2023 Sine Die Legislative Update

March 30, 2023

The 2023 Metro Atlanta Chamber Sine Die Legislative Update provides information on legislative priorities followed during the 2023 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.

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On Wednesday, March 29, the Georgia General Assembly concluded legislative day 40, marking the end of the 2023 legislative session. MAC’s public policy team worked on a variety of critical issues, including talent, tax, public safety, sports betting, Buckhead City, and legal reform. Including this year’s successes detailed below, we will continue to push the conversation forward on issues important to the metro region and Georgia.

MAC opposed legislation that could lead to the creation of the “City of Buckhead City” out of existing portions of the City of Atlanta. Defeating this bill was a top priority for our team this session. The proposal would have harmed not only the City of Atlanta but the entire state. It would not have resolved underlying public safety concerns. The effort was resoundingly defeated in a Senate floor vote. MAC worked closely with many of our investors and key partners to defeat this legislation, and we are grateful for their time, resources, and energy.

Public safety continued to be a focal point in the 2023 session. Several notable public safety bills are headed to the Governor’s desk including legislation that enhances punishments for gang recruitment and gang activity, heightens oversight for prosecutors, and improves processes for transmitting criminal history data statewide. 

Legislation codifying the “apex doctrine” into Georgia law passed. The apex doctrine allows a court to grant a protective order prohibiting the deposition of high-ranking corporate officers or government officials who lack unique, personal knowledge of any matters relevant to the lawsuit.

No legislation was passed to significantly roll back or modify tax incentives key to our state’s economic development activities. Later this year, a thorough review of all Georgia tax incentives will be conducted by the Governor’s Office, House of Representatives, and Senate. MAC will be engaged in that process and is committed to advocating for incentives that help recruit and grow businesses of all sizes and critical talent.

Legislation creating a state framework for electric vehicle (EV) charging passed both chambers.  It directs the Department of Agriculture to regulate the sale of electricity for EV charging by the kilowatt-hour, inspect charging stations and enforce state EV charging regulations. The bill establishes that electricity sold at public charging stations is subject to motor fuel excise tax based on its gasoline gallonage equivalency. EV charging at residential locations is exempt from the excise tax. The provisions take effect January 1, 2025.

Legislation was introduced this session to legalize online sports betting under the Georgia Lottery Corporation. If passed, it would provide additional funding for a variety of Georgia education programs, including the HOPE Scholarship, Pre-K, and college completion grants. While two separate bills MAC supported advanced through the legislative process, they fell short of final passage in this first year of the biennium. The bills remain alive, and we look forward to working to legalize online sports betting in the 2024 session. 

Talent remains one of MAC’s top legislative priorities. The FY24 budget reflects significant investments in computer science education, childcare, and school counselors. Legislation expanding Georgia’s College Completion Grant eligibility passed. Another MAC priority, a teacher endowment program within the Technical College System of Georgia, did not receive final passage. MAC will be working with our investors to advance this effort outside the legislative process. 

Governor Kemp has until May 8, 2023, to sign or veto legislation passed by the General Assembly. For a more detailed look at the bills our team followed this session, please refer to the list below. Since this was the first of the two-year biennium, legislation that did not pass this session will be available for consideration during the 2024 legislative session.

We are grateful to Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Burt Jones, House Speaker Jon Burns, members of the General Assembly, legislative staff, and our many partners at the Capitol for their hard work this session.

Dave Williams

Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Talent

Marshall Guest

Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Public Affairs


HB 18 (Rep. Jon Burns) – amends the budget for fiscal year 2023. Highlights include appropriations for $1.6 billion state income tax refund to individual taxpayers; $950 million in property tax rebates; and $166.7 million to help fund large economic development projects, including new Rivian and Hyundai car plants. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 19 (Rep. Jon Burns) – appropriates funds for fiscal year 2024. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 86 (Rep. Trey Rhodes) – extends the sales tax exemption on the purchase of materials related to aquarium and zoo expansions. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 128 (Rep. Soo Hong) – eliminates duplicative registrations to be classified as minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses for state contracts. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 162 (Rep. Lauren McDonald) – provides a one-time $1.6 billion tax credit to individual taxpayers. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 191 (Rep. Ron Stephens) – increases the tax on the sale of tobacco products from 37 cents to 57 cents. DID NOT PASS

HB 408 (Rep. Bruce Williamson) – extends the sales tax exemption for major economic development projects of regional significance to 2026. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 549 (Rep. Tyler Paul Smith) – establishes the statewide music business office administratively housed within the Georgia Department of Economic Development. DID NOT PASS

HB 568 (Rep. Beth Camp) – creates a private cause of action for a lawful weapons carrier who is harmed while on private property where weapons are prohibited. DID NOT PASS

HB 581 (Rep. Shaw Blackmon) – revises the annual tax credit audit procedure for the General Assembly. DID NOT PASS

SB 42 (Sen. Mike Hodges) – increases penalties for businesses that fail to comply with required human trafficking signage requirements. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 44 (Rep. Bo Hatchett) – establishes mandatory minimum sentences for gang recruitment. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 56 (Sen. Chuck Hufstetler) – taxes the purchase of digital goods owned by the user, such as e-books and online video games. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 113 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – establishes procedures for the transfer of services and property to a newly incorporated municipality that is formed from a previous municipality. DID NOT PASS

SB 114 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – allows for a referendum to incorporate the City of Buckhead City from the City of Atlanta. DID NOT PASS

SB 126 (Sen. Billy Hickman) – restricts payment card networks from applying an interchange fee on the sales tax portion of a purchase. DID NOT PASS

SB 153 (Sen. Brandon Beach) – levies a 2% stadium surcharge fee on the purchase of tickets at eligible venues with capacities over 9,500. DID NOT PASS

