Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation following the special session of the Georgia General Assembly that began on Nov. 13. HB 1EX amends the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Act to provide roughly $270 million in emergency funding for state agencies and local governments in areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Michael. Deal also signed HB 4EX, which creates a tax credit for certain taxpayers within Southwest Georgia’s timber industry who incurred significant expenses due to Hurricane Michael. Finally, Deal signed HB 5EX, which ratifies Deal’s executive order from July 30, 2018, and suspends collection of the state’s 4 percent sales and use tax on jet fuel through the end of FY 2019.
HB 1EX passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 162-1 and passed the Senate by a vote of 52-0. HB 4EX passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 157-2 and passed the Senate by a vote of 52-0.
“The work of the General Assembly this week will help the families, businesses, farmers and communities that were most severely impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said Deal. “By providing roughly $270 million to help our neighbors in Southwest Georgia, the appropriations in this amended budget will provide critical support for devastated communities, including those most heavily dependent on agriculture and the timber industry. I appreciate the General Assembly working together diligently and quickly to see that this relief funding will be delivered to those in need as rapidly as possible, as the rebuilding process is just beginning for some of Georgia’s citizens. I thank the leadership of both chambers and legislators from all over the state for coming together this week to support those most heavily impacted by this natural disaster.”
As a result of Hurricane Michael, Southwest Georgia experienced approximately $2.5 billion in losses within the agriculture and timber industries.