Senator Wilkinson Discusses Issues from 2017 General Assembly

Pay raises, education and how to keep rural hospitals from going under were some of the issues discussed in the 2017 General Assembly in Atlanta this session. 

At this week’s Post Legislative Coffee, State Senator John Wilkinson reviewed some of the bills that were discussed this session in the Senate.

Among them House Bill 338, which has to do with a plan to oversee the lowest performing schools in the state. 

Wilkinson said the Opportunity School Constitutional amendment was passed in 2016.

But he said the bill that was passed and signed by the Governor this session had some  minor changes. 

Wilkinson said another bill was also passed that bars schools from instituting a Sanctuary Policy for students who are illegal immigrants. 

How to save rural hospitals was also a big topic this session. 

Last year, lawmakers voted in a $2,500 tax credit on the State income tax for Georgians who make donations to rural hospitals, but Wilkinson said not many taxpayers were taking advantage of it. 

So this year he said they raised it. 

According to Wilkinson, the 2018 fiscal budget will include significant pay raises for a variety of State employees, including law enforcement and teachers. 
Additionally, Wilkinson said DFACS workers will receive a 19 percent salary increase and all other State employees will receive a 2 percent cost of living raise.