Legislative Update – 3/25/15
Gas Tax Legislation
HB 170 passed the House with an excise tax of 29.2 center per gallon of gas and 33 cents per gallon of diesel fuel replacing the current sales tax on gasoline. The House bill provides approximately $1 Billion in permanent funding for Georgia’s transportation infrastructure. Last week, the State Senate passed a version of the bill that reduces the excise tax to 24 center per gallon for both gasoline and diesel. While the Senate version initially added several new fees to make up the difference in funding, those fees were all eliminated during the approval process. Thus, the Senate version offers a little more than $500 million in dedicated transportation funding. The bill now moves to a conference committee where House and Senate members will seek a compromise that can be returned to both the House and Senate floors for a vote. We will continue to monitor HB 170 as anything can happen between now and the anticipated end of the legislative session on April 2nd.
Report from ACEC
Medical Cannabas Oil
A Conference Committee has also been formed to forge a compromise between two versions of the medical cannabis oil bill (HB 1). The version passed by the Senate (SB 185) significantly limits the number of ailments for which medical cannabis oil may be utilized. Both bills address the use of cannabis oil with low levels of THC. The bills do not allow recreational use or smoke-able versions of cannabis, eliminating many of the land use planning related issues associated with medical marijuana in other states.