Georgia Legislative Update – Governor Kemp

Georgia Legislative Update – Governor Kemp

Monday, May 10, was the last day the Governor could veto any bills sent to his desk, otherwise, becoming law on July 1. Bills that did not pass this session will have to be reconsidered during next year’s session. We highlight some of the key bills that have either been signed or will become law:

Budget

HB 81, the $27.2 billion fiscal year budget for July 2021 – June 2022, includes funding for public education, mental health programs, nursing homes, transportation, rural investments, and economic incentives. Notably, the budget includes funding towards the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.

Georgia received over $4.6 billion from the federal government through the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act. SIGNED MAY 10

Economic Development/Business Climate

HB 112, introduced by Rep. Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), would extend the COVID liability protection’s sunset date to July 14, 2022. SIGNED MAY 4

HB 150, introduced by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), would prohibit local governments from implementing policy that bans utility service based on the type of source of energy or fuel. SIGNED MAY 6

HB 306, sponsored by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), would allow corporations to hold shareholders’ meetings remotely. SIGNED APRIL 29

HB 479, sponsored by Rep. Bert Reeves (R-Marietta), would reform the roughly 150-year-old statute that allows any Georgian to arrest a suspected offender. This bill would still allow business employees and security officers to detain lawbreakers and off-duty police officers to make arrests when outside their jurisdiction. The bill is a continuation of Governor Kemp’s push from last year’s passage of hate-crimes law. Georgia becomes the first state to repeal the statute. SIGNED MAY 10

HB 593, sponsored by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire), would increase the standard deduction from $4,600 to $5,400 and $6,000 to $7,100 for individuals and jointly filing married couples, respectively. It would allow Georgians to save up to $75 per year on their income taxes and cost the state between $100 million and $150 million per year in foregone revenue. The changes would take effect on January 1, 2022. SIGNED MARCH 22

HR 11, authored by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock), would create the House Study Committee on Innovative Ways to Maximize Global Talent in Georgia. This resolution was passed by the legislature. BECOMES LAW EFFECTIVE JULY 1

SB 6, introduced by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), would allow the Chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to request an economic analysis on up to five tax incentives each year. Additionally, the language for tax-exempt ticket sales at non-profit performing arts businesses in Georgia was added to the bill. SIGNED MAY 4

SB 33, introduced by Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Buford), provides victims of human trafficking a civil cause of action against perpetrators and gives the Attorney General a cause of action against perpetrators of human trafficking in certain circumstances. SIGNED APRIL 27

SB 34, introduced by Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Buford), allows human trafficking victims to change their legal name without the usually required public ad in their legal organ. SIGNED APRIL 27

Transportation

HB 588 by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) establish rules for the Georgia Freight Railroad Program in GDOT’s budget and provides guidance for public-private partnerships. SIGNED MAY 5

SR 102, introduced by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), creates the Georgia Commission on E-Commerce and Freight Infrastructure Funding. BECOMES LAW EFFECTIVE JULY 1

Education

SB 88, introduced by Sen. Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell), helps grow the teacher pipeline throughout recruitment, mentorship, and retention. SIGNED MAY 4

Gwinnett

SB 201, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), would give county-city contract negotiating authority to the county commissioners instead of county tax commissioners. SIGNED MAY 10


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