The Georgia legislature wrapped up the 2017 legislative session in the wee hours of Friday morning leaving the dust to settle on the nearly 400 votes cast. Where does that leave State Representative Katie Dempsey, who represents Floyd county, with regard to voting measures?
At a 99% passage rate, Demspey is near the bottom of the list of those voting NO, often voting with the majority in favor of legislation that came to the House floor. Dempsey voted NO 4 of 391 times over the last three months. A total of 431 votes were cast, though 40 were for attendance.
A few of the measures Dempsey, who was elected in 2006, voted in favor of:
- House Bill 125 which gives a tax credit to anyone who has their yacht repaired in Georgia if repairs are over $500,000
- House Bill 202 which increases the salary of the Governor to $175,000 annually
- House Bill 208 which increases hunting and fishing licensing fees
- House Bill 452 which was amended in the Senate during the final hours of the session. The bill allows for persons to be arrested and charged with domestic terrorism, though the language angered First Amendment activists who say the bill could target protesters – peaceful and otherwise – and that the federal government already had such laws in place.
- House Bill 338 which is Governor Deal’s replacement bill for the failed Opportunity School District Amendment that flopped in November. The bill allows for takeovers for what the state deems as “failing schools.”
- House Bill 280 – the campus carry legislation to allow lawful Weapons Carry Permit holders over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm on public university campuses
- House Bill 37 that suspends any funding from private universities in Georgia if they allow sanctuary safe havens for illegal immigrants on campus
- Senate Bill 201 which dictates that business owners must allow employees to use paid leave time to care for family members, despite company policy, if the employer already provides sick leave
- House Bill 199 which grants tax credits to persons/companies that invest in the entertainment industry
- House Bill 264 which doubles the state bond amount for the Georgia World Congress Center from $200 million to $400 million
- Senate Bill 193, known as the “Friends with Benefits Bill,” which allows patients diagnosed with venereal diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea to obtain an extra antibiotic prescription for their sexual partner or partners.
- Senate Bill 70 which extends the Hospital Bed Tax for an additional 3 years
- Senate Bill 183 that allows state dollars to back bonds issued to private developers of the State Road and Tollway Authority
- House Bill 246 to repeal the 2019 sunset provision of the mandatory fitness evaluations in public schools
- House Bill 419 to change restrictions on fireworks, amending code section from the original passage
- House Bill 225 which adds a sales tax to rideshare purchases like Uber and Lyft as well as any other transaction which originates online — food delivery, Air B&B, etc.
- House Bill 142 which would have assessed late fees on businesses that do not provide employees with necessary tax paperwork in a timely manner [bill stalled in Senate]
Dempsey voted against:
- House Bill 153, which expands practicing privileges for licensed optometrists
- House Bill 353 relating to regulation of title pawnbrokers
- House Bill 196 which grants income tax credits to those receiving royalties from the music industry
- House Bill 239 which would require continuing education for low-voltage contractors
Dempsey sponsored House Bill 198, which would require local boards of education to provide flu vaccine information, House Bill 344, which addresses at what point in child support cases paternity tests can be administered, and House Bill 646 which would require the Dept. of Community Health to provide coverage for bariatric surgeries for obese persons.
Katie Dempsey is chair of a House Appropriations subcommittee and sits on the Economic Development & Tourism, Energy, Utilities, & Telecommunications, Health & Human Services, Higher Education, Rules, and Transportation. She reported $18,433.27 cash on hand in her campaign bank account. She is up for re-election in 2018.