Skip Navigation

Public Policy

Public Policy News

Call Us: (404) 880-9000

March 8, 2021

2021 Crossover Day Legislative Update

On Monday, March 8, 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 this session.

Below are some of the bills MAC’s Public Policy team has worked on or tracked this session and their status as of Crossover Day.

 

BUSINESS CLIMATE    

SB 10 (Sen. Emmanuel Jones) - creates new criminal offenses and penalties associated with drag racing. CROSSED OVER

SB 33 (Sen. Clint Dixon) - 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. CROSSED OVER

SB 34 (Sen. Clint Dixon) - allows human trafficking victims to change their legal name without the usually required public ad in their legal organ. CROSSED OVER

SB 63 (Sen. Matt Brass)/HB 229 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) - prohibits digital application distribution platforms from requiring app developers to use an in-application payment system as the exclusive mode of accepting payment. DID NOT CROSS

SB 142/SR 135 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) - if approved by voter referendum, this constitutional amendment and accompanying enabling legislation would legalize online mobile sports betting with revenue being directed to needs-based aid, rural healthcare, and broadband expansion. Permits collegiate sports betting excluding Georgia colleges and universities. CROSSED OVER

SB 166 (Sen. Bill Cowsert) - requires prospective jurors to fill out a questionnaire instead of being questioned in open court about a relationship they might have with an insurance company that might have a financial impact on the case. DID NOT CROSS 

SB 189 (Sen. Bill Cowsert) - sets forth circumstances in which a court must split up a trial into two phases: liability and damages. DID NOT CROSS

SB 190 (Sen. Bill Cowsert) - limits recovery and admissibility of special damages for medical and health care expenses to amount actually paid by providers. DID NOT CROSS

SB 266 (Sen. Marty Harbin) - prevents transgender girls from playing on an all-girls team in public schools as well as private schools when competing against public schools. DID NOT CROSS

HR 30 (Rep. Ron Stephens) - if approved by voter referendum, this constitutional amendment would allow casinos to operate in Georgia. DID NOT CROSS

HB 86 (Rep. Ron Stephens) - legalizes online mobile sports betting. Revenue would be directed to the HOPE scholarship and pre-K funding. This bill does not include collegiate sports betting. DID NOT CROSS

HB 112 (Rep. Trey Kelley) - renews legislation establishing gross negligence as the legal standard relating to COVID-19 for any business that opens its doors. This bill does not provide blanket immunity, but does provide heightened protections for businesses that don’t act recklessly. The legislation will expire July 14, 2022. CROSSED OVER

HB 146 (Rep. Houston Gaines) - provides all state employees with three weeks of paid parental leave. CROSSED OVER

HB 276 (Rep. Philip Singleton) - prevents transgender girls from playing on an all-girls team in public high schools, and private high schools competing against public high schools, as well as college sports. DID NOT CROSS

HB 327 (Rep. Martin Momtahan)/SB 151 (Sen. John Albers) - creates the offense of "organized retail theft" to address acute challenges with stolen goods, fraudulent returns, and gift card scams. HB 327 CROSSED OVER/SB 151 DID NOT CROSS

HB 372 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) - prevents transgender girls from playing on an all-girls team in public high schools and creates a panel of physicians to examine the genetic makeup of transgender girls who petition for the right to participate in sports. DID NOT CROSS

HB 389 (Rep. Todd Jones) - establishes new criteria for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. DID NOT CROSS

HB 401 (Rep. Ginny Ehrhart) - makes it a felony for doctors to administer treatment or a medical procedure to a minor undergoing transgender transition. DID NOT CROSS

HB 479 (Rep. Bert Reeves) - repeals and replaces Georgia’s 150-year-old Citizen’s Arrest Statute, closes legal loopholes that could be used to justify future acts of vigilantism, and ensures that private businesses and law enforcement retain the ability to temporarily detain lawbreakers when necessary and appropriate; does not infringe on private citizens’ rights to defend themselves under existing self-defense statutes. CROSSED OVER

