2018/03/23 Report (38)
Use the drop down to the left to select the next 25 bills to display.

Date of Last Recorded Action: 5/10/2019

HB 0085 NeutralForest Land Conservation Valuation - Appraisal Methodology Jay Powell
1/1/2019 Effective Date Ways & Means Finance -
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2018/02/23 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
The substitute version of this bill changes the method of valuation of forest land conservation property by uncoupling that valuation from 2008 values as existing law provides. Instead, the valuation would first change to 2016 values and then reset every 3 years thereafter. In addition, this bill creates a new appraisal methodology for valuation of non-covenant timberland property (defined as property with the primary purpose of commercial timber production).The Department of Revenue (DOR) will develop a methodology each year for valuing such property via actual income data for such properties. However, the resulting values could not be less than 175% of the corresponding FLPA value for that property. DOR is allowed to withhold 3 percent administrative fee from FLPA assistance grants to counties, cities, or school districts. The bill is contingent upon ratification of an enabling constitutional amendment, HR 51. Local assessors and taxpayers would have the right to appeal DOR's appraisal methodology.
HB 0093 NeutralSale and Use Tax Refunds - No Interest Payable John Corbett
3/29/2018 Senate Conference Committee Appointed 56th, 52nd, 30th Ways & Means Finance -
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2017/03/24 - Report 2018/03/16 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill changes refund procedures for purchasers with a certificate or exemption letter from the state revenue commissioner. If the certificate has been obtained but not used prior to a purchase, any refund of sales tax is made without interest. Under present law, no interest is due on refunds only if a certificate had not been obtained and used prior to a purchase. As amended, this bill adds requirements for certain large purchasers who may directly pay sales tax rather than pay sales tax to their vendors. The Senate added the text of SB 378 (Measuring Success Act) and SB 432 (repeal of certain tax exemptions). 
HB 0149 NeutralRequirement for Counties to Use Only GBI Approved Trauma Scene Cleanup Services and Consolidation of Fire Services Alan Powell
3/29/2018 Senate Disagreed House Amend or Sub Public Safety and Homeland Security Public Safety -
2017/03/06 - Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/23 Report Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement
Coroners/Medical Examiners Debra Nesbit Emergency Management/Preparedness EMS/Ambulance Fire Services
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Georgia Bureau of Investigation Health and Human Services Law Enforcement Nat. Res. & the Environment
Public Safety and Courts Sheriff Solid Waste
This legislation preempts county and city governments from requiring licenses or permits for trauma scene waste management practitioners or regulated waste transporters.  When hiring a company to cleanup or remove trauma scene waste, counties and cities must hire a company approved by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  This bill was amended to include S.B. 319 which provides for the Consolidation of all Fire Services into a separate state agency.
HB 0327 SupportTitle Ad Valorem Tax on Vehicles - Amendments Jay Powell
3/27/2018 Senate Tabled Ways and Means Finance -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance

The text of this bill was added to HB 329 and adopted, effective July 1, 2019. This bill would make several changes to the calculation and distribution of title ad valorem tax (TAVT). Rather than the current law which provides for annual adjustment of the state/local split based on prior year collections, local governments will continue to collect ad valorem taxes on pre-2013 vehicles. TAVT proceeds be split between the state and local governments on a 65/35 (state/local) basis. The local share would be distributed as follows: 1) for vehicles registered in unincorporated areas, 51% of the local proceeds would be paid to the county and 49% to the school system; and 2) for vehicles registered in incorporated areas, 49% would be paid to the school system, 28% to the county, and 23% to the city. There are also provisions to accommodate MARTA in the three counties in which MARTA sales tax is collected. 

As adopted, the formula for calculating TAVT on used cars is unchanged. The TAVT rate for out-of-state registrations is lowered from 7% to 3%. Certain minor changes are also included, such as no longer charging full TAVT when a vehicle is retitled as a result of a divorce from one spouse to the other.

