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Legislative Update: Week 5 - Feb 15-19, 2021

The Georgia General Assembly completed day 19 of the 40-day legislative session on Thursday, February 18th. With crossover day now moved up to the 27th legislative day, committee activity is picking up significantly as members race to get their measures across to the other Chamber by the 27th legislative day. 
 
Governor Kemp signed the 2021 amended budget on February 15 and announced a revenue uptick of 7.5% for the month of January. The joint press release about the budget from the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker can be viewed here. The Governor and General Assembly deserve tremendous credit for a strong economy during this time, when many states are running deficits. There were multiple economic development expansion announcements made last week, including:
 
  • Bridgestone growing jobs by 20% at their Covington manufacturing facility.
  • Integrated Fiber announced plans to invest another $30 million to expand its Rome, Ga and Floyd County operations. More information can be found here.  
  • Cottrell announced its intention to open a second major plant in Gainesville, GA investing over $125 million. More information can be found here.  
  • Georgia was named a top ten exporting state with $137 billion in goods reaching 215 countries.  
 
Also, the Governor announced four mass vaccination sites will be opening and serving Georgians. Delta Airlines has partnered with the State of Georgia to host one of the four sites at their campus headquarters which you can read about here.  
 
Among the various bills that are under consideration now are: 
 
SR 102 by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) which creates the Georgia Commission on E-Commerce and Freight Infrastructure Funding was introduced and assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee where a hearing is expected this week.
 
SB 45 by Senator Bruce Thompson (R-White) which allows for licensed professionals from other states to be approved by endorsement by the state licensing boards. The bill passed the Senate on February 16.
 
SB 52 by Senator Bruce Thompson (R-White) grants a legal safe harbor for companies that experience a data breach if the companies have taken certain measures to reasonably protect the personal identifying information. This bill was passed by the Senate on February 17th and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. 
 
SB 148 by Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) creates the 2021 Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure. The bill passed the Senate Finance Committee on February 18.
 
HB 150 by Representative Bruce Williamson (R- Monroe) seeks to prohibit cities and counties from adopting restrictions on the type of fuel used in future development. This bill was favorably reported by the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee on February 17. 
 
HB 306 by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville) would allow corporations to hold shareholders' meetings by means of remote communication. The House Committee on Banks & Banking favorably reported this bill on February 18.
 
HB 307 by Representative Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) would allow for telehealth visits. The bill passed the House Health & Human Services Committee on February 17.
 
HB 317 by Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) would revise the definition of innkeeper to include marketplace facilitators. This bill was favorably reported by substitute on February 18.
 
HB 398 by Representative Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) removes the jobs cap from the jobs tax credit. The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee on February 16.
 
HB 479 by Representative Bert Reeves (R-Marietta) this bill repeals the citizen’s arrest law. It was introduced on February 16 and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
 
 
This weekly Legislative Update report is courtesy of the Regional Business Coalition of Metropolitan Atlanta (RBC), an organization of over a dozen of the largest and most active Chambers of Commerce throughout the metro Atlanta region. RBC member chambers represent over 15,000 member companies who employ millions of metro Atlanta residents. The RBC’s primary goal is to represent the interests of RBC Chamber members on regional public policy issues impacting our transportation, water and air quality and to advocate for solutions that improve metro Atlanta’s quality of life and economic vitality.

 

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