SB 196 (Sen. Ben Watson) – allows failure to wear a seat belt to be considered in any civil action. DID NOT PASS

SB 266 (Sen. Marty Harbin)/SB 240 (Sen. Larry Walker) – requires fiduciaries for public retirement systems to consider only pecuniary factors in investment decisions. DID NOT PASS


HB 18 (Rep. Jon Burns) – appropriates $1.1 billion for Georgia Department of Transportation funding to backfill ten months of suspended motor fuel excise taxes. – SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 19 (Rep. Jon Burns) – appropriates funds for the fiscal year 2024 budget to include funding for the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 189 (Rep. Stephen Meeks) – increases the maximum weight for timber and agricultural trucks from 84,000 to 88,000 pounds, and authorizes local governments to enforce the weight limits. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 146 (Sen. Steve Gooch) – moves the regulation of electric vehicle chargers to the Department of Agriculture and establishes a framework for taxing electricity used to charge vehicles. SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 514 (Rep. Dale Washburn) – preempts municipalities and counties from imposing moratoria on zoning decisions longer than 180 days. DID NOT PASS

HB 517 (Rep. Dale Washburn) – preempts municipalities and counties from adopting ordinances pertaining to design standards for single-family houses. DID NOT PASS

HB 617 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) – directs the planning division of the Georgia Department of Transportation to develop a statewide freight and logistics implementation plan. DID NOT PASS

HR 66 (Rep. Matthew Gambill) – ratifies Governor Kemp’s executive orders that suspended the collection of motor fuel excise taxes. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 260 (Sen. Bo Hatchett) – establishes the Statewide Georgia Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Commission to promote electric vehicle and component manufacturing in Georgia. DID NOT PASS

SB 97 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – creates the Georgia Cyber Command Division under GEMA/HS, which shall be the lead state entity for strategic planning, facilitation, and coordination of information security in Georgia. DID NOT PASS


HB 19 (Rep. Jon Burns) – appropriates funds for fiscal year 2024. Talent development and education highlights include expanded funding for computer science classrooms in K-12 schools, continued support for child care subsidies (CAPS program), increases for school counseling, and expansion of College Completion Grants (see HB 249 below). SIGNED INTO LAW

HB 131 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) – establishes a modified in-state tuition rate for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. DID NOT PASS

HB 249 (Rep. Chuck Martin) – lowers the required credit hours completed for students to qualify for College Completion Grants, allowing greater eligibility for students in various programs, including two-year programs. VETOED

HB 269 (Rep. Shaw Blackmon)/SB 26 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – authorizes workforce boards to conduct meetings via teleconference. DID NOT PASS

HB 392 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) – creates the Georgia Endowment for Teaching Professionals in the Technical College System that endows postsecondary teaching positions in high-demand courses. DID NOT PASS

HB 506 (Rep. Ginny Ehrhart) – changes the rules by which local school districts receive accreditation. DID NOT PASS

SB 3 (Sen. John Albers) – requires the Department of Administrative Services to assess hiring requirements for all state employee jobs. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 88 (Sen. Carden Summers) – prohibits adults from discussing gender identity with a child without parental consent. DID NOT PASS

SB 157 (Sen. Brian Strickland) – requires transparency in occupational licensing for applicants with a criminal background. DID NOT PASS

SB 235 (Sen. Sonya Halpern) – creates the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Economic Prosperity Planning Commission. DID NOT PASS


HB 237 (Rep. Leesa Hagan) – legalizes and regulates sports betting as a lottery game underneath the Georgia Lottery Corporation and directs revenue to education funding. DID NOT PASS

HB 334 (Rep. Tyler Paul Smith) – clarifies the record restriction provisions in Georgia’s Second Chances law passed in 2020. DID NOT PASS

HB 398 (Rep. Scott Hilton)/SB 183 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – removes the ability for entertainment venues to restrict the resale of tickets. DID NOT PASS

HB 520 (Rep. Todd Jones) – authorizes a study of referral processes to psychiatric treatment residential facilities and prohibits health benefit plans from implementing step therapy protocol for medications prescribed to treat severe mental illness. DID NOT PASS

HB 606 (Rep. Sharon Cooper) – repeals the certificate of need law which regulates new healthcare facilities or provision of new medical services. DID NOT PASS

SB 42 (Sen. Mike Hodges) – increases fines for businesses or establishments that fail to display mandated human trafficking signage. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 57 (Sen. Billy Hickman) – legalizes and regulates sports betting and horse racing as a lottery game underneath the Georgia Lottery Corporation. DID NOT PASS

SB 62 (Sen. Carden Summers) – compels counties and municipalities to enforce bans on unauthorized public camping and similar behavior. The bill also mandates a state audit of public money spent on homelessness programs in Georgia. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 63 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – expands the list of criminal offenses that require cash bail. DID NOT PASS

SB 92 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – creates the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 140 (Sen. Carden Summers) – bans the procedures for gender dysphoria, sex reassignment, and hormone replacement therapies for minors. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 174/SR 140 (Sen. Bill Cowsert) – if approved by voter referendum, this constitutional amendment and accompanying enabling legislation would legalize sports betting under the Georgia Sports Betting Commission and provide for both retail and online mobile sports betting. DID NOT PASS

SB 180 (Sen. Ed Setzler) – incorporates a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into Georgia code. DID NOT PASS

SB 221 (Sen. Max Burns) – bans absentee ballot drop boxes as part of a larger omnibus election bill. DID NOT PASS

SB 222 (Sen. Max Burns) – prohibits the donation or acceptance of private funds to election boards. SIGNED INTO LAW

SB 272 (Sen. John Kennedy) –  moves the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board to the Administrative Office of the Courts. SIGNED INTO LAW