With a long list of legislation impacting agribusiness, Georgia Governor Deal never hesitated in signing every one of them. We are grateful for the legislators and Governor Deal for their support of our state’s ag and forestry interests. Here’s the quick summary of new ag laws starting July 1, 2018:
GATE: Much needed changes to the GATE program are included in HB 886. Here is a comparison of the current GATE program vs. what changes are in the new law.
AG WATER METERING: SB 451 further clarifies ag metering responsibilities without mandating burdens on ag water permittees. Georgia EPD will contract the reading of all irrigation meters and requires them to also contract out irrigation meter installation, maintenance and repairs.
AG EDUCATION: SB 330 provides for the Georgia Department of Education to establish an agricultural education pilot program for elementary schools to be initiated in the 2019-2020 school year.
FORESTRY: HR 51 and HB 85 provide for a constitutional amendment to update the current formula for determining the fair market value of forest land as part of the very important Forest Land Protection Act (FLPA). Now that it is on the November 2018 ballot, it must receive over 50 percent of the vote to go into effect.
FY 2019 STATE BUDGET: The FY 19 Big Budget delivers a long list of benefits to programs impacting agriculture.
RURAL PLANNING: HB 951 establishes the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation and will be located in Tifton at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.