in place which serves a similar purpose as the proposed legislation. Due to its lack of necessity, I hereby VETO House Bill 510.

Veto Number 4

HB 86  House Bill 86 seeks to transfer the Division of Aging Services (DAS) from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to create the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency as an attached agency to the Department of Community Health. The legislation would transfer social services such as senior employment services, elderly legal assistance, in-home services, home delivered meals and adult protective services to the Department of Community Health, an agency responsible for the planning and delivery of health care to the citizens and employees of the State of Georgia. 

This legislation attempts to merge two agencies with diverse missions and methods of service delivery while failing to align elderly services to the agency whose mission and scope is to deliver human services throughout the state. I welcome the opportunity to revisit the restructuring of Division of Aging Services in the future to create a more tailored alignment of services to agency mission. Accordingly, I hereby VETO House Bill 86.

Veto Number 5

HB 524  This legislation would create a statewide registry of business trade names to be housed and maintained by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. This legislation would require those who have already lawfully registered their trade names in the appropriate superior court, and paid that court’s fee for doing so, to pay an additional fee to take advantage of the proposed online registry. I also have significant concerns about language in the bill attempting to dedicate a portion these new fees for a specific purpose. For these reasons, I hereby VETO House Bill 524.

Local Legislation - Veto Messages

Veto Number 6

HB 251  House Bill 251 provides a new charter for the City of Americus. The author of the legislation has requested that HB 251 be vetoed because the bill does not achieve what the author had intended. A separate piece of legislation, HB 425, is the corrected version creating a new charter for the City of Americus. Having reviewed the legislation and considered the request of the author of this legislation, I hereby VETO House Bill 251.

Veto Number 7

HB 577  House Bill 577 authorizes Rockdale County to exercise all redevelopment and other powers under Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII(b) of the Constitution and Chapter 44 of Title 36 of the O.C.G.A., the "Redevelopment Powers Law.” The author of the legislation and the Rockdale County delegation of the General Assembly have requested that HB 577 be vetoed because there is an incorrect date within the language of the bill. Having reviewed the legislation and considered the request of the author and the Rockdale County delegation, I hereby VETO House Bill 577.

Veto Number 8

HB 580  House Bill 580 authorizes the Recorder’s Court of Columbus to levy up to a $25 technology fee to each fine imposed. In 2013, I signed legislation authorizing the Recorder’s Court of Columbus to levy up to a $15 technology fee. A $25 fee is excessive compared to similar court fees across the state, and I am concerned that such a fee increase would set an unacceptable precedent for other similar courts. Additionally, this legislation removes the sunset provision placed upon the technology fee. I have previously vetoed this legislation (HB 858) in 2014. For these reasons, I hereby VETO House Bill 580.

Veto Number 9

HB 651  House Bill 651 changes the method of filling vacancies on the Board of Education in Paulding County. The author of the legislation requested that House bill 651 be vetoed because the current bill does not achieve what the author intended. Having reviewed the legislation and considered the request of the author of this legislation, I hereby VETO House Bill 651.

Veto Number 10

SB 182   Senate Bill 182 provides for the creation of one or more community improvement districts in Newton County and in each municipality therein. The author of the legislation and the Newton County delegation of the General Assembly have requested that SB 182 be vetoed because there is an error within the bill. Having reviewed the legislation and considered the request of the author as well as the Newton County delegation, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 182.

Veto Number 11

SB 215   Senate Bill 215 creates the Schley County Utilities Authority. The author of the legislation has requested that SB 215 be vetoed because the bill does not achieve what the author intended. A separate piece of legislation, SB 220, is the corrected version that allows for the creation of the Schley County Utilities Authority. Having reviewed the legislation and considered the request of the author of this legislation, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 215.