HB 511 (Rep. Bert Reeves) - dedicates certain fees to their stated purpose. CROSSED OVER

HB 534 (Rep. Josh Bonner) - creates new criminal offenses and penalties associated with drag racing. CROSSED OVER

HB 536 (Rep. Dominic LaRiccia) - limits the Governor’s emergency powers so that the exercise of religious freedom cannot be restricted during an emergency or disaster. DID NOT CROSS

HB 714 (Rep. Trey Kelley) - sets forth new requirements for settlement offers in personal or bodily injury cases and death cases; also allows for bad faith uninsured motorist claims to be 25% of the recovery or $25K, whichever is greater. CROSSED OVER    

 

EDUCATED WORKFORCE

SB 47 (Sen. Steve Gooch) - increases options for Georgia’s Special Needs Scholarship for pre-K through 12 grade to include students with certain 504 plans. CROSSED OVER

SB 66 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) - moves certain K-12 turnaround school grant funds from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement to the Georgia Foundation for Public Education. CROSSED OVER

SB 88 (Sen. Russ Goodman) - helps grow the teacher pipeline throughout recruitment, mentorship, and retention. CROSSED OVER

SB 105 (Sen. Brian Strickland) - streamlines various processes for early termination of probation so that more people benefit from legislative changes made in 2017 and re-enter the workforce. CROSSED OVER

SB 220 (Sen. Chuck Payne)/HB 589 (Rep. Matthew Gambill) - creates the Georgia Commission on Civics Education, on which the Metro Atlanta Chamber would serve. SB 220 CROSSED OVER/HB 589 DID NOT CROSS

SR 154 (Sen. Nan Orrock) - creates a joint study committee on strengthening Georgia’s future workforce by assessing the need for a state sponsored needs-based aid program. CROSSED OVER

HB 60 (Rep. Wes Cantrell) - creates an Education Savings Account program that moves state funding to private or at-home education for K-12 students. DID NOT CROSS

HB 67 (Rep. Chuck Martin) - allows institutions at the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia to carry forward certain unexpended revenues into the next fiscal year. CROSSED OVER

HB 81 (Speaker David Ralston) - the fiscal year 2022 budget includes $3.5 million for the Child and Parent Support (CAPS) which will boost state resources for working parents who need quality childcare options. The budget also includes $250,000 for a pilot program covering the cost of AP exams for computer science. CROSSED OVER

HB 120 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) - allows Georgia’s DACA students to receive in-state tuition at Georgia colleges and universities. DID NOT CROSS

HB 330 (Rep. Bill Werkheiser) - eliminates the driver’s license reinstatement fee for those that can’t afford it, helping them re-enter the workforce. DID NOT CROSS

 

ELECTIONS

SB 241 (Sen. Mike Dugan) - eliminates no-excuse absentee voting and implements new ID requirements for absentee ballot applications. CROSSED OVER

HB 531 (Rep. Barry Fleming) - standardizes advance voting hours to 9am-5pm (with the option to extend to 7am-7pm); requires two weekend advance voting days but prohibits the addition of any other advance voting days; authorizes drop boxes but limits how they are utilized; implements new ID requirements for absentee ballot applications; allows poll workers to serve in counties adjacent to their county of residence; requires poll watchers to receive training. CROSSED OVER

Read the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s statement on elections legislation here.

 

REFRESH

In November, the Metro Atlanta Chamber launched its REFRESH working group to update and modernize the Georgia state code. The status of REFRESH recommendations is below.

