• Legislative Update 2019 - Week #9

    Noteworthy Items:

    • The General Assembly met last week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for Legislative Days 30-32. Since Crossover Day has passed, all of the bills that were passed on the floor of one chamber by Crossover Day are now being heard in committees in the other chamber.  
    • The General Assembly will be in session Monday, Thursday, and Friday this week while Tuesday and Wednesday will be committee work days.
    • The Senate passed HB 316, the bill that calls for new election regulations and voting machines in Georgia. This bill requires the purchase of new voting machines to ensure uniformity in the voting process throughout the state. The machines are electronic, but print out a paper ballot as a preventative measure to identify miscalculations. The vote was a partisan split of 35 Yea – 21 Nay and the House immediately voted to agree to the Senate changes so the bill now awaits Governor Kemp’s signature.  In addition to new machines, this bill also clarifies voting age, increases access to absentee ballots, revises procedures for voting registration, and more. 
    • Two bills regulating the installation of small cell technology for wireless infrastructure, SB 66 and HB 184, were passed out of their respective committees this week. These bills have identical language, and face little opposition in either the House or Senate.  This is due to a compromise that was struck between cities/counties and the wireless industry.
    • On March 12th, Governor Kemp signed HB 30, the amended budget for FY 2019, into law. He signed the bill at North Atlanta High School, and emphasized that the amended budget reflects his campaign promises towards better education and school safety.
    • Governor Kemp announced on March 13th that Georgia’s international trade in 2018 set a new record with Georgia exports totaling over $40.5 billion, a 9% increase over 2017.  Kemp noted that 90% of these exporters were classified as small businesses.  Aerospace was the largest industry exported at a value of $9.1 billion. Medical device and pharmaceutical exports increased by 13% to $1.7 billion, and agricultural exports stayed even at $4.2 billion.  
    • The bill tracker has been updated to reflect the bills that crossed over last week.  Bills that did not pass by the Crossover Day deadline were removed but still remain eligible for the 2020 legislative session due to Georgia being a Biennial legislature.

    House Bill Tracker

    HB 23 – Statutory Authority for Broadband: EMCs
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Penny Houston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed on House Floor unanimously 2/11/19; Senate Read & Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities
    Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
     
    HB 30 – Amended FY19 Appropriations 
    Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed House Floor 2/8/19; Passed Senate Floor 2/21/19; Governor Kemp signed 3/12/19
    Summary: Amended FY2019 Appropriations
     
    HB 31 – FY20 Appropriations
    Bill Sponsor: Speaker Ralston
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/17/19; Passed House Floor by Substitute 155 Yea – 13 Nay 2/28/2019. Senate read and referred to Appropriations 3/1/19
    Summary: FY2020 Appropriations
     
    HB 184 – Small Cell Wireless
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Brett Harrell
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/7/19. Passed by House 2/14/19. Senate Referred to Regulated Industries and Utilities 2/15/19, favorably reported 3/13/19.
    Summary: To encourage small cell wireless deployment through the colocation of new equipment on already-existing infrastructure.
     
    HB 224 – Investment Tax Credit
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Williamson
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/8/19. Passed by House 3/4/19. Senate Referred to Finance 3/5/19
    Summary: Investment tax credit for new purchases and acquisitions would be earnable for manufacturing and telecommunications facilities and would be allowed to be used against payroll withholding, with limitations.
     
    HB 315 – Local Government Contracting
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Mark Newton
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/14/19. Passed House unanimously 3/7/19. Senate Referred to Government Oversight 3/8/19.
    Summary: A bill to create greater transparency in the local procurement process by requiring disclosures of certain consultants and relationships.
     
    HB 349 - Authorize counties to exercise powers in incorporated areas
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Chuck Martin
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed House unanimously 3/7/19. Senate Referred to State and Local Government Operations 3/8/19.
    Summary:  A bill to authorize counties to exercise powers in incorporated areas.
     
    HB 352 – Sales and Use Tax
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Burt Reeves
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed House 3/4/19. Senate Referred to Finance 3/5/19
    Summary:  A bill relating to exemptions from sales and use tax, so as to change the sunset provision for the exemption for competitive projects of regional significance.

    HB 405 – Level 1 Freeport Exemption
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. David Knight
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/21/19. Passed House 3/7/19. Senate Referred to Finance 3/8/19.
    Summary:  A bill to modify provisions related to the Level 1 Freeport Exemption to include affiliated entities and inventory held for the repair or modification of goods.
     
    HB 406 – Tax Digest and Equalized Adjusted Property Tax Digest
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Williamson
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/20/19. Passed House 3/5/19. Senate referred to Finance 3/7/19, favorably reported 3/13/19.
    Summary:  A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Title 36 and Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government and revenue and taxation, respectively, so as to require joint authorities to furnish certain information necessary for the state auditor to determine the net impact of their activities on associated tax digests and to require the use of such net impact to determine equalized adjusted property tax digests.
     
