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This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 5

Posted on February 15, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Five

Another week has passed, and the Georgia General Assembly has officially reached the halfway point in the session.  With 20 days left to create new legislation this session, continue reading here to see what Rep. Frye has accomplished so far under the Gold Dome.

At the Crosswalk

A bill written by Rep. Frye that would require vehicles to stop at crosswalks when a pedestrian or cyclist is waiting to cross  and has activated a rectangular rapid flash beacon was passed by a House committee last week, and it will be voted on by the full House of Representatives this upcoming week. Last year a similar bill was introduced. However,  it was later added onto another bill by an amendment because the original bill did not pass before Crossover Day. Crossover Day is the day when a bill must pass the chamber in which it originated to stay alive in the legislative process. This means a bill that originated in the House of Representatives must have passed in the House by day 30 to still have a chance to be passed in the Senate. In places like Athens where many people walk and ride their bicycles daily, public safety is extremely important. Athens-Clarke County has already begun projects to improve safety here as the commission allocated $260,000 for pedestrian and bicycle improvements to renovate crosswalks on South Lumpkin, Prince Avenue, Dougherty Street, South Milledge Avenue and Baxter Street. Rep. Frye believes this bill is a step in the right direction for a safer Athens.

Pastor Protection Act Passed

With a unanimous 161-0 vote, House Bill 757 was passed in the House of Representatives and will now move to the Senate. This bill protects pastors and churches from being compelled to perform same-sex marriages. The bill also prevents a religious organization from having to rent out venue space for an event that violates its beliefs and protects it against civil action if it refuses to rent the space.  House Bill 757 is the first successful compromise between the more conservative factions of the House and those who want to protect LGBT rights.The debate over bills of this nature is far from over as this  is the first of eight religious liberty bills under consideration to reach the House chamber for a vote.  

Georgia Musical Recording and Synchronization Act

Rep. Frye has always been a strong supporter of the arts and music, and this session he is signing onto legislation which benefits Georgians’ artistic efforts and encourages new talent to come to the state as well. House Bill 956 creates an income tax credit for certain music, film, television and production companies in the state of Georgia that create new works here. The bill also includes a section that will grant additional credit if the new projects include promotional Georgia logos on websites or at the end of credits depending on the medium of production. This bill maintains that businesses must have a physical location in Georgia, and that they must generate a minimum amount of revenue and cannot exceed a maximum amount to qualify for the income tax exemption. If the company meets these requirements, it will qualify for a tax credit equal to 20 percent of its costs. Employees of the companies will also receive credit against their income taxes. As Georgia grows in its appeal to  production companies that create music, television shows and movies,  this bill is another way to create another incentive and attract new artistic efforts to the state of Georgia bringing in revenue, jobs and artistic creativity.

Thanks for following Rep. Frye’s efforts this week under the Gold Dome as well as the political happenings around the state. We will continue to keep you updated on this session’s important issues next week.