SB 168 (Sen. Larry Walker) - allows Georgia corporations to hold shareholder meetings virtually, even after the Governor’s emergency powers are lifted. CROSSED OVER

SB 169 (Sen. Larry Walker) - allows construction surety bonds to be transacted remotely rather than in-person using an electronic signature and corporate seal. CROSSED OVER

SB 95 (Sen. Frank Ginn)/HB 98 (Rep. Eddie Lumsden) - allows public meetings to be held virtually, even after the Governor’s emergency. CROSSED OVER

SB 236 (Sen. Matt Brass) - allows sealed mixed drinks to be sold by restaurants for off-premises consumption. CROSSED OVER

HB 306 (Rep. Stan Gunter) - allows Georgia corporations to hold shareholder meetings virtually, even after the Governor’s emergency powers are lifted. CROSSED OVER

HB 334 (Rep. Joseph Gullett) - authorizes the use of online notary services. CROSSED OVER

HB 553 (Rep. Stan Gunter) - allows witnesses in legal proceedings to participate virtually. CROSSED OVER

 

TAX

SB 1 (Sen. Dean Burke) - compels employers with a self-insured health plan to provide health claims data to the state’s All-Payer Claims Database in order to receive certain tax credits. DID NOT CROSS

SB 6 (Sen. John Albers) - create a process for reviewing a handful of tax credits on an annual basis. CROSSED OVER

SB 148 (Sen. Chuck Hufstetler) - creates a special council made up of business leaders, economists and others to recommend changes to the state’s tax structure. CROSSED OVER

SB 185 (Sen. Bo Hatchett) - levels the playing field for taxpayers and establishes fairness in cases before the Georgia Tax Tribunal. CROSSED OVER

HB 265 (Rep. David Knight) - updates Georgia’s Internal Revenue Code to align with federal tax law changes. This bill clarifies that expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are considered deductible and not income, which aligns with the federal tax code. AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

HB 317 (Rep. Ron Stephens) - imposes state and local taxes on short term rental properties. CROSSED OVER

HB 428 (Rep. Chuck Martin) - adds a reporting requirement for the high technology sales tax exemption. CROSSED OVER 

HB 586 (Rep. Sam Watson) - called the Georgia Economic Recovery Act, this bill exempts fine arts tickets from sales tax, allowing the vendor to retain that income thereby supporting the arts community. The bill also renews an economic development incentive for two years that allows the state to waive the sales tax collections on construction materials for competitive projects of regional significance. CROSSED OVER

HB 587 (Rep. Bruce Williamson) - called the Georgia Economic Renewal Act, this bill provides tax incentives including for the production of medicines and medical devices in Georgia and for high-impact aerospace defense projects. CROSSED OVER

HB 593 (Rep. Shaw Blackmon) - called the Tax Relief Act of 2021, this bill increases the standard deduction for Georgia taxpayers. CROSSED OVER

HB 594 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) - imposes a sales tax on digital goods like e-books, video games, apps and other items. However, most recent version of the legislation did not tax SaaS software. DID NOT CROSS

 

TRANSPORTATION and INFRASTRUCTURE

SB 52 (Sen. Bruce Thompson) - establishes safe harbor provisions for companies that implement minimum cybersecurity controls. CROSSED OVER

SB 98 (Sen. Brandon Beach)/HB 588 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) - establishes rules for the Georgia Freight Railroad Program in GDOT’s budget and provides guidance for public-private partnerships. CROSSED OVER

HB 134 (Rep. Victor Anderson) - exclude meetings relating to cybersecurity contracting and planning from open meeting requirements. CROSSED OVER

HB 150 (Rep. Bruce Williamson) - prohibits cities and counties from adopting policies that prohibit the connection or reconnection of any utility service based upon the type or source of energy or fuel. CROSSED OVER

HB 608 (Rep. Bill Werkheiser) - updates and clarifies parts of the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, which was created in 2018, to help private companies secure grants to help deploy broadband. DID NOT CROSS

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

SB 8 (Sen. Jeff Mullis)/HB 76 (Rep. John Carson) - eliminates the percentage of ownership EMCs may hold in a gas marketer. DID NOT CROSS

HB 81 (Speaker David Ralston) - the fiscal year 2022 budget includes funding for the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. CROSSED OVER

Cookie Settings