As the Georgia Staffing Association looks back on the 2015 legislative session, we can be thankful for another session in which Georgia proved to be good for business.
Transportation and education dominated this year’s session. To transportation, the legislature provided around $900 million in new annual transportation funding (H.B. 170). They got there with any number of taxes, fees and credit eliminations. Next, bills addressing education flexibility (S.B. 2) and “persistently failing” schools (S.B. 133) combined to provide changes in the state’s education delivery system. While the GSA did not take a position on these issues, we are encouraged seeing Georgia tackle infrastructure and education head on.
The legislature passed a number of bills that affect workforce solutions providers more directly, to include:
- Allowing employers to create a “veteran’s preference employment policy” (H.B. 443),
- Authorizing wage payment via payroll cards (S.B. 88),
- Changing the definition of “most recent employer” to mean “most recent employer”, without a qualification period, as it relates to unemployment benefits (H.B. 117),
- Strengthening the “exclusive remedy” provision of the workers compensation statute, as it relates to contractors and their clients (H.B. 412).
Finally, the session ended with the resignation of Representative Mark Hamilton. Representative Hamilton, the owner of H & H Staffing Services in Cumming, chaired the House’s Labor, Commerce and Industry committee. Chairman Hamilton was a regular speaker at GSA’s Legislative Day and a constant advocate in the legislature. While GSA wishes the Chairman all the best in his newest venture, we will miss him in the Legislature.
Thank you to the members who engaged their legislators this session. Please stay involved locally so that we can act on a state level.