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April 4, 2022

2022 Sine Die Legislative Update

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On Monday, April 4, the 2022 session of the Georgia General Assembly ended. MAC’s public policy team worked on many legislative issues this session and achieved a number of successes. 

Legislation introduced to create Buckhead City drew a tremendous amount of attention both inside and outside the Capitol. All of these bills, Senate Bill 324, Senate Bill 618, and House Bill 854, failed this session. We anticipate that Buckhead City will continue to be a divisive issue in the legislature in the coming years.

Public safety legislation also dominated the discourse in the 2022 session. MAC's policy staff has been actively engaged to ensure favorable outcomes to law enforcement-related bills that benefit our businesses, citizens, and visitors. We supported Senate Bill 361, the LESS Crime Act, sponsored by Sen. Larry Walker, which creates a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for certain contributions made by individual taxpayers or corporations to local law enforcement foundations. We also supported House Bill 1134, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula), which grants the Attorney General concurrent jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute gang-related crimes.

Among other notable bills was the historic passage of a bipartisan overhaul of mental health care access in Georgia, House Bill 1013. A top priority for Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), this legislation was sponsored by Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming), Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), and Sen. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough). The bill would ensure insurance companies cover mental health care equivalent to the way they cover physical health, establish grants for outpatient treatment, and many other changes. House Bill 911, the FY 23 budget, also provides $183 million, a historic amount of funding for mental health care services.

House Bill 1034 received final passage extending the sales tax exemption on tickets for major non-recurring sporting events to 2031 and includes the FIFA World Cup as a major sporting event. This bill, carried by Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) and Sen John Albers (R-Roswell) will ensure the Atlanta Sports Council has the tools available to continue recruiting and hosting major sporting events for the remainder of the decade. 

Last, House Bill 1291, sponsored by Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain) and Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), achieved final passage. This bill modernizes the sales tax exemption for high-tech computer equipment hardware and extends the sales tax exemptions for high-tech computer equipment for data centers. This tax incentive is crucial to our ability to recruit and retain companies. 

Gov. Brian Kemp has until May 14 to sign or veto all legislation. For a more detailed look at the bills our team followed this session, including their final status, please refer to the list below. All legislation that did not pass will not be available for consideration next year.

We are grateful to Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, members of the General Assembly, legislative staff, and our many partners at the Capitol for their hard work this session.

Marshall Guest, Senior Vice President, Public Policy

Dave Williams, Senior Vice President, Public Policy

 

BUSINESS CLIMATE 

SB 142 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) - legalizes online mobile sports betting with revenue being directed to HOPE and needs-based aid. DID NOT PASS

SB 319 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – allows a lawful weapons carrier to carry a firearm without applying for a weapons carry license. Private property owners or persons in legal control of private property would maintain their right to exclude or eject a person in possession of a weapon. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 331 (Sen. John Albers) – prevents local governments from interfering with employee scheduling and regulating employee output. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 332 (Sen. John Albers) – provides tools to crack down on organized retail crime and protects consumers who have unknowingly purchased stolen or counterfeit products from an online marketplace. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 346 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – prohibits companies owned or operated by the Chinese government from bidding on or submitting proposals for state contracts. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 364 (Sen. Blake Tillery) – lowers the standard to bring class-action lawsuits against companies that violate telemarketing laws. DID NOT PASS

SB 393 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – prevents social media companies from deplatforming accounts and allows for a private right of action against social media companies. DID NOT PASS

SB 394 (Sen. Greg Dolezal) – creates new restrictions on the collection and use of Georgia residents’ personal information. DID NOT PASS

SB 398 (Sen. Ben Watson) – permits direct sales of vehicles by automobile manufacturers. DID NOT PASS

SB 435 (Sen. Marty Harbin) – requires that student participation on a sports team be decided by the biological gender listed on a child’s birth certificate in public schools, and private schools when competing against public schools. DID NOT PASS

SB 597 (Sen. Bruce Thompson) – creates a certification process for minority-owned and women-owned businesses seeking a state contract or subcontract. DID NOT PASS

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

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 PASS

HB 389 (Rep. Todd Jones) – establishes new criteria for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

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

HB 910 (Rep. David Ralston) – amends the FY 2022 budget to provide for $1.6 billion in state income tax refunds to taxpayers. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 911 (Rep. David Ralston) – includes $250,000 in the FY 2023 budget for public safety costs associated with hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 923 (Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver) – caps the per diem allowance for development authority directors. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 961 (Rep. Chuck Efstration) – authorizes apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits and provides for evidence of fault of non-parties. FINAL PASSAGE

HB 1152 (Rep. Meisha Mainor) – requires merchants to accept cash payments for purchases. DID NOT PASS

