2018/03/2 Report (42)
Use the drop down to the left to select the next 25 bills to display.

Date of Last Recorded Action: 5/10/2019

HB 0081 SupportHospital Authorities and Contractors Intercept Income Tax Returns to Pay Medical Bills Tom McCall
3/1/2018 Senate Read and Referred Ways and Means Finance -
2017/01/27-Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report Clerk of Court Debra Nesbit
Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Health and Human Services Hospital Authority Indigent Health Care Juveniles
Magistrate Court Probate Court Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance State Court
Superior Court
This legislation allows health care facilties created, formed or operated on behalf of a hospital authority to intercept tax refunds to pay outstanding medical bills. 
HB 0332 SupportGeorgia Outdoor Stewardship Act Sam Watson
7/1/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources & Environment Appropriations -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report 2018/03/30 Report
Kathleen Bowen Land Conservation Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance

This bill creates the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship program. The intent of this legislation is to provide dedicated funding for state parks and state wildlife management areas as well as support to local parks and trails. Forty percent of the proceeds of all state sales tax from outdoor recreation items would be appropriated for the protection and preservation of conservation land. The General Assembly has the ability to increase this amount up to the 80%. 

Counties would be eligible to apply for grants and loans from this newly created trust fund. A Board of Trustees of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund is created to oversee the grant/loan applications. The composition of the board could include representatives from local government.

In addition, each county in which is located 20,000 acres or more of unimproved real property belonging to the state and under the custody or control of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR), in which such state-owned property exceeds 10 percent of the taxable real property in the county, and in which such property represents 10 percent or more of the assessed tax digest of the county may receive from the GA DNR an annual grant. Only land acquired with Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund money would be used in the calculation of this grant. 

The bill is contingent upon a proposed constitutional amendment, found in HR 238, which would be placed on the ballot for the November, 2018 state-wide general election.

Additional Information:  https://georgiaoutdoorstewardship.org/ 

HB 0373 OpposeTax Assessment - Conservation Use Property David Knight
2/28/2018 Senate Read and Referred Ways and Means Finance -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report Larry Ramsey Property Tax
Revenue & Finance
This bill makes several fundamental changes to CUVA including: 1) a prohibition against the board of tax assessors requiring a recorded plat or survey to set the boundaries of the residence which is excluded from CUVA; 2) changes the limitation of ownership by a nonprofit 501(c)(3) conservation organization to any 501(c)(3) organization; 3) changes qualified uses to include the breeding of any animals rather than being limited to livestock and poultry; 4) changes the requirements for parcels of 10 acres or less so that an owner need provide only one of several new types of proof of qualifying use and a complete exclusion of any additional proof requirements for property that first made subject to CUVA or is renewed under CUVA on or after May 1, 2012; 5) establishes multiple punitive measures against the board of tax assessors and tax commissioner including interest and attorney fees in litigation over the application or a covenant breach and interest on tax refunds.  
HB 0374 NeutralTax Assessment - Change Procedures David Knight
7/1/2018 Effective Date Ways & Means Finance -
2017/02/17-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance Tax Commissioner
This legislation allows for electronic return of property to the tax commissioner if he or she has adopted a written policy accepting electronic service.  It also makes changes to the annual notice of current assessment from the board of tax assessors and makes changes to the property assessment appeals process, including lowering the value threshold for appeals to a hearing officer from $750,000 to $500,000.
HB 0489 NeutralGeorgia Procurement Registry - Require Posting Tom McCall
7/1/2018 Effective Date Governmental Affairs Economic Development and Tourism -
2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report Compensation General County Government
Mandate Procurement Public Works Todd Edwards

This bill requires cities and counties, if they are soliciting a bid or proposal opportunity for goods and services valued at $10,000 or more, or public works contracts for over $100,000, to post the advertisement on the Georgia Procurement Registry at no cost to the local government.  It is then optional for the local government to advertise the bid or proposal opportunity in the legal organ or their website.  Action: the above notices must be posted on the Georgia Procurement Registry.         

