Your tip sheet: Guns, pipelines and a big Delta tax break. Welcome to Crossover Day!
Days remaining in the session: 13
The frenzy known as Crossover Day has finally arrived at the Georgia Legislature, with both the House and Senate set to start at 10 a.m. Among high-profile proposals on the bubble: allowing guns on the state’s college campuses, new limits on petroleum pipelines and a $30 million tax credit for Delta Air Lines.
The Senate has at least 32 bills that could see floor debate, including Senate Bill 191, which would set new limits on the ability of pipeline companies to use eminent domain — an involuntary seizure — for surveying and acquiring private land to build petroleum pipelines. The legislation comes after controversy forced a temporary moratorium last year.
The House? Twenty-five bills are on the calendar so far, although the Rules Committee almost certainly will add more at its 9 a.m. meeting this morning. Late Thursday the House scheduled a committee meeting for its lunch break today where Regulated Industries will apparently vote on House Bill 158, its version of the “destination resort” casino bill. Whether this is a head fake or a ruse remains to be seen, but it could also lead to casinos passing the House today.
Among the biggies:
House Bill 280 by state Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, which would allow anyone with a Georgia weapons permit to carry concealed firearms on most parts of public college and university campuses.
House Bill 271, known as the Shoreline Protection Act, that would create a new system for determining how close to the ocean new homes or businesses can be built.
We’re also watching for House Rules to add House Bill 145, by state Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, which would give Delta a tax break on 45 percent of the fuel it purchases in Georgia for any flight that starts here and ends in another state. Fuel used for intrastate flights (such as Atlanta to Savannah) would be exempt from all state taxes.
So what is Crossover Day?
The 28th day of the 40-day legislative session is the last day for bills to move from one chamber to the other — that is, to cross over — and still have a clear path to becoming law this year. While parliamentary maneuvering can keep a bill alive past Crossover Day, making it from one side of the Capitol to the other by the end of Friday makes final passage in 2017 much more likely.