HB 1176 (Rep. Clay Pirkle) – requires certain manufacturers to make information and tools available to consumers to repair their machinery and electronics. DID NOT PASS

HB 1335 (Rep. Calvin Smyre) - adds Juneteenth as a recognized state holiday. FINAL PASSAGE

HB 1358 (Rep. Mandi Ballinger) – allows a lawful weapons carrier to carry a firearm without applying for a weapons carry license. Private property owners or persons in legal control of private property would maintain their right to exclude or eject a person in possession of a weapon. DID NOT PASS

HB 1389 (Rep. Teri Anulewicz) – creates a private right of action for workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, and related retaliation. DID NOT PASS

HB 1467 (Rep. Steven Sainz) – creates a certification process for minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and rural businesses seeking state contracts or subcontracts; permits the Department of Administrative Services to conduct a statewide disparity study.  DID NOT PASS

 

PUBLIC SAFETY / BUCKHEAD CITY

SB 10 (Sen. Emanuel Jones) –  includes language permitting a judge to prevent the suspension of a driver's license or reinstate a driver’s license when an individual fails to appear in court for a uniform traffic citation. FINAL PASSAGE

SB 257 (Sen. Tonya Anderson) – clarifies the record restriction provisions in Georgia’s Second Chances law. DID NOT PASS

SB 324 (Sen. Brandon Beach) – creates the City of Buckhead City. DID NOT PASS

SB 359 (Sen. John Albers) – addresses several public safety concerns including gangs, repeat offenders, and possession of weapons by convicted felons. DID NOT PASS

SB 361 (Sen. Larry Walker) – creates a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for certain contributions made by individual taxpayers or corporations to local law enforcement foundations. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 403 (Sen. Ben Watson) – creates a statewide framework for co-responders to accompany law enforcement officers for mental health calls for service. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 408 (Sen. Bruce Thompson) – waives the driver’s license reinstatement fee for suspensions due to failure to appear for non-moving traffic violations. DID NOT PASS

SB 441 (Sen. Bo Hatchett) – streamlines the submission and sharing of criminal records in Georgia, and authorizes the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to have immediate jurisdiction to investigate election fraud claims. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 497 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – addresses the collection of hotel/motel fees in the event the community of Buckhead is de-annexed from Atlanta. DID NOT PASS

SB 520 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – addresses the education of public school students in the event the community of Buckhead is de-annexed from Atlanta. DID NOT PASS

SB 521 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – provides for the transfer of services and public property in the event the community of Buckhead is de-annexed from Atlanta. DID NOT PASS

SB 617 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – addresses the education of public school students in the event the community of Buckhead is de-annexed from Atlanta. DID NOT PASS

SB 618 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – creates the City of Buckhead City. DID NOT PASS

HB 854 (Rep. Todd Jones) – creates the City of Buckhead City. DID NOT PASS

HB 1013 (Rep. David Ralston) – overhauls Georgia's mental health system to improve access to mental health services and increase funding for mental health and substance abuse services. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1134 (Rep. Chuck Efstration) – grants the Attorney General concurrent jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute gang-related crimes. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

 

EDUCATION & WORKFORCE

SB 226 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – requires local boards of education to adopt a complaint resolution process for parents or permanent guardians alleging that harmful materials have been provided or are currently available to minors or students. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 231 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – creates a pilot program to allow certain adults to enroll in charter schools that provide instruction only for individuals between ages 21 and 35 residing in this state who have not attained a high school diploma. DID NOT PASS

SB 353 (Sen. Bruce Thompson) – permits the reinstatement of a suspended driver’s license and waiver of the license restoration fee when an individual fails to appear in court for a uniform traffic citation. DID NOT PASS

SB 375 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – requires state agencies and certain local government entities to take measures to prevent the use of curricula or training programs which act upon, promote, or encourage divisive concepts. DID NOT PASS

SB 377 (Sen. Bo Hatchett) – requires state agencies and local school systems to take measures to prevent the use of curricula or training programs which act upon, promote, or encourage divisive concepts. DID NOT PASS

SB 379 (Sen. Brian Strickland) – provides for the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

SB 480 (Sen. Jason Anavitarte) – provides for a statement of rights of parents of children who are or may be eligible for special education. DID NOT PASS

SB 613 (Sen. Carden Summers) – restricts any discussion within classrooms relating to sexual orientation or gender identity in private and non-public schools. DID NOT PASS

HB 330 (Rep. Bill Werkheiser) – provides for the waiver of driver’s license reinstatement and restoration fees for certain persons. DID NOT PASS

HB 888 (Rep. Brad Thomas) – prohibits state agencies and other personnel from compelling any individual to promote concepts in violation of certain federal and state anti-discrimination laws. DID NOT PASS