      

HB 0493 NeutralOpen Records - Counties Must Also Record Public Comment Valencia Stovall
3/23/2018 Senate Read Second Time Governmental Affairs Government Oversight -
2018/02/02 Report 2018/03/2 Report General County Government Mandate Open Records/Meetings Act
Todd Edwards
This legislation requires that cities, counties and school boards that post videos of their meetings online to include the public comment section, if any, of their meetings on said posted video, except when a technical difficulty results in less than the entire meeting be recorded or available for public viewing.  That video must be maintained on the web site according to the records retention policy of the local governing authority.       
HB 0673 NeutralProhibit Distracted Driving John Carson
7/1/2018 Effective Date Judiciary - Non-Civil Judiciary -
2018/01/12 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit
Econ. Dev. & Transportation Fire Services Public Safety and Courts Traffic Enforcement Transportation
This legislation creates the offense(s) of violation of usage of a wireless telecommunications device, which prohibits the use of the device for texting, receiving or sending text, or talking on a wireless device while driving.    The fine shall be $50.00 for the first conviction; the second conviction the fine shall be $100.00; and the third offense shall be $150.00, no additional surcharges shall be assessed on any fine for distracted driving.  There is a provision that if proof is presented to the court on the first offense that the driver purchased a hands free device for future use, the charge shall be dismissed.  There is a specific exemption for law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS or any public safety first responder during the performance of their duties.
HB 0683 SupportFY 2018 Amended Budget David Ralston
3/9/2018 Effective Date Appropriations Appropriations -
2018/01/19 Report 2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report Appropriations
Debra Nesbit Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government Health and Human Services Nat. Res. & the Environment
Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance
Please click here for a summary of the amended budget.
HB 0696 NeutralSales Tax Exemption - High Tech Data Centers Trey Kelley
1/1/2019 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2018/01/26 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill expands an existing sales and use tax exemption, applicable to both state and local sales tax, for the sale or lease of computer equipment or high-technology data center equipment incorporated or used in a high-technology data center. As amended in the Senate, to qualify for the exemption, a data center would be required to have an investment plan demonstrating a minimum investment over a ten-year period. There are tiered minimum investment thresholds depending on county population, with the threshold rising as population rises.
HB 0791 NegotiatingSovereign Immunity - Waiver for Certain Claims against the State Chuck Efstration
3/27/2018 Senate Tabled Judiciary Judiciary -
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report General County Government Government Immunity Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts

 Following recommendations of the Governor's Court Reform Council and in response to several recent Georgia Supreme Court decisions, this bill would allow for a limited waiver of the state's sovereign immunity so as to allow lawsuits against the state for injunctions and/declaratory judgments where a state law is alleged to be unconstitutional. As amended in House committee, the substance of HB 674 was added to this bill, waiving county and city sovereign immunity for injunctive/declaratory relief for allegations that the local government has violated a constitutional provision, statute, state rule/regulation, or local ordinance. Immunity would still apply to any  related monetary damages. The amended version also permits direct appeals of trial court orders ruling that immunity does not apply to a claim (from HB 256).

A substitute version approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee removes local governments from the scope of this bill but retains the direct-appeal authorization. 

HB 0811 SupportInformation Sharing with Tax Collection Agencies Jay Powell
5/3/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report Larry Ramsey
Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill authorizes the Department of Revenue to contract with data companies for the purpose of identifying taxpayers who are not complying with requirements to collect and remit state and local sales taxes. Such vendors would be required to maintain the confidentiality of any taxpayer-specific records used in providing these services.
HB 0879 NeutralSolid Waste Management - Coal Ash Ponds / Dewatering Process Jeff Jones
3/27/2018 Senate Tabled Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Water Quality
This legislation addresses coal combustion residuals (coal ash), specifically related to coal ash ponds and the dewatering process. The owner or operator of a coal ash pond would be required to provide notice to the legal organ where the coal ash pond is located at the start of the dewatering process. Dewatering is defined in this bill as the process of removing liquids from a coal ash pond and discharging said liquids into state waters. 
HB 0885 NeutralBurn Ban - Revisions for Agriculture Use Tom McCall
7/1/2018 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2018/03/2 Report Agriculture Air Quality Farm Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment Preemption Public Safety and Courts
This legislation allows for the burn ban to not apply to those who would like to burn vegetative material for ag purposes on land greater than 5 acres. 
HB 0886 SupportSales Tax Exemptions - Revision of Agricultural Exemption/GATE Program Sam Watson
5/3/2018 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill makes several changes to the GATE program: 1) increases the sales and operations thresholds from $2,500.00 to $5,000.00; 2) includes livestock as an agricultural product; 3) provides additional requirements for applicants who apply and provide IRS Form 1120 or 1120(s); requires the agriculture commissioner to get a taxpayer's valid state tax identification number prior to issuing an exemption certificate; 4) provides for 3 year duration of new exemption certificates for a fee of $150.00 and an annual wallet sized card showing the certificate is in effect for the current year; 5) provides for new procedures for suspension or revocation of the certificate for unlawful use; 6) authorizes DOR and the Department of Agriculture to share confidential tax information for program compliance purposes; and 7) requires the Department of Agriculture to prepare an annual report  for the chairs of House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. 
HB 0887 OpposeWireless Industry Preemption of Local Management of Public Right of Way Jay Powell
3/27/2018 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Ways and Means Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Broadband
Business and Occupation Tax Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Emergency Management/Preparedness Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Franchise Fees General County Government Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance
Roads Sales Tax-Local Todd Edwards

