2024 Sine Die Legislative Update

March 28, 2024

The Georgia General Assembly wrapped up its 2024 legislative session by adjourning Sine Die on Thursday, March 28. MAC’s public policy team worked on key issues that support the chamber’s mission to unleash Atlanta’s ambition by focusing on economy, talent, and community.

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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. 

Governor Kemp has until May 7, 2024, to sign or veto legislation passed by the General Assembly. For a listing of many of the bills our team worked on/followed this session, please refer to the list below.

Dave Williams

Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Talent

Marshall Guest

Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Public Affairs

BUSINESS CLIMATE

HB 101 (Rep. Clint Crowe) exempts data center tenants from the temporary suspension (set forth in HB 1192) of new applications for sales tax exemption on data center equipment. DID NOT PASS

HB 381 (Rep. Teri Anulewicz) – establishes a right of action for workplace harassment against a third party or employer. DID NOT PASS

HB 481 (Rep. John Carson) – requires fiduciaries for public retirement systems to consider only pecuniary factors in investment decisions. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 581 (Rep. Shaw Blackmon) – cap how much home assessments can increase each year at three percent. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 916 (Speaker Jon Burns) – appropriates funds for fiscal year 2025. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1015 (Rep. Lauren McDonald) – decreases the individual income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39% and provides for further reductions through 2028 if certain economic conditions are met. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1023 (Rep. Bruce Williamson) – reduces the corporate income tax rate to match the pending individual income tax rate of 5.39% and extends the state corporate filing deadline by one month. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1033 (Rep. Rob Leverett) – enhances penalties for the assault of utility workers harmed while performing their job duties. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1048 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) – establishes the statewide music business office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development. DID NOT PASS

HB 1114 (Rep. Will Wade) – directs the Insurance Commissioner to collect and analyze anonymous data from insurers related to tort-related risks. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1180 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) – amends the film tax credit by limiting transferable credits, increasing criteria required to receive an additional 10% “uplift”, and altering the aggregation rules for qualifying projects. DID NOT PASS

HB 1181 (Rep. Chuck Martin) – reduces the carryforward period on several tax incentives and adds or moves the sunset date for several incentives to 2029. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1182 (Rep. Clint Crowe) – reduces the low-income housing tax credit by 50% unless the project will house senior citizens or veterans, provide transit, or is located in a rural area. DID NOT PASS

HB 1192 (Rep. John Carson) – enacts a two-year suspension of the sales tax exemption on equipment purchased for use in hyperscale or multi-tenant data centers. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1205 (Rep. Todd Jones) – requires additional reporting for Georgia financial institutions with total assets greater than $100 billion, requiring they state specific reasons for the denial, restriction, or termination of services. DID NOT PASS

HB 1244 (Rep. Todd Jones) – increases transparency and limits third-party litigation funding by foreign entities. DID NOT PASS

HB 1267/HR 598 (Rep. Chuck Martin) – moves the Georgia Tax Tribunal into the judicial branch and renames it Georgia Tax Court, subject to passage of a constitutional amendment in November 2024. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE/WILL APPEAR ON THE NOVEMBER 5 BALLOT

HB 1371 (Rep. James Burchett) – limits the liability of owners/occupiers of land if a third party contributes to a claimant’s injury and provides for apportionment of fault. DID NOT PASS

SB 157 (Sen. Brian Strickland) – requires transparency in occupational licensing for applicants with a criminal background who have lived in Georgia for at least five years. DID NOT PASS

SB 283 (Sen. Brian Strickland) – creates a new cause of action for pregnant employees who have not been granted reasonable accommodations within the workplace. DID NOT PASS

SB 362 (Sen. Mike Hodges) – prohibits companies from accepting economic development incentives for new projects if they recognize union membership without first holding a secret ballot rather than a card check. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 366 (Sen. Chuck Hufstetler) – revises the annual tax incentive audit procedure for the General Assembly. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 426 (Sen. Blake Tillery) – limits the ability of a plaintiff to sue motor carriers and their insurers simultaneously. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 428 (Sen. Blake Tillery) – provides for a cap on damages recoverable against foster parents in personal injury actions involving the use of a motor vehicle by the foster child. DID NOT PASS

SB 431 (Sen. Blake Tillery) – modifies the Apex doctrine by removing a court’s ability 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. DID NOT PASS

SB 447 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – prohibits a food and beverage franchisor from terminating a franchisee for cause without providing 90 days’ notice to cure such failure. DID NOT PASS

SB 547 (Sen. Brandon Beach) – allows failure to wear a seatbelt to be considered as admissible evidence in any civil action. DID NOT PASS

INFRASTRUCTURE

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

HB 617 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) – directs the Georgia Department of Transportation planning division to develop a statewide freight and logistics implementation plan. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 915 (Speaker Jon Burns) – amends the budget for fiscal year 2024. Highlights include $1.5 billion to accelerate transportation and freight projects. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 1026 (Rep. Leesa Hagan) – establishes the Georgia CHIPS and Advanced Technology Consortium to serve as an advisory board for semiconductor research and development. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1172 (Rep. James Burchett) – removes the Public Trust doctrine reference related to streams that was adopted in 2023 and states that citizens have a right of passage to hunt and fish on all navigable streams.  AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1358 (Rep. Victor Anderson) – abolishes the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and transfers all assets, obligations, duties, powers, property, and employees to the State Road and Tollway Authority.  DID NOT PASS

