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Ron Stephens’ Weekly Update: Week of Feb 1, 2024
Ron Stephens
Rep. Ron Stephens

Ron Stephens

State Representative

This week, the Georgia General Assembly continued their work on our most important tasks, the work on our two budgets. These two pieces of legislation that we must pass each session are the FY 2023 amended budget that allows us to incorporate any funding shortfalls that we hadn’t anticipated in the last session, and the “big budget,” which incorporates our spending to fund education, health care and other government agencies for FY 2024.

 In addition, many of our committees in the House of Representatives met to discuss the initiatives we want to see enacted through legislative action. Of course, these bills, like all bills, if passed by the House and Senate, are required to be vetted by the governor’s office and be signed into law by the Governor.

One of our highlights of the week is when we in the Georgia House Republican Caucus rolled out a tax cut package Wednesday aimed at parents and homeowners specifically but also benefiting all taxpayers.

Taken together, these bills will provide significant tax relief for Georgia taxpayers and continue to boost the economy. The package includes four distinct pieces of legislation increasing Georgia’s child-tax credit from $3,000 to $4,000, doubling the state’s homestead tax exemption from $2,000 to $4,000, and removing the cap on Georgia’s “rainy-day” budget reserves. We also signaled are support to Gov.

Brian Kemp’s proposal to accelerate the state income tax cut that took effect this year, which would roll back the income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39%.

We also passed Senate Bill 299, legislation for the City of Port Wentworth allowing the city council to levy an excise tax. This legislation was introduced by their Senator after seeking legislation from city officials. The legislation will allow the city to collect a city tax on motel rooms and other types of short-term lodging including short term rentals, campsites, and hotels and motels.

Unfortunately, since the October 7th attacks on the Israeli people by Hamas militants invaded Israel by crossing their border, some of people across the world have attempted to shift blame to Israel. Also piling on are antisemitic feelings by a loud but limited few.

On the floor of the Senate this past week, we passed overwhelmingly a vote for legislation in support of Israel and the Jewish people by adding antisemitism to hate crimes. This had much support from across many Georgians, including Christian organization, the Georgia Faith and Freedom Coalition, and many of you.

One of our responsibilities is to create state laws to better facilitate intrastate commerce and practices.

One piece of legislation we passed this week was House Bill 434, legislation that allows the Georgia Composite Medical Board to create rules and regulations regarding licensing for radiologist assistants. H.B.

434 creates the licensure of radiologist assistants and allows the Georgia Composite Medical Board to promulgate rules and regulations related to the qualifications, scope of practice, supervision, identification, discipline, and establishment of fees for radiologist assistants. This legislation passed overwhelmingly.

I will continue to be your voice in dealing with problems or questions about your state government. I encourage you to contact me with your input and thoughts on proposed legislation or current events that may impact our community. I am in 226-A of the State Capitol. My office phone number is (404) 6565115 and my email is ron. I look forward to continuing this session and serving all of you.

Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) is a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

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