Legislative Update: Week 6 - Feb 22-26, 2021
The Georgia Legislature was in session all five days last week. The House passed a new Adjournment Resolution that has the General Assembly meeting, Monday, for legislative day 25, Wednesday for legislative day 26, and Friday for legislative day 27. Tuesday and Thursday are committee workdays. Additionally, the House and Senate have agreed to change “Crossover Day” back to the twenty eighth legislative day instead of the twenty seventh legislative day. This places “Crossover Day” on Monday March 8th. Please see the new adjournment resolution here for the dates for the remainder of the forty-day session.
Among the various bills that are under consideration are:
Senate Resolution 125 by Senator Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), would encourage equitable and diverse gender representation on the boards and in the senior management of Georgia companies and institutions. This resolution was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Rules on February 24, 2021.
Senate Resolution 131 by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), would authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. This resolution is sitting in the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee waiting to have action taken.
Senate Resolution 135 by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), seeks to provide for sports betting in this state. This resolution was favorably reported by substitute by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on February 26, 2021.
Senate Resolution 102 by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), creates the Georgia Commission on E-Commerce and Freight Infrastructure Funding. This resolution was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Transportation on February 26, 2021.
Senate Bill 95 by Senator Frank Ginn (R- Danielsville), seeks to provide conditions for meetings and public hearings to be held by teleconference in emergency conditions. This bill was favorably reported in the Senate Committee on Government Oversight on February 26th.
Senate Bill 102 by Senator John Kennedy (R-Macon), seeks to prohibit governmental entities from adopting any policy that prohibits the connection or reconnection of any utility service based upon the type or source of energy or fuel and was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries on February 24th.
Senate Bill 148 by Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), seeks to create a 2021 Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and the Special Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure. This bill was passed by the Senate and adopted by substitute on February 24th and is now in the House Committee on Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight.
Senate Bill 165 by Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), seeks to exempt autonomous vehicles from certain vehicles equipment requirements. This bill was favorably reported by substitute by the Senate Committee on Transportation on February 26th.
Senate Bill 168 by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), seeks to permit corporations to hold annual shareholders' meetings and special shareholders' meetings by means of remote communication. This bill was favorably reported by substitute by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26th.
Senate Bill 169 by Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry), seeks to provide acceptance of electronic signatures and electronic corporate seals on bonds. The Senate passed and Adopted this bill on March 1st and is waiting to be assigned a House Committee.
Senate Bill 200 by Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) allows religious institutions and businesses to continue operations during a state of emergency. The Senate Government Oversight Committee passed the bill on February 26th.
Senate Bill 212 by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), provides for pari-mutuel horse racing in this state at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers. This bill is sitting in the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee waiting to have action taken.
Senate Bill 228 by Senator John Albers (R-Roswell), relates to the "Fair Business Practices Act of 1975," to prohibit intentional misrepresentations by certain digital application distribution platforms with regard to the offering of applications and services used by residents of this state. This bill is sitting in the Science and Technology committee waiting to have action taken on it.
Senate Bill 255 by Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), relates to the "OneGeorgia Authority Act” to provide for a grant program to support border region retail and tourism projects. This resolution was favorably reported by the Senate committee on Economic Development and Tourism on March 1, 2021.
House Bill 86 by Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) which would legalize sports betting is awaiting action by the House Rules Committee.
House Bill 98 by Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) would allow government entities to conduct meetings through teleconference. This bill overwhelmingly passed the House on February 22nd.
House Bill 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 passed the House on February 22nd and is now awaiting action in the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities.
House Bill 265 by Representative David Knight (R-Griffin) updates the Tax Code and passed the Senate on February 24th and was sent to the Governor to be signed.
House Bill 306 by Representative Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville) would allow corporations to hold shareholders' meetings by means of remote communication. The House passed this bill on February 24th and it was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 428 by Representative Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) requires reporting to the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue if a company is taking the high tech exemption. The House Ways and Means Committee passed the bill on March 3rd.
House Bill 553 by Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), would provide for participation in hearings by electronic communications and provide for electronic filing of documents, electronic service, and electronic availability or transfer of the record. This bill was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee on February 26th.
House Bill 586 by Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), would extend the sunset date for the exemption for projects of regional significance. The substitute to this bill was favorably reported by the Ways and Means Committee on February 26th.
House Bill 593 by Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire), seeks to increase the amount of the standard deduction from state taxable income for individuals. This bill was favorably reported by the Ways and Means committee on February 26th.
House Bill 594 by Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton), would expand sales and use taxation to encompass certain transactions of digital goods and services. This bill is sitting in the Ways and Means committee waiting to have action taken. .
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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