Governor Nathan Deal today vetoed 10 pieces of legislation.
The following are Deal’s veto messages:
Veto Number 1
SB 281: Senate Bill 281 would require that the State of Georgia offer a specific type of health insurance product in the state health insurance plan. The Department of Community Health has announced the plan to procure additional product offerings for the state health insurance plan which closely mirrors the general intent of this legislation. I agree with the author of this legislation that the state health insurance plan should include additional options, particularly options that are consumer-driven. However, to avoid any problem with the new product offerings not specifically conforming to the rather specific requirements set out in this legislation, out of an abundance of caution, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 281.
Veto Number 2
SB 326: The original as filed Senate Bill 326 was amended with language providing additional daily expense allowance for the members of the State Personnel Board, the State Transportation Board, the Veterans Service Board, the Board of Natural Resources, and the State Board of Education. Current law sets the daily expense allowance for members at $105. This bill increases the board members’ daily expense allowance by sixty-seven percent. Given the lack of justification provided for such increases in the board members’ daily expense allowance, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 326.
Veto Number 3
HB 670: Currently, business trade names are housed and accessed in the Superior Courts of our state. This bill would create a statewide registry of business trade names to be housed and maintained by the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. Several provisions of this legislation are concerning. This legislation would effectively increase taxes on small businesses by raising trade name registration fees and would add new fees for canceling or reregistering existing trade names. I also have significant concerns about the language in the bill which attempts to dedicate these fees for a specific purpose. For these reasons, I VETO HB 670.
Veto Number 4
HB 729: Georgia’s existing Title Ad Valorem Tax law (“TAVT”), enacted March 1, 2013, eliminated the “birthday tax” and substituted it with a one-time payment upon the transfer of the vehicle title. I support the main effort of this bill, which sought to ensure there was no gaming of the vehicle trade-in valuations during the purchase and trade-in of a used car. However, the inclusion of the language regarding a lease finance company being eligible for a trade-in reduction at the end of a leased term significantly changes the trade-in definition. Current law states that local governments must receive a base amount and the first recalibration of the disbursements is Jan. 1, 2016. The first recalibration of the state target collection is July 1, 2015, which will determine if the tax rate requires a change. The negative effects of the lease provision on the state and local collections would be addressed in both recalibrations. I am vetoing this legislation because I believe it is too soon to implement a law that adversely affects revenue, thus, leaving the state of Georgia TAVT taxpayers in a more unstable position as the split between the state and local governments share of this revenue. Accordingly, I VETO HB 729.