Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a flurry of bills that could spark dramatic changes in Fulton County government, affecting everything from property taxes and elections to the size of the county workforce.
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The bills affecting Fulton County government that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed:
HB 171: Redraws county commission districts, eliminating one at-large position and creating a new district in North Fulton. Changes the election schedule for commissioners.
HB 347: Gives the local legislative delegation authority to nominate the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections. Currently the county Board of Commissioners nominates and appoints the chairman.
HB 435: Expands the duties of the chief judge of State Court and gives the judge a $6,000 raise.
HB 441: Gives the Superior Court administrator more authority over the court budget.
HB 442: Gives the State Court administrator greater authority over the court budget.
HB 443: Makes the chief magistrate judge an elected position. Currently the chief magistrate is appointed by the State Court judges. When the current chief magistrate’s term ends in 2014, the next magistrate would be appointed to a four-year term by the governor. After that, the chief magistrate would be elected.
HB 444: Requires Fulton County to give Superior Court judges a $7,816 raise. State Court judges’ salaries are a percentage of Superior Court judges’ salaries, so State Court judges also would get a raise.
HB 594: Makes all new employees except those in public safety unclassified, allowing the county to dismiss, demote or suspend them for any reason not prohibited by law without prior notice or explanation. Employees could not appeal. All public safety employees would continue to be classified employees and could not be dismissed, demoted or suspended without prior notice and could appeal.
HB 598: Makes all new employees of Superior, State and Magistrate Courts at-will employees who would not be subject to the county merit system of employment.
HB 604: Prevents the Fulton County Board of Commissioners from raising the property-tax rate for two years and requires approval by a supermajority of commissioners to raise taxes thereafter.