While this bill began, constructively, as a rural broadband bill, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee stripped and replaced it with the language of SB 426.  This wireless industry legislation guarantees authorization for wireless providers to construct and place poles (50' high), antennas (up to 6 cubic feet in volume and 10' higher than poles), equipment boxes (up to 25 cubic feet in volume), plus up to 4 cabinets (undefined size) and other infrastructure in county and city right of way (ROW).  Local government management of the above is all but entirely usurped; the grounds by which applications can be denied are few; denials are primed to result in litigation; and then locals are set up to lose.  

ACCG has attempted to work with the wireless providers, legislators and other stakeholders since last year to try to incorporate safeguards into the legislation.  While some of our recommendations were made, most of these "concessions" are so wrought with legal loopholes that their purported purpose has been nullified. 

For ACCG's concerns with (and suggestions for) this bill and SB 426, please click here.  

HB 0888 NeutralFreeport Exemptions - Changes to Application and Reporting Process David Knight
5/8/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report Economic Development
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
This bill changes the procedures for obtaining Freeport Exemptions from ad valorem taxes by: 1) requiring the use of a summary as prescribed by the Department of Revenue instead of a complete schedule of inventory; 2) providing that if the county board of tax assessors fails to issue a denial letter within 180 days after receiving the freeport application, the exemption is granted; 3) granting the exemption for the assembly of finished parts; and 4) providing that an exemption application is timely if postmarked by the date on which the local government "closes the book" on annual property tax returns.
HB 0899 NeutralPublic Works Bids - Alter Grounds by Which a Bidder Can be Disqualified Dominic Lariccia
5/3/2018 Effective Date Governmental Affairs Economic Development and Tourism -
2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report General County Government
Procurement Todd Edwards
The legislation amends the public works bidding laws, stating that bidders cannot be disqualified from sealed, competitive bid/proposal public works contracts simply because they lack previous experience with the "construction delivery method" to be used for the job which is being sought.  Previously, counties could automatically reject such bids.           
HB 0904 NeutralRecreational Property Owners act - Effect of Charging Admission Meagan Hanson
7/1/2018 Effective Date Judiciary Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report General County Government Government Immunity Larry Ramsey
This bill would remove the immunity otherwise provided to owners of recreational property made available to the public if such owners charge anyone for admission. This bill seeks to overturn a recent court decision that provided such immunity if the specific injured person was not charged for admission, regardless of whether others were charged for admission.
HB 0930 SupportTransit Governance and Funding Kevin Tanner
5/3/2018 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local Transportation
Transportation Funding

This bill provides for transit governance and funding options for the Metro Atlanta region (a designated nonattainment area currently consisting of Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale counties) and the rest of the state. 

The Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority is a new regional governing board that will lead the planning and coordination of transit in the Metro Atlanta region and will control state and federal transit funding.

Counties in the Metro Atlanta area would be able to call for a referendum to levy a Transit SPLOST up to 1% (and may be in .05% increments) for up to 30 years.  The county and all qualified municipalities may select transit projects for the county from the regional transit plan. The ATL Authority shall approve or deny any or all projects within a submitted transit project list and the proposed operator of any transit projects.

Lastly, counties outside of Metro Atlanta who partner with a neighboring county have the option to levy up to 1% (and may be in .05% increments) for up to 30 years. Each county planning to participate in the selected transit project or projects shall enter into intergovernmental agreements.  The referendum must pass both counties for the tax to be imposed.