HB 0332 SupportGeorgia Outdoor Stewardship Act Sam Watson
7/1/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources & Environment Appropriations -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report 2018/03/30 Report
Kathleen Bowen Land Conservation Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance

This bill creates the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship program. The intent of this legislation is to provide dedicated funding for state parks and state wildlife management areas as well as support to local parks and trails. Forty percent of the proceeds of all state sales tax from outdoor recreation items would be appropriated for the protection and preservation of conservation land. The General Assembly has the ability to increase this amount up to the 80%. 

Counties would be eligible to apply for grants and loans from this newly created trust fund. A Board of Trustees of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund is created to oversee the grant/loan applications. The composition of the board could include representatives from local government.

In addition, each county in which is located 20,000 acres or more of unimproved real property belonging to the state and under the custody or control of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR), in which such state-owned property exceeds 10 percent of the taxable real property in the county, and in which such property represents 10 percent or more of the assessed tax digest of the county may receive from the GA DNR an annual grant. Only land acquired with Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund money would be used in the calculation of this grant. 

The bill is contingent upon a proposed constitutional amendment, found in HR 238, which would be placed on the ballot for the November, 2018 state-wide general election.

Additional Information:  https://georgiaoutdoorstewardship.org/ 

HB 0374 NeutralTax Assessment - Change Procedures David Knight
7/1/2018 Effective Date Ways & Means Finance -
2017/02/17-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance Tax Commissioner
This legislation allows for electronic return of property to the tax commissioner if he or she has adopted a written policy accepting electronic service.  It also makes changes to the annual notice of current assessment from the board of tax assessors and makes changes to the property assessment appeals process, including lowering the value threshold for appeals to a hearing officer from $750,000 to $500,000.
HB 0381 SupportAbandoned Mobile Homes - Method for Removal John Corbett
5/1/2019 Effective Date Judiciary Judiciary -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Code Enforcement General County Government Magistrate Court Progressing Legislation Property Tax
Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Tags/Titles Tax Commissioner Todd Edwards
This legislation establishes a process whereby private property owners can have abandoned mobile homes removed from their land.  Local governments may elect to provide a qualified "local agent" to make a determination, at the request of a property owner, whether a mobile home is abandoned, derelict or intact.  If deemed abandoned, the local government posts a notice, then the property owner notifies the last known mobile home owner (or posts a legal notice if no responsible party can be ascertained), which begins a process whereby the property owner can pay for the removal of the mobile home.  A hearing procedure is provided in magistrate court for aggrieved mobile home owners in this process.  Neither the local government nor the local agent shall bear any liability with respect to any lawful actions taken under this law.  Action: counties wishing to participate must first appoint a qualified local agent.    
HB 0419 SupportFireworks - Counties May Limit Hours of Use Deborah Silcox
7/1/2018 Effective Date Regulated Industries Public Safety -
2017/02/24 - Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2017/03/24 - Report 2018/03/23 Report Fireworks
General County Government Local Legislation Population Acts Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards

This legislation allows cities and counties to regulate the hours of firework usage within their communities on all but seven days of the year via the adoption of a noise ordinance, so long as said ordinance is general and applicable to all manner of sounds and noises.  Before adopting the ordinance, counties must post notice in the legal organ or on their Web site stating the date, time and place of the meeting and informing the public that the ordinance will affect the use of fireworks.  Statewide use remains allowed from 10:00 a.m to 11:59 p.m. on January 1, December 31, July 3 and July 4, the Saturday and Sunday preceding Memorial Day, Labor Day, and from 12:00 midnight to 1:00 a.m. on January 1 annually. On the downside, for counties not adopting an ordinance, fireworks usage extends from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. every day of the year.  Previously, usage was allowed from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.      

