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SIne Die Edition 2

Following the end of the 2024 legislative session, we shared a detailed analysis of the state budget, which is a constitutional requirement of the General Assembly. This week, we’ll look at other legislative highlights passed during Sine Die Week. These bills include historic tax cuts, safeguarding children online and prioritizing patient protection. Financial Relief for Georgians:

We granted final passage to bills aimed at putting money back into the hands of hard-working
Georgians, which were signed into law recently by Gov. Kemp.
As chairman of House Ways and Means, we worked tirelessly with our colleagues and professional staff to ensure this legislation made our tax code simpler and flatter for all Georgia taxpayers, and we are proud of the result.

These efforts include:

● House Bill 1015 will lower the individual income tax rate from 5.49 percent to 5.39 percent, and will become effective on January 1, 2024.
● House Bill 1021 will increase the personal exemption for each dependent from $3,000 to $4,000.
● House Bill 1023 will change the rate of taxable net income for corporations from 5.75 percent to the same rate as the individual income tax rate in the corresponding year.
● House Bill 581 will limit increases in property taxes year to year.

No Patient Left Alone Act:
In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we passed the No Patient Left Alone Act. This bill guarantees the presence of essential caregivers with patients in long-term care facilities, providing crucial support and advocacy for their loved ones.

Safe At Home Act: We successfully passed the Safe at Home Act, which prioritizes the rights of both renters and landlords in Georgia. This bipartisan legislation ensures that rental properties meet certain standards for human habitation, protecting property owner and tenant rights and holding landlords accountable.

Protecting Minors from Online Grooming:
Our commitment to safeguarding minors led to the passage of HB 993, which imposes criminal consequences on individuals who groom minors online for sexual offenses or human trafficking. This legislation addresses the growing threat of online exploitation and provides essential protection for our vulnerable children.

Expanding Paid Parental Leave:
Recognizing the invaluable contributions of our state employees and teachers, we expanded paid parental leave benefits. HB 1010 doubles the amount of paid leave for state employees to six weeks, emphasizing the importance of family bonding during critical life events.

Supporting First Responders:
We passed legislation to support our first responders by providing supplemental, illness- specific insurance to those diagnosed with occupational PTSD. This measure reduces financial burdens and ensures that our heroes can continue serving our communities.

Addressing Opioid Overdoses:
In an effort to combat opioid overdoses, we passed SB 395, known as "Wesley's Law." This bill ensures the availability of opioid antagonists in schools and public buildings, potentially saving lives in emergency situations.

Promoting Employment for Individuals with Disabilities:
Finally, we supported individuals with disabilities by passing SB 384, which encourages state agencies to become model employers for hiring individuals with disabilities. This initiative aims to increase employment opportunities and create a more inclusive workforce.
I'm proud of the progress we've made to improve the lives of Georgians.

As always, we remain committed to ensuring simple, smart and effective government for families, taxpayers and House District 146. May God Bless you and the great state of Georgia.

Paid for by Friends of Shaw Blackmon
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