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March 18, 2021

Capitol Update: Electronic Signatures for Surety Bonds Awaits the Governor's Signature

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Senate Bill 169, sponsored by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), passed the House and heads to the Governor's desk for signature. This legislation allows for the acceptance of electronic signatures and corporate seals for surety bonds.

Issue Summary:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been challenged to adapt to new ways of operating and continuously find new opportunities for efficiency. To capture the such opportunities, MAC Public Policy formed the REFRESH working group. Made up of MAC investors interested in refreshing our state laws, REFRESH was tasked with identifying policies that create an unnecessary physical presence to conduct business or create barriers to commerce in a world where fast, virtual transactions are the norm.

Senate Bill 169 is one of two policy proposals vetted and recommended by REFRESH. It allows for the acceptance of electronic signatures and corporate seals for surety bonds. Currently, surety bonds require a raised seal and handwritten signatures to be submitted.  

Governor Kemp first introduced this policy change in Executive Order 07.31.20.01, issued during Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency. By codifying Governor Kemp’s executive order to allow electronic signatures and corporate seals, this legislation brings our state into the 21st century and provides flexibility to Georgia’s construction companies and real estate developers submitting surety bonds for projects.

Senate Bill 169 will refresh Georgia’s laws and break down unnecessary physical barriers for Georgia businesses. By passing Senate Bill 169, we will further our efforts to keep Georgia the No. 1 state for business and foster a 21st century economy.

MAC Position: Support

Sponsor: Sen. Larry Walker

Status History:

  • 3/18/21 - Passed the House
  • 3/16/21 - Passed House Judiciary
  • 3/1/2021 - Passed the Senate
  • 2/25/2021 - Passed Senate Insurance and Labor Committee
  • 2/11/2021 - Introduced in the Senate

Read SB 169 here.

 

 

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