Credit: GPB's Lawmakers

Today, a bill concerning the temporary cessation of taxes on gas was a big topic of discussion in the Senate. 

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), House Bill 304’s Senate sponsor, said, “The proposal in the bill before you today is to suspend the Georgia tax on fuel through May 31st of this year, 2022. The current tax is 29.1 cents on gasoline, 32.6 on diesel, .01 on aviation, and 29.1 on some special fuels."

According to the American Automobile Association, gas is at its highest since 2008. HB 304 would be a temporary fix to this supply problem for Georgians. The elimination of the tax won't make an impact on state revenues.

“Our last month was about $157 million collected," said Hufstetler, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. "This would be for a little over two months. It’s between $300 or $400 million that will be replaced with unspecified fund balance."

Another bill that was passed in the Senate, HB 1147, will extend the hunting season of game such as raccoons and opossums to a full year.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resource (DNR) governs the type and duration of game activities as well as recommends rules to preserve wildlife and resources. 

Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources and the Environment Committee, Sen. Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), said, “It opens up the possibility for trapping and hunting of raccoons and opossums year-round."

This legislation is not only supported by “state biologists” according to Harper, but also garnered bipartisan support. 

“Is it true that sea turtles are endangered species?" Sen. Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain) asked. "Is it also true that opossums and raccoons indiscriminately eat their sea turtle eggs whenever they feel like they want to eat them?”

Harper affirmed both questions to be true and emphasized to the floor that this bill would help with population control of both species. Harper went on to say that while there are a number of “tools in the toolbox” to address this issue, this measure would allow DNR one more way to manage populations in game species.