HB 0635 SupportCreation of At-Risk Adult Protection Investigative/Coordinating Teams in each Judicial Circuit Sharon Cooper
7/1/2018 Effective Date Human Relations and Aging Health and Human Services -
2018/01/12 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit District Attorneys
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Health and Human Services Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Solicitors
This legislation amends the Disabled Adults and Elder Persons Protection Act, to require the creation and implementation of at-risk adult protection investigative/coordinating teams in each judicial circuit.  These teams will be formed at the direction of the district attorney and will include local law enforcement, aging services and any other agency as deemed appropriate by the district attorney.
HB 0673 NeutralProhibit Distracted Driving John Carson
7/1/2018 Effective Date Judiciary - Non-Civil Judiciary -
2018/01/12 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit
Econ. Dev. & Transportation Fire Services Public Safety and Courts Traffic Enforcement Transportation
This legislation creates the offense(s) of violation of usage of a wireless telecommunications device, which prohibits the use of the device for texting, receiving or sending text, or talking on a wireless device while driving.    The fine shall be $50.00 for the first conviction; the second conviction the fine shall be $100.00; and the third offense shall be $150.00, no additional surcharges shall be assessed on any fine for distracted driving.  There is a provision that if proof is presented to the court on the first offense that the driver purchased a hands free device for future use, the charge shall be dismissed.  There is a specific exemption for law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS or any public safety first responder during the performance of their duties.
HB 0684 EvaluatingFiscal Year 2019 State Budget David Ralston
5/2/2018 Effective Date Appropriations Appropriations -
2018/01/19 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/23 Report Appropriations Debra Nesbit
Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government Health and Human Services Nat. Res. & the Environment Public Safety and Courts
Revenue & Finance
HB 0696 NeutralSales Tax Exemption - High Tech Data Centers Trey Kelley
1/1/2019 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2018/01/26 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill expands an existing sales and use tax exemption, applicable to both state and local sales tax, for the sale or lease of computer equipment or high-technology data center equipment incorporated or used in a high-technology data center. As amended in the Senate, to qualify for the exemption, a data center would be required to have an investment plan demonstrating a minimum investment over a ten-year period. There are tiered minimum investment thresholds depending on county population, with the threshold rising as population rises.
HB 0735 NeutralIncome Tax Credit for Short Line Railroads Patty Bentley
5/8/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2018/03/23 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Kathleen Bowen Revenue & Finance
Transportation

This legislation is based off recommendations from the House Rural Development Council. The bill would give income tax credits for expenditures on the maintenance of railroad track owned or leased by a Class III (short line) railroad. 

In addition, the bill exempts state owned rail property from a storm water utility fee. Also, all land located within a railroad's right of way and covered with ballast and rail would be exempt from a stormwater utility fee. 

HB 0769 SupportRecommendations on Healthcare from House Rural Development Council Rick Jasperse
7/1/2018 Effective Date Health and Human Services Health and Human Services -
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit
Health and Human Services
This legislation requires that all plans administered by the State of Georgia to streamline and expedite the credentialing and billing processes for providers and establishes the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability within the State Office of Rural Health.  The bill also provides for the creation of micro-hospitals which have two to seven beds in a rural community which provide services seven days a week and 24 hours per day to stabilize patients.  Finally the legislation provides for a grant program to offset the costs of insurance for physicians who maintain a practice in medically underserved areas of the state.
HB 0782 NeutralProvisions for Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Data Base Trey Rhodes
3/23/2018 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Health and Human Services Health and Human Services -
2018/03/23 Report Criminal Procedure Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services Public Safety and Courts
This legislation sets forth provisions for access to the prescription drug monitoring data base.
HB 0791 NegotiatingSovereign Immunity - Waiver for Certain Claims against the State Chuck Efstration
3/27/2018 Senate Tabled Judiciary Judiciary -
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report General County Government Government Immunity Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts

 Following recommendations of the Governor's Court Reform Council and in response to several recent Georgia Supreme Court decisions, this bill would allow for a limited waiver of the state's sovereign immunity so as to allow lawsuits against the state for injunctions and/declaratory judgments where a state law is alleged to be unconstitutional. As amended in House committee, the substance of HB 674 was added to this bill, waiving county and city sovereign immunity for injunctive/declaratory relief for allegations that the local government has violated a constitutional provision, statute, state rule/regulation, or local ordinance. Immunity would still apply to any  related monetary damages. The amended version also permits direct appeals of trial court orders ruling that immunity does not apply to a claim (from HB 256).

A substitute version approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee removes local governments from the scope of this bill but retains the direct-appeal authorization. 