HB 1397 (Rep. James Burchett) – establishes a list of streams presumed “navigable” and therefore subject to public access. DID NOT PASS

SB 457 (Sen. Chuck Hufstetler) – reestablishes the Consumer Utility Counsel to represent consumers before the Public Service Commission. DID NOT PASS

SB 473 (Sen. John Albers) – creates requirements for entities that control or process consumer personal data, including enforcement and penalties for violations, establishes consumer rights including opt-out, and other provisions. DID NOT PASS

TALENT DEVELOPMENT & EDUCATION

HB 427 (Rep. Gregg Kennard) – prohibits postsecondary institutions from asking applicants whether they have been arrested or convicted of certain crimes. DID NOT PASS

HB 915 (Speaker Jon Burns) – amends the budget for fiscal year 2024. Includes a $1,000 bonus for teachers and state employees. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 982 (Rep. Matt Gambill) – requires the development of a statewide and regional High-demand Career List. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1010 (Rep. Jan Jones) – increases annual paid parental leave hours for state employees from 120 to 240 hours. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1021 (Rep. Lauren Daniel) – increases the state child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1027 (Rep. Bethany Ballard) – requires that students complete at least one computer science course to graduate high school. DID NOT PASS

HB 1104 (Rep. Omari Crawford) – mandates that school athletic associations provide mental health information to parents and student athletes; requires parents receive written notification of school library materials checked out/viewed by their child; creates new rules relating sex education curriculum; requires transgender students to participate in sporting events in their biological sex; and changes rules for state charter schools service providers. DID NOT PASS

HB 1124 (Rep. Chuck Martin) – provides that students are eligible for College Completion Grants upon completing 70 percent of a four-year or 45 percent of a two-year program. DID NOT PASS

HB 1231 (Rep. Scott Holcomb) – allows students to apply unused HOPE scholarship dollars from their undergraduate education to graduate level classes at the undergraduate tuition rate. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 26 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – authorizes workforce boards and other agencies to conduct meetings via teleconference. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

SB 233 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – establishes state-funded promise scholarship accounts for participating students and allows funds appropriated to elementary and secondary education to be used for pre-k capital outlay projects. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

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

SB 399 (Sen. Shelly Echols) – authorizes the Technical College System of Georgia to certify transferable credits to University System of Georgia institutions before the start of a semester. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURES

SB 440 (Sen. Matt Brass) – simplifies dual enrollment processes into a single pathway called Accelerated Career and clarifies two defined diploma tracks for students: general diploma and Accelerated Career diploma. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 497 (Sen. Billy Hickman) – incentivizes employers to hire apprentices and provide work-based learning opportunities in high-demand career fields. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 526 (Sen. Billy Hickman) – allows qualifying students to access need-based grants to postsecondary institutions. DID NOT PASS

SR 471 (Sen. John Albers) – creates a Senate Study Committee on Affordable Childcare. PASSED

THRIVING COMMUNITIES

HB 30 (Rep. John Carson) – defines the term “antisemitism,” adds the term to the hate crimes statute, and requires state agencies to consider antisemitism for acts of discrimination. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 398 (Rep. Scott Hilton) – prohibits entertainment venues from restricting the resale of tickets. DID NOT PASS

HB 843 (Rep. Ron Stephens) – defines “special entertainment district” and allows municipalities to authorize these districts to sell alcohol for consumption on Sundays. DID NOT PASS

HB 909 (Rep. Leesa Hagan) –  requires that the records for first offender act charges are restricted and sealed at discharge instead of sentencing. DID NOT PASS

HB 915 (Speaker Jon Burns) – amends the budget for fiscal year 2024. Highlights include $37.5 million for updates to prior long-term studies for Atlanta Farmers Market capital needs and $29.25 million for public safety and infrastructure costs for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and 2025 College Football Playoff National Championship. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 926 (Rep. Matt Reeves) – allows individuals with low-level municipal citations and misdemeanor charges to retain their driver’s licenses. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1105 (Rep. Jesse Petrea) – requires local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws. Provides for verification procedures on immigration status of inmates and procedures to cooperate with the federal government. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 1329 (Rep. Ron Stephens) – legalizes and provides for the regulation of fantasy sports contests under the Georgia Lottery Corporation. DID NOT PASS

HB 1339 (Rep. Butch Parrish) – changes the certificate of need process for counties with fewer than 50,000 people and establishes a commission tasked with reporting on issues related to access and quality of healthcare for low-income and uninsured populations. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 63 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – expands the list of criminal offenses that require cash bail. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 180 (Sen. Ed Setzler) – incorporates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act into statute. DID NOT PASS

SB 332 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – eliminates the requirement that the Georgia Supreme Court approve the rules of the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

SB 351 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – creates a model program in the Department of Education to establish methods for responsible digital citizenship and the safe and appropriate use of technology, social media, and the internet. AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

SB 386 (Sen. Clint Dixon) – legalizes and regulates sports betting as a lottery game underneath the Georgia Lottery Corporation. DID NOT PASS

SR 538 (Sen. Carden Summers) – authorizes a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting and casino gambling. DID NOT PASS

SR 579 (Sen. Bill Cowsert) – authorizes a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting and use the proceeds for pre-k and HOPE scholarships. DID NOT PASS