In the next two days, Gov. Nathan Deal will decide the fate of a flurry of bills that would reshape Fulton County government in what could be a watershed moment in Georgia politics.
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Gov. Nathan Deal has until Tuesday to decide whether to sign numerous bills affecting Fulton County government. They are:
HB 171: Would redraw County Commission districts, eliminating one at-large position and creating a new district in north Fulton. Would change the election schedule for commissioners.
HB 347: Would give the local legislative delegation the 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: Would expand the duties of the chief judge of State Court and give the judge a $6,000 raise.
HB 441: Would give the Superior Court administrator more authority over the court budget.
HB 442: Would give the State Court administrator greater authority over the court budget.
HB 443: Would make the chief magistrate judge an elected, rather than appointed, 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. Thereafter, the chief magistrate would be elected.
HB 444: Would require 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: Would make all new employees 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: Would make 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: Would prevent the Fulton County Board of Commissioners from raising the property tax rate for two years and require a supermajority of commissioners to raise taxes thereafter.