HB 0792 SupportReauthorize Hazardous Waste Trust Fund / Increase in Landfill Host Fee Terry Rogers
6/30/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Natural Resources and the Environment -
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance Solid Waste

This legislation renews the fees that make up the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (HWTF) for one year, from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. Most of the fees come from the state’s 75-cent per-ton tipping fee on solid waste going into Georgia’s landfills – a fee counties pay if they own/operate landfills. 

This legislation also includes language to increase the state’s minimum local solid waste cost reimbursement (host) fee from $1 to $2.50 per ton on waste going to privately owned landfills. The $1 minimum fee has been in existence since 1992 and for the past ten years, ACCG has included in our policy platform a request for the host fee to increase.  ACCG was supportive of the efforts led by Sen. Burt Jones to increase this fee. 

Details: 
  • Host fee minimum increases from $1 to $2.50 per ton but not effective until July 1, 2019. This increase only applies to a municipal solid waste disposal facility that is owned by a private entity. 
  • Coal ash minimum fee is $1 per ton until 2025 when it will then increase to the $2 per ton minimum fee.
  • Inert waste, construction and demolition waste minimum is $1 per ton.
  • All of these fees are the minimum, not the ceiling. Counties can negotiate host fees, other fees and charges above the minimum. No host fees are to be reduced if they are in existence on July 1, 2019.
  • 50% of the host fee collected shall be used for these purposes:
    • To offset the impact of the facility
    • Public education efforts 
    • Cost of solid waste management
    • Administration of the local/regional solid waste management plan
    • Repair of damage to roads and highways associated with the facility
    • Enhancement of litter control programs
    • Ground-water and air monitoring and protection
    • Remediation and monitoring of closed or abandoned facilities
    • Infrastructure improvements associated with the facility
    • Reserve fund allocation
    • Acquisition of property adjacent or in reasonable proximity to the facility to serve as beautification, environmental, buffering or recreational purposes
    • Fees not used for the above purposes (the remaining 50%) can be used for other governmental expenses.
 
HB 0876 NeutralBuilding Codes - Locals Cannot Prohibit Wood Construction John Corbett
7/1/2018 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/23 Report Code Enforcement
Fire Services General County Government Preemption Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards
This legislation preempts local governments from prohibiting the use of wood as a construction material so long as such use conforms to all applicable state minimum standard codes and the Georgia State Fire Code.  Several cities, concerned with fire safety, have enacted such ordinances.       
HB 0886 SupportSales Tax Exemptions - Revision of Agricultural Exemption/GATE Program Sam Watson
5/3/2018 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill makes several changes to the GATE program: 1) increases the sales and operations thresholds from $2,500.00 to $5,000.00; 2) includes livestock as an agricultural product; 3) provides additional requirements for applicants who apply and provide IRS Form 1120 or 1120(s); requires the agriculture commissioner to get a taxpayer's valid state tax identification number prior to issuing an exemption certificate; 4) provides for 3 year duration of new exemption certificates for a fee of $150.00 and an annual wallet sized card showing the certificate is in effect for the current year; 5) provides for new procedures for suspension or revocation of the certificate for unlawful use; 6) authorizes DOR and the Department of Agriculture to share confidential tax information for program compliance purposes; and 7) requires the Department of Agriculture to prepare an annual report  for the chairs of House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. 
HB 0887 OpposeWireless Industry Preemption of Local Management of Public Right of Way Jay Powell
3/27/2018 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Ways and Means Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Broadband
Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Emergency Management/Preparedness Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Franchise Fees General County Government Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance
Roads Sales Tax-Local Todd Edwards

While this bill began, constructively, as a rural broadband bill, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee stripped and replaced it with the language of SB 426.  This wireless industry legislation guarantees authorization for wireless providers to construct and place poles (50' high), antennas (up to 6 cubic feet in volume and 10' higher than poles), equipment boxes (up to 25 cubic feet in volume), plus up to 4 cabinets (undefined size) and other infrastructure in county and city right of way (ROW).  Local government management of the above is all but entirely usurped; the grounds by which applications can be denied are few; denials are primed to result in litigation; and then locals are set up to lose.  

ACCG has attempted to work with the wireless providers, legislators and other stakeholders since last year to try to incorporate safeguards into the legislation.  While some of our recommendations were made, most of these "concessions" are so wrought with legal loopholes that their purported purpose has been nullified. 

