Capitol Connection E-Newsletter – May 2018
May 21, 2018- Click here to view the online version.
Final Legislative Update Now Available
Each year, ACCG compiles a Final Legislative Update to summarize legislation of importance to counties passed by the Georgia General Assembly. It is designed to serve as a guide to legislation from the 2018 session and includes a brief summary, effective dates and the county impact(s) of each bill and resolution. Please note that major pieces of legislation impacting counties have a more detailed summary in the Appendices. 

The Final Legislative Update can be accessed here

Please contact a member of the ACCG policy team should you have any questions regarding specific legislation.  
Sign Up For An ACCG Policy Committee
Now is the time to recommit to serving on an ACCG Policy Committee! ACCG has seven standing policy committees and membership is open to all elected and appointed county officials. Policy committee meetings will take place this summer and your participation is needed to shape the policy positions ACCG will advocate for leading up to the next legislative session! 

Click here to view the committee descriptions.

Save the Date: Summer Policy Committee Meetings
Summer policy committee meetings are quickly approaching! These meetings are designed for the association's seven standing policy committees to develop their positions on particular issues for incorporation in the 2019 ACCG Legislative Agenda. Meetings will take place August 1-17 across the state. Attend a meeting to get actively engaged in the ACCG policy development process. Further details such as exact times and locations are forthcoming.

Please contact Nicole Logan ( if you have any questions. 
No 2019 State COLAs for Constitutional Officers
State law dictates that county commissioners, county constitutional officers (sheriffs, tax commissioners, superior court clerks, and probate judges), and magistrate judges receive annual raises (from county funds) equivalent to the percentage of any cost-of-living-adjustment raises (COLAs) or general merit-based raises granted to state employees by the Georgia General Assembly. In the recently approved FY 2019 state budget effective July 1, 2018, the General Assembly did not include any COLA or merit-based raises. As a result, the above officers are not entitled to any new raises beginning July 1, 2018.

Update on HB 489 – Requiring some Local Bids/Proposals to be Posted on State Procurement Registry
Passed during the 2018 session and signed into law, HB 489 requires that any bid or proposal extended by a county, city or board of education for goods and services valued at $10,000 or more, and any bid or proposal opportunity extended for public works over $100,000, be posted on the Georgia Procurement Registry. The State Purchasing Division is currently working on rules and processes by which to administer this requirement. To keep updated on developments, please register with the Department of Administrative Services here.

Update your County’s Contact Information with the Department of Revenue
A 2016 state law requires the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) to notify local governments any time DOR receives a sales tax refund claim that is equal to or more than 10 percent of that local government’s average annual sales tax receipts over the past three years (called a “refund claim of local significance”). However, the same law says that such notices, along with notices of DOR’s final decision on such refund claims, will be sent to the person designated by that local government to receive such notices – and DOR’s records reflect that less than half of Georgia counties have provided DOR with that contact person information. While the process doesn’t allow the local government to contest the refund, it at least would provide some advance notice of such a large claim for planning and budgeting purposes.

ACCG encourages all counties to make sure that they have a current designee on file with DOR. More information on this procedure, along with details on submitting designee information to DOR, may be found in the Policy Bulletin located here.
House Rural Development Council Takes up ROW Permitting for Wireless Poles/Equipment 
On May 15-16, and as directed by HR 1698, the House Rural Development Council held its first meeting of 2018 to investigate ways to streamline the use of public rights of way (ROW) to expedite the deployment of broadband and other wireless communications technologies throughout the state.  This was a direct result of HB 887 and SB 432 having failed to pass during the 2018 legislative session. Both bills were proposed by the wireless industry to preempt local government management of the public’s ROW for the near-unfettered placement of poles, antennas, utility boxes and other equipment to increase wireless speeds. ACCG Deputy Legislative Director Todd Edwards testified before the committee noting that ACCG was not necessarily opposed to a statewide, streamlined ROW permitting process; however, legislation must be more balanced to allow greater local government discretion over their ROW management.      

To view ACCG’s presentation to the Council, please click here .

New Designated Qualified Opportunity Zones
The Qualified Opportunity Zone distinction was created to enable economic growth in struggling communities by offering incentives to private sector investors. Georgia had a total of 83 counties submit nominations and all were approved by the Department of Treasury. With Qualified Opportunity Zones, investors will be encouraged to bring their businesses to Georgia, spurring economic development and providing employment opportunities to citizens in low-income communities. To learn more about Qualified Opportunity Zones, click here .

The Georgia Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults
Attorney General Chris Carr recently announced the release of a new resource available to older adults and their families. The Georgia Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults was created in response to a growing need to protect the elder community. In addition to the problems that come along with aging, the older community is susceptible to fraud and deception. The guide serves as a resource for various topics including identity theft, long-term care, scams, reverse mortgages and more.

View the press release here.
For a direct download to the PDF file, click here.

Stay Up-to-Date on Implementation of the new State Vehicle and Driver Records System
The Georgia Department of Revenue and Department of Driver Services are moving forward with creation of an integrated Driver Record and Integrated Vehicle Enterprise System (DRIVES) to consolidate vehicle tag and title information with individual driver records. The new system is scheduled to go live on May 27, 2019, although some responsibilities of county tag offices have been delayed until July of 2020. The DRIVES system will require certain minimum-speed internet connections (which the state is funding and making available to counties) as well as certain minimum specifications for scanners and printers in county tag offices. Learn more and stay up to date on the progress of this state initiative at the DRIVES website.

Georgia Communities Receive Infrastructure Loans Totaling More Than $50 Million
Nineteen Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $50,575,000 for water, wastewater, and sewer infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Board of Directors. Five county government entities were included in the list of communities awarded: Emanuel County Development Authority, Franklin County Government, Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority, Mitchell County Government, and Towns County Water and Sewerage Authority.

Click here to view the official press release.

Georgia Emergency Communication Authority Board Meeting Update
On May 7, 2018, the Georgia Emergency Communication Authority Board met to discuss the latest details regarding the new Crisis Intervention Training for 911 Operators and the planning efforts for the implementation of HB 751. ACCG has provided a report summarizing the updates provided during the board meeting. Click here for to review the update.
NACO Steering Committees Need You!
Interested in serving on a National Association of Counties (NACo) Steering Committee? NACo policy steering committees annually review and make recommendations on federal policy issues and legislation. Your involvement with a NACo steering committee would give Georgia counties a voice in the NACo policy process! Committee members are appointed by state associations and serve one-year terms. The new committees go into effect in August after the  NACo Annual Conference  has concluded.

To join, fill out the nomination form found here  and submit it to . More information is available here .

Register for the NACo Annual Conference & Exposition
The NACo Annual Conference & Exposition is the only event that brings elected and county officials from across the country together in an effort to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government. On July 13 - 16, join others as they work to shape NACo's federal policy agenda, learn, network and share best practices to common issues. The conference will take place in Davidson County- Nashville, TN. Note: Early bird rates expire May 31.

Upcoming NACo Webinars
DOT New BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants
How to Compete for BUILD Transportation Grants – All Applicants
Thursday, May 24 - 2:00-4:00 PM

How to Compete for BUILD Transportation Grants – Rural Applicants
Tuesday, May 29 - 2:00-4:00 PM

Protecting Elections from Cybersecurity Threats: Resources to Help Counties
Jun. 21, 2018 - 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Additional Webinars presented by NACo can be found here
Watch the Final Facebook Live Legislative Update
The ACCG policy hosted their final Facebook Live Legislative update on Friday, May 18. To view the Update in its entirety, click here.
Questions? Email the
ACCG Legislative team:

Stay tuned for more information on the Summer Policy Committee Meetings!