ATLANTA, GA — Late Thursday night on Sine Die, the last day of the 2018 Georgia Legislature, a coalition of proponents for corporate development and STEM workforce pipeline improvements gathered and waited.
On the docket: a resolution urging the State of Georgia to fund a public awareness campaign in support of computer science education; and for other purposes. This bill, HR 1036, was sponsored by Rep. Darshun Kendrick (District 93), Rep. Mike Glanton (District 75), Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas (District 56), Rep. Doreen Carter (District 94), and Rep. Joyce Chandler (District 105). It was initially introduced to the Georgia General Assembly in February 2018 to the Science and Technology Committee.
By a unanimous vote of 158 to 0, Georgia House passed HR 1036, showing unwavering support for quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics programming in public education.
“These steps ensure Georgia students are exposed to computer science at an early age and have the tools they need to enter Georgia’s tech workforce. Georgia is a national leader in the tech industry,” said Heather Maxfield, Vice-President, Government Affairs and Statewide Economic Development, Technology Association of Georgia. ” To maintain our competitive advantage, we must ensure all Georgia students have the opportunity to take part.”
Yesterday the Georgia House also passed HR 1107 to foster and promote the economic development of the commercial space industry in the State of Georgia.
Georgia lawmakers also voted in favor of bills improving Georgia’s infrastructure: The Georgia General Assembly passed HB 696 (SB 382) to make Georgia a more competitive state for data centers. H.B. 696 will build technology and data infrastructure that will allow fiber to expand into rural areas.
This bill aimed to improve the business environment in the state, while also improving the tax base through increased capital investment, provide high paying jobs, a minimum of 20, at the data center, and support in-state data centers by recognizing their previous investment in the state through a discretionary bond process.
Additional legislation includes SB 402, which grants access to Internet and broadband communications to rural Georgia communities. HB 930 enacts a comprehensive infrastructure package that will significantly expand transit throughout Metro-Atlanta. This regional transit plan establishes the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (ATL), reducing traffic congestion and meeting the demands of a growing workforce.
If signed into law by Governor Deal, these bills will effectively bolster Georgia’s position as the No. 1 State for Business for years to come.