For ACCG's concerns with (and suggestions for) this bill and SB 426, please click here.  

HB 0930 SupportTransit Governance and Funding Kevin Tanner
5/3/2018 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local Transportation
Transportation Funding

This bill provides for transit governance and funding options for the Metro Atlanta region (a designated nonattainment area currently consisting of Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale counties) and the rest of the state. 

The Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority is a new regional governing board that will lead the planning and coordination of transit in the Metro Atlanta region and will control state and federal transit funding.

Counties in the Metro Atlanta area would be able to call for a referendum to levy a Transit SPLOST up to 1% (and may be in .05% increments) for up to 30 years.  The county and all qualified municipalities may select transit projects for the county from the regional transit plan. The ATL Authority shall approve or deny any or all projects within a submitted transit project list and the proposed operator of any transit projects.

Lastly, counties outside of Metro Atlanta who partner with a neighboring county have the option to levy up to 1% (and may be in .05% increments) for up to 30 years. Each county planning to participate in the selected transit project or projects shall enter into intergovernmental agreements.  The referendum must pass both counties for the tax to be imposed.

A more detailed analysis of the bill can be found here.  


HB 0978 NeutralUse of Cameras and Automated Devices to Enforce Law Regarding School Buses and Enforcement of Speed Limits in School Zones Chad Nimmer
7/1/2018 Effective Date Public Safety and Homeland Security Public Safety -
2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Solicitors State Court

This legislation allows private companies to place cameras in school zones and enforce civil penalties for speeding in school zones.   The fine is $75 for the first offense and $125 for subsequent offenses with an additional processing fee up to $25 assessed per offense. Additionally, should a local government chose to use cameras in school zones, signs must be placed within the approaching school zone warning drivers of the use of speed detection cameras. Money collected from such fines are to be used by the local governing body only for law enforcement or public safety initiatives. 

This bill also allows private companies to operate and maintain cameras placed on school buses. Additionally, the bill reduces the civil penalty for passing a school bus that has its stop sign activated from $300 to $250. This fine is to be paid to the governing body of the law enforcement agency. 

HB 0995 NeutralProcurement - Consultants for Local Government Bids/Purchases Must Disclose Conflicts of Interest Mark Newton
5/8/2018 Veto V15 Governmental Affairs Economic Development and Tourism -
2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report General County Government Open Records/Meetings Act
Procurement Todd Edwards
This bill requires consultants who develop or draft specifications or requirements for a solicitation for local governments on bids, requests for proposals, procurement orders or purchasing orders to disclose any potential conflicts of interest they may have when contracting for goods and services for the local government.  Furthermore, the consultant shall avoid conflicts during the process; shall not be involved in submitting a bid or proposal; maintain confidentiality; avoid sharing protected information; avoid contact with suppliers participating in the solicitation process; ensure all working documents remain the property of the local government; and cannot work on the awarded project until the termination of the local government agreement.      
HR 0051 NeutralForest Land Conservation Valuation - Constitutional Amendment Jay Powell
5/2/2018 Effective Date Ways & Means Finance -
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2018/03/23 Report
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
 This enabling constitutional amendment removes from the constitution the existing method of valuation of forest land conservation use (also known as FLPA property), which is tied to 2008 fair market valuation. Instead, such valuations would be updated every three years. Additional FLPA grants over a four-year period would be available to offset local government funding losses as a result of this valuation change. Additionally, this constitutional amendment also would create commercial timberland property as a separate class of property, which in turn would allow for different assessment of such property. It also allows DOR to withhold an administrative fee from FLPA grants for purposes of administering this new assessment process.The constitutional amendment, if ratified by the voters, will be implemented by HB 85.
HR 0238 SupportGeorgia Outdoor Stewardship Act - Constitutional Amendment Sam Watson
5/7/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Appropriations -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Kathleen Bowen Land Conservation Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance
This proposed constitutional amendment, if ratified in the November, 2018, state-wide election, allows the General Assembly to dedicate funds towards the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund for the purpose of protecting and preserving conservation land. If this enabling amendment is ratified, it will be implemented by HB 332.
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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