Your Georgia Desk:
From Senator Judson Hill:
Sen. Judson Hill – Sine Die
The 2014 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly adjourned at midnight on Thursday, March 20. It was a moment that closed months of hard work at your State Capitol.
Although many people simply refer to the last day as Day 40, it is also known as Sine Die. On Sine Die, the House and Senate remain in their respective chambers to deliberate and vote on important pieces of legislation until midnight. At this time, the large wooden doors of the Senate chamber are opened to allow the President of the Senate – the Lt. Governor – and the Speaker of the House to adjourn at exactly same time.
Sine Die is Latin for “without assigning a day or further meeting or hearing.” In other words, the General Assembly is not going to meet again to consider legislation until January 2015.
Members of the Senate and the House came to a compromise during a conference committee on the $20.8 billion Fiscal Year ’15 budget. The budget encompasses state spending from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 and is a 4.6% increase from last year’s budget. It is a immense responsibility of legislators to construct the budget, a point of pride for our state as we are mandated to pass a balanced budget, unlike the federal level.
After spending countless hours in Appropriations meetings, the General Assembly carefully analyzes each line item to ensure each cent is spent responsibly. The FY ’15 budget accounts for around $916 million of the new revenue for education expenses that will help finance enrollment growth, disseminate more funds to local school systems and increase opportunities for technical education. The budget also allocates $35 million to complete the state’s portion of the $652 million Savannah Harbor project.
Georgia maintains a balanced budget and no deficit, I am proud of our fiscal responsibility.
The next step in the legislative process is to transfer all passed bills to Governor Deal’s desk for his review. By law, once the bill is transferred to the Governor, he may sign the bill into law or veto the bill. During the legislative session, he has six days to deliberate over the bill. After session, the Governor is given 40 days from Sine Die to consider action on all passed legislation. If the General Assembly does not agree with the veto, they may override the decision with a 2/3 vote and the measure will then become a law. If no action is taken with the bill, then it automatically becomes a law after the 40 day time period.
Having completed the 2014 Session, I look forward to coming home to Cobb County and visiting with families and businesses throughout the 32nd Senate District.
In the upcoming weeks, I will be providing a more comprehensive update on some of the major bills that passed this session. With so many amendments and last minute changes to bills that passed during the waning hours of session, it is too early to provide an accurate update on these bills. But, I will be working during the next few days to help you better understand how legislation passed by the General Assembly this year will affect you.
As always, I am honored to serve you in your state Senate. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and contact me anytime.