A more detailed analysis of the bill can be found here.  


HB 0951 SupportCenter for Rural Prosperity and Innovation James Shaw
7/1/2018 Effective Date Small Business Development Economic Development and Tourism -
2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/2 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development
Larry Ramsey
This bill would create the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation. The Center would study and develop recommendations to support economic development, healthcare, and other concerns in rural Georgia. The Center would also receive recommendations from a permanent Rural Development Council composed of state appointees.
HB 0978 NeutralUse of Cameras and Automated Devices to Enforce Law Regarding School Buses and Enforcement of Speed Limits in School Zones Chad Nimmer
7/1/2018 Effective Date Public Safety and Homeland Security Public Safety -
2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report Debra Nesbit Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Revenue & Finance Solicitors State Court

This legislation allows private companies to place cameras in school zones and enforce civil penalties for speeding in school zones.   The fine is $75 for the first offense and $125 for subsequent offenses with an additional processing fee up to $25 assessed per offense. Additionally, should a local government chose to use cameras in school zones, signs must be placed within the approaching school zone warning drivers of the use of speed detection cameras. Money collected from such fines are to be used by the local governing body only for law enforcement or public safety initiatives. 

This bill also allows private companies to operate and maintain cameras placed on school buses. Additionally, the bill reduces the civil penalty for passing a school bus that has its stop sign activated from $300 to $250. This fine is to be paid to the governing body of the law enforcement agency. 

HB 0995 NeutralProcurement - Consultants for Local Government Bids/Purchases Must Disclose Conflicts of Interest Mark Newton
5/8/2018 Veto V15 Governmental Affairs Economic Development and Tourism -
2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report General County Government Open Records/Meetings Act
Procurement Todd Edwards
This bill requires consultants who develop or draft specifications or requirements for a solicitation for local governments on bids, requests for proposals, procurement orders or purchasing orders to disclose any potential conflicts of interest they may have when contracting for goods and services for the local government.  Furthermore, the consultant shall avoid conflicts during the process; shall not be involved in submitting a bid or proposal; maintain confidentiality; avoid sharing protected information; avoid contact with suppliers participating in the solicitation process; ensure all working documents remain the property of the local government; and cannot work on the awarded project until the termination of the local government agreement.      
HR 0238 SupportGeorgia Outdoor Stewardship Act - Constitutional Amendment Sam Watson
5/7/2018 Effective Date Ways and Means Appropriations -
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report 2018/03/23 Report
Kathleen Bowen Land Conservation Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance
This proposed constitutional amendment, if ratified in the November, 2018, state-wide election, allows the General Assembly to dedicate funds towards the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund for the purpose of protecting and preserving conservation land. If this enabling amendment is ratified, it will be implemented by HB 332.
SB 0232 SupportBroadband - Authorize EMCs to Provide Steve Gooch
3/5/2018 House Second Readers Ways and Means Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2017/02/24 - Report 2018/03/2 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Preemption Public Safety and Courts Public Works
Revenue & Finance Roads Telecommunications Todd Edwards Utilities

This legislation authorizes EMCs to provide broadband service, VoIP, wireless services and other emerging communications technologies within their service areas and a 5-mile radius thereof.  EMCs would be allowed to accept state, federal and private grants loans to fund this endeavor, but cannot cross-subsidize their broadband services from their electric or natural gas funds. To do this, EMCs must provide nondiscriminatory, competitively neutral and commercially reasonable terms, conditions and access to their utility poles for other communications service providers.      

 

SB 0309 NeutralElections - Special Primaries Required for Special Elections Joshua McKoon
3/1/2018 House Second Readers Governmental Affairs Ethics -
2018/01/12 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/2 Report Elections General County Government
Todd Edwards

This legislation partly eliminates the need for the Governor to call a special election when there is a vacancy for a U.S. House, U.S. Senate and General Assembly office - the Governor will appoint a replacement if less than 12 months remain on the term.  The bill does call for a special primary to proceed a special election in an even-numbered year which does add a race to the ballot; however, it shouldn't entail additional costs to the county.  Savings should be incurred as special elections can no longer be held in odd-numbered years and are held in conjunction with primary elections.   

Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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