    HB 453 – Douglas County Redevelopment Powers 
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Roger Bruce
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. House Passed 2/27/19. Senate Passed Unanimously 3/14/19
    Summary:  A bill to authorize Douglas County to exercise all redevelopment and other powers under Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII(b) of the Constitution and Chapter 44 of Title 36 of the O.C.G.A., the "Redevelopment Powers Law," as amended and to provide for a referendum as well as effective dates.
     
    HR 37 – Commission on Freight & Logistics
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Tanner
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/28/19. Passed House 2/21/19. Senate Referred to Transportation Committee.
    Summary: A resolution creating the Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics.
     
    HR 306 – Reduction of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Rate
    Bill Sponsor: Rep. Efstration
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19. Referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
    Bill Summary: To provide for a reduction in the highest personal and corporate income tax rates by 0.25 percent

    Senate Bill Tracker

    SB 2 – EMC Broadband Statutory Authority
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Passed Senate 3/7/19. House Referred to Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications 3/11/19.
    Summary: To specifically authorize Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
     
    SB 17 – Telephone Cooperatives Broadband Statutory Authority
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19; Passed Senate Floor unanimously 2/20/19; House Referred to Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications, favorably reported 3/13/19.
    Summary: To specifically authorize telephone cooperatives & their affiliates to provide broadband services (aka “statutory authority”)
     
    SB 20 – Banking Improvement Zones
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Rhett
    Bill Status: Introduced 1/16/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/17/19. Referred to House committee on Banks and Banking.
    Summary: A bill to establish “banking improvement zones” to encourage opening of banks in areas underserved by banks.
     
    SB 66 – Streamlining Wireless Facilities & Antennas Act
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Gooch
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/25/19. Referred to House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee., favorably reported 3/13/19.
    Summary: To streamline the deployment of wireless broadband in public rights of way.
     
    SB 87 – Toombs County Development Authority
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Tillery
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/12/19. Senate passed unanimously 2/25/19. House Passed unanimously 3/14/19.
    Summary: A bill dealing with the membership of the Toombs County Development Authority
     
    SB 110 – Statewide Business Court
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Stone
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/14/19. Passed Senate 3/7/19. House Referred 3/11/19.
    Summary: Legislation to create a statewide business court.
     
    SB 119 - Georgia Measuring Success Act
    Bill Sponsor: Senator John Albers
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/15/19. Passed Senate 3/4/19. House Referred to Ways & Means 3/7/19
    Summary:  A bill relating to fiscal bills generally, so as to require an economic analysis prior to the introduction or amendment of legislation containing tax incentives or modifying or extending existing tax incentives.
     
    SB 120 - Georgia Tax Credit Business Case Act
    Bill Sponsor: Senator John Albers
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/15/19. Passed Senate 3/1/19. House Referred to Ways & Means.
    Summary: A bill relating to fiscal bills generally, so as to require an economic analysis to be conducted by the state auditor of certain income tax credits and exemptions from sales and use taxes according to a schedule.
     
    SB 131 - Georgia Major Airport Authority Act
    Bill Sponsor: Senator Burt Jones
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/19/19. Passed Senate 3/7/19. House Referred to Rules 3/11/19
    Summary:  A bill relating to aviation, so as to create the Georgia Major Airport Authority. The bill amends Article 1 of Chapter 15 of Title 45 of the O.C.G.A., to general provisions relative to the Attorney General, so as to provide for representation of the Georgia Major Airport Authority by the Attorney General.
     
    SB 162 – Disaster Mitigation Improvements and Broadband Services Infrastructure 
    Bill Sponsor: Senator Matt Brass
    Bill Status: Introduced/22/19. Passed Senate 3/7/19. House Referred to Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications 3/11/19.
    Summary:  A bill relating to local government, so as to provide for disaster mitigation improvements and broadband services infrastructure in projects of downtown development authorities and development authorities.

    SR 237 – Congressional Term Limits
    Bill Sponsor: Sen. Cowsert
    Bill Status: Introduced 2/22/19; passed Senate 3/8/19. House Referred to Rules 3/11/19.
    Summary: A resolution urging Congress to call a convention to address term limits so as to limit the number of terms Members of Congress may serve. It would only be effective if 2/3 of the states passed the same resolution.
     
     

    Glossary of Terms:

    Effective - The bill has been signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect the date stated.
    Recommitted -  A parliamentary motion to reassign a bill which has been in one committee to the same or a different committee. 
    Second Read -  In the House, second reading occurs automatically on the legislative day following the bill's introduction. In the Senate, second reading occurs on the legislative day after a bill is reported from standing committee, except that after the 35th day of the session, second reading occurs on the day a bill is reported from committee.
    Conference Committee -  A special committee consisting of three members from each house appointed by the presiding officers to seek a compromise when the two houses have passed different versions of the same bill and insist on their respective positions.
    Pre-filed - A bill that is filed before the beginning of the legislative session
    Withdrawn - A bill is removed from consideration
    Referred - Placed into committee

    To find your law makers click here.
    To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2019 click here.

  • Upcoming Events

     
  • New Members