This is the second of two colums outlining the results of the 2014 session of the General Assembly. This one focuses primarily on education.
HB 810: HOPE Eligibility Requirements
Revises eligibility requirements for HOPE scholarships for entering freshman students who obtained a GED or graduated from a home study program or a non-eligible high school. Revises current law to allow students who earned a score inthe 80th percentile or higher to be eligible for HOPE:
•Allows more students who have excelled in non-traditional education formats to be HOPE-eligible.
• Levels the playing field for HOPE eligibility requirements between traditional and non-traditional high schools.
HB 766: Work Based Learning Act
Reforms the Youth Apprenticeship Program to the Work Based Learning Program. Any eligible student aged 16 or above, regardless of grade, may participate. Skill development must be focused on those skills related to the student’s career pathway:
•Gives career-minded high school students an opportunity to gain on-the-job training and practical knowledge relevant to their chosen career path while still in school.
•New incentives for employers to participate and broader fields of work.
HB 714: Determination of Eligibility for Unemployment
• Banned benefits for seasonal educational workers so that it would be comparable with public employees that perform the same functions.
•This action will save $8 – $10 million annually.
HB 697: Zell Miller Grant Scholars
Establishes a full-tuition scholarship grant for students who attend technical colleges. Defines Zell Millar Grant Scholars as students who: 1) have met applicable eligibility requirements to receive a HOPE grant; and 2) have earned a cumulative grade point average (“GPA”) of at least 3.5 at the end of any quarter or semester in which the student has attended courses toward a diploma or certificate:
• Technical colleges educate thousands of students each year, thereby preparing Georgians for work in fields vital to the state’s economic prosperity.
• Makes job-based technical education available to more Georgians, helping Georgia attract new businesses that create jobs.
• Recognizing that a four-year liberal arts degree is not a practical option for many students, the Zell Miller Grant Scholarship gives students and their parents a real alternative to the traditional four-year degree path.
Multiple bills designed to rein in federal spending through the powers retained by the states under Article V of the United States Constitution.
• SR 736: Applies to Congress for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing certain amendments to the U.S. Constitution that place clear restraints on federal abuses of power.
• HB 794: By adopting the Compact for a Balanced Budget, Georgia agrees to perform and comply strictly with the terms of the Compact; once three-fourths of the states have adopted the Compact, a declaration petitioning
Congress pursuant to Article V of the U.S. Constitution, to call a Convention for the purpose of adopting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States, will be transmitted.
• SR 371: Requests that Congress call for a convention to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States with limited consideration of only proposing a balanced budget in the absence of a national emergency.
• SB 206/HB 930: Provides a method of selecting delegates and alternates to an Article V Convention and qualifications of delegates.
Next week I will cover the proposed budget for July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.
Senator Fran Millar