Water Wars: Special Master Makes Finding in Georgia's Favor
A Special Master for the U.S. Supreme Court made a recommendation in Georgia’s favor in a suit brought by Florida over water allocations. GMA, in conjunction with ACCG, the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, filed a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of the state of Georgia. The Supreme Court can accept or reject the Special Master's recommendation, or proceed in an entirely different direction.
Congressman Drew Ferguson Shares Plans for New Position
In between initial meetings, preparing for the Inauguration and settling into his new office in Washington, D.C., newly elected Congressman Drew Ferguson, and former mayor of West Point, spent some time with Georgia’s Cities
and shared more insight on the plans he has for his new position.
Mayors’ Day Serves as Real-Life Application for Youth Delegates
For years, the phrase: “Remember, Mayors’ Day isn’t just for mayors and it isn’t just for one day!” has accompanied Mayors’ Day Conference announcements—and that rang especially true this year as GMA hosted the biggest group of youth delegates in Atlanta.
Rome BID Presents Check to Support Free Downtown Shuttle Service
In December 2016, the city of Rome’s Downtown Development Authority Board presented a check on behalf of Rome BID (Business Improvement District) for $8,000 to The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) to help support the new, free shuttle service in Downtown Rome.
City Officials Analyze Legislative Priorities at Mayors’ Day
Mayors’ Day Conference attendees spent much of their Sunday, Jan. 22 and Monday morning, Jan. 23, in open discussion on possible issues of impact in several policy committee meetings and hearing from state leaders during the Legislative Networking Breakfast.
Water Projects and the 21st Century Cures Act Take Effect
The recent appropriations bill passed by the Senate includes appropriations of $100 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund for any state; $20 million for WIFIA loan and loan guarantees for water infrastructure projects nationwide; and $50 million to support public health initiatives such as lead poisoning prevention, research and health assistance.
Technological Leaps Lead Telecoms’ Legislative Efforts
Smartphones are a ubiquitous device across Georgia. Coupled with other technological advancements such as smart cars, driverless technology and the “Internet of Things” in which even regular household appliances will be connected to the Internet, telecoms have a lot of investments to make in the state to meet the growing technological demands. With the inevitability of a greater societal reliance on broadband Internet, telecom companies are stepping up advocacy activities in the state and pushing for legislative initiatives in 2017.
Cities Receive 2017 Live, Work, Play City Awards
On Jan. 22, nine Georgia cities received 2017 Live, Work, Play City Awards presented by GMA, in conjunction with Georgia Trend
Magazine, during the Awards Luncheon at GMA’s annual Mayors’ Day Conference.
E-Fairness and Streamlined Sales Tax Top GMA's Federal Advocacy List
Congressional approval of e-Fairness legislation is one of GMA’s top federal advocacy priorities. Georgia loses over $800 million per year in uncollected state and local sales taxes on internet and catalog sales. For this to change, Congress must take action to authorize states and local governments to compel retailers to collect and remit these taxes so that these revenues that are already owed can be sent back to the jurisdictions where they are owed.
Georgia Rural Broadband Survey
This survey was designed to collect information from rural Georgia residents about their internet services. The survey will remain open to collect data through June 2017.
State Announces GTIB Funding
The State Road & Tollway Authority (SRTA) has announced that $15 million in grant and loan funding is available for local governments and community improvement districts through the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) program.
Tweaking the Single County ‘T-SPLOST’
GMA’s government relations team anticipates that legislation will be introduced to adjust the T-SPLOST law to allow more than one T-SPLOST in each county as long as the amount levied does not exceed 1 percent.
Cities Prepare for the 2017 Legislative Session
GMA is supporting a change in the state’s alcohol beverage law that makes it all but impossible for craft brewers to sell their product at the retail level without working through a wholesale distributor.