HB 910 (Rep. David Ralston) – amends the FY 2022 budget to include $5,000 pay raises for university and state agency employees, a $2,000 bonus for teachers, and restores $383 million to the state’s K-12 funding formula. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 911 (Rep. David Ralston) – sets the FY 2023 budget to include a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, and eliminates special institutional fees for University System of Georgia schools. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1043 (Rep. Rick Jasperse) – creates the Georgia Endowment for Teaching Professionals to foster a public-private partnership for support of postsecondary teaching professionals in high-demand courses, subjects, and disciplines. DID NOT PASS

HB 1084 (Rep. Will Wade) – prevents the use of and reliance upon curricula or training programs which act upon, promote, or encourage divisive concepts and also allows high school athletic associations to prohibit student-athletes whose gender is male from participating in athletic events whose gender is female. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1217 (Rep. Chris Erwin) – provides for the inclusion of methods for the promotion of safe and appropriate uses of technology and responsible digital citizenship in the comprehensive character education program. DID NOT PASS

HB 1435 (Rep. Chuck Martin) – establishes needs-based aid eligibility for students with a financial gap. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1530 (Rep. Yasmin Neal) – establishes a small business incubator program within the Technical College System to help students establish businesses and provide seed funding using Georgia Lottery proceeds. DID NOT PASS

HR 581 (Rep. Yasmin Neal) – allows for a constitutional amendment referendum to expand the use of Georgia Lottery funds in the implementation of HB 1530, the small business incubator program. DID NOT PASS

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND SUSTAINABILITY

SB 516 (Sen. Randy Robertson) – dedicates 10 percent of the Solid Waste Trust Fund to create grants for the recycling of scrap tires. DID NOT PASS

HB 893 (Rep. Randy Nix) – extends the sunset on hazardous waste management fees to 2027. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 911 (Rep. David Ralston) – sets the FY 2023 budget to include funding for the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HR 579 (Rep. Don Parsons) – creates the Georgia Commission on Sustainability and Economic Opportunity. DID NOT PASS

 

TAX

SB 361 (Sen. Larry Walker) – creates a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for certain contributions made by individual taxpayers or corporations to local law enforcement foundations. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 304 (Rep. Lauren McDonald) – suspends the collection of the state motor fuel excise tax until June 1, 2022. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 428 (Rep. Chuck Martin) - creates a sales tax exemption on the construction materials associated with expansions at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Georgia Aquarium. DID NOT PASS

HB 586 (Rep. Sam Watson) –  extends the sales tax exemption on fine arts tickets to 2028. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 594 (Rep. Kasey Carpenter) – creates a new tax on the transactions of digital goods and services. DID NOT PASS

HB 1034 (Rep. Marcus Wiedower) – extends the sales tax exemption on tickets for major nonrecurring sporting events to 2031 and includes the FIFA World Cup as a major sporting event. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1053 (Rep. Ron Stephens) – extends the Georgia entertainment post-production tax credit program to 2028. DID NOT PASS

HB 1058 (Rep. Bruce Williamson) – allows a group of affiliated corporations to elect to file consolidated corporate income tax returns. Currently, affiliated corporations may file post-apportionment nexus consolidated returns only upon approval from the Georgia Department of Revenue. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1291 (Rep. Vance Smith) – modernizes the sales tax exemption for high-tech computer equipment hardware and extends the sales tax exemptions for high-tech computer equipment for data centers to 2031. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1302 (Rep. Josh Bonner) – provides a one-time $1.6 billion tax credit to individual taxpayers. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1330 (Rep. Calvin Smyre) – lowers the tax credit spending threshold for productions of musical and theatrical performances. DID NOT PASS

HB 1437 (Rep. Shaw Blackmon) – phases in a personal income tax reduction starting with 5.49% in 2024 down to 4.99% by 2029 if certain measures are met. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

 

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

SB 421 (Sen. Chuck Hufstetler) – changes the way public utilities can finance capital costs through the rate base. DID NOT PASS

SB 492 (Sen. Jeff Mullis) – allows for the retail resale of electricity for the charging of electric vehicles and creates a framework to encourage private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. DID NOT PASS

SB 535 (Sen. Carden Summers) – criminalizes homelessness and caps the spending of state funds on homeless shelter construction. DID NOT PASS

SR 463 (Sen. Steve Gooch) – creates the Joint Study Committee on the Electrification of Transportation. FINAL PASSAGE

HB 1009 (Rep. Todd Jones) - would allow automated devices to deliver packages to homes in Georgia. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

HB 1133 (Rep. Mike Cheokas) – allows for the retail resale of electricity for the charging of electric vehicles and creates a framework to encourage private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. DID NOT PASS

HB 1322 (Rep. Alan Powell) – allows for the retail resale of electricity for the charging of electric vehicles and creates a framework to encourage private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. DID NOT PASS

 

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