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February 28, 2018

2018 Crossover Legislative Update

Crossover Day Legislative Update

On Wednesday, February 28, the Georgia General Assembly met for the 28th legislative day, also known as “Crossover Day.” This is the final day for bills to pass out of the chamber in which they were introduced. Bills that fail to pass are generally considered dead for the remainder of session.

Below are the bills on which MAC’s Public Policy team engaged this session and their status as of Crossover Day:


HB 159 (Rep. Bert Reeves) - Updates the state’s adoption laws for the first time since 1990. Language that sanctions discrimination in the adoption process was removed from the bill. AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 642 (Rep. Chad Nimmer) - Allows for the creation of a special improvement district (SID) to help fund the completion of the Atlanta BeltLine. PASSED HOUSE

HB 696 (Rep. Trey Kelley) - Creates a sales tax exemption on equipment for co-location data centers that meet an investment threshold of $250 million by 2028. PASSED HOUSE

HB 888 (Rep. David Knight) - Streamlines the application for Freeport exemptions for stored goods kept in inventory for less than one year. PASSED HOUSE

HB 918 (Rep. Chuck Efstration) - Updates Georgia’s tax code for calendar years 2017 and 2018 to align with the changes made to the Internal Revenue Code (U.S. tax code). This legislation doubles the standard deduction in 2018, reduces the corporate and individual tax rates from 6 percent to 5.75 percent in 2019, and includes a trigger to further reduce income tax rates to 5.5 percent pending an affirmative vote in 2019 by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor for the 2020 tax year. PASSED HOUSE

HR 993 (Rep. Chuck Efstration) - Proposes a constitutional amendment creating business courts with statewide jurisdiction with judges appointed by the Governor. PASSED HOUSE

SB 2 (Sen. Mike Dugan) - Expedites the licensing and permitting process for small businesses by removing duplicate and needless regulations. This legislation will provide for the imposition of fees on entities that issue licenses or permits, if they delay the return of important documentation. PASSED SENATE

SB 233 (Sen. Marty Harbin) - Adopts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. DID NOT PASS SENATE

SB 315 (Sen. Bruce Thompson) - Creates the new crime of unauthorized computer access even when no information is stolen or altered. PASSED SENATE

SB 375 (Sen. Bill Ligon) - Allows child-placement agencies with state contracts to decline services to prospective adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s sincerely-held religious beliefs. PASSED SENATE

SB 432 (Sen. John Albers) - Institutes a 5-year review cycle of tax credits and exemptions to measure their economic and fiscal impact. PASSED SENATE

SR 673 (Sen. David Shafer) - Denounces the National Football League for rejecting the AMVETS advertisement during Super Bowl LII. PASSED SENATE

SR 711 (Sen. Butch Miller) - Recognizes the handoff from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee to the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee on February 4, 2018 and the impact that hosting Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta will have on the state of Georgia. PASSED SENATE


HB 728 (Rep. Brooks Coleman) - Authorizes the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation to receive private donations to be used for public school grants and creates an income tax credit for those qualified education donations. PASSED HOUSE

HB 781 (Rep. Kevin Tanner) - Amends the Education SPLOST to allow school systems to alter by referendum their existing E-SPLOST tax to include maintenance and education programs as authorized expenditures.  DID NOT PASS HOUSE

HB 928 (Rep. Rick Williams) - Extends the amount of time students can take advantage of the HOPE Scholarship from 7 years after school graduation to 15 years. DID NOT PASS HOUSE

SB 3 (Sen. Lindsey Tippins) - Enacts the CONNECT Act (Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training). The bill requires career-oriented learning experiences for middle and high school students through internships, cooperative education, and employability skill development. IN CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

SB 401 (Sen. Lindsey Tippins) - Requires the Office of Student Achievement to include and maintain enrollment and student records in their longitudinal data. It also requires the Department of Education to review the workloads of all school counselors. PASSED SENATE

SB 405 (Sen. Fran Millar) - Creates a needs-based aid grant within the Georgia Student Finance Authority for students attending schools within the University System of Georgia. PASSED SENATE



HB 150 (Rep. Alan Powell) - Allows the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) to collect  unpaid toll violations from tax refunds by the Department of Revenue and extends the sunset on Consumer Price Indexing for the calculation of motor fuel taxes to 2022. AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 930 (Rep. Kevin Tanner) - Establishes a regional transportation authority in metro Atlanta, enables transit funding referenda in Fulton and Gwinnett Counties in November 2018, and lengthens TSPLOST funding to 30 years for transit. PASSED HOUSE

SB 379 (Sen. Burt Jones) - Creates a board to govern airports in the state with 400,000+ takeoffs and landings in a calendar year. This bill would impact Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport only. DID NOT PASS SENATE

SB 386 (Sen. Brandon Beach) -  Establishes a regional transportation authority in metro Atlanta and extends TSPLOST to 30 years for transit under certain circumstances. PASSED SENATE

SB 460 (Sen. Brandon Beach) - Requires rebranding of transit operators to “ATL” and other provisions. PASSED SENATE

SR 882 (Sen. Burt Jones) - Creates the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Operations and Authority Study Committee. DID NOT PASS SENATE



HB 919 (Rep. Sam Watson) - Reinstates a sales tax holiday weekend in 2018 for WaterSense and Energy Star products. DID NOT PASS HOUSE

HB 929 (Rep. Chuck Efstration) - Allows for additional renewals of the City of Atlanta’s water and sewer projects and costs tax (MOST) which is critical to continuing water/sewer infrastructure upgrades. PASSED HOUSE