2020/02/07 (39)
Use the drop down to the left to select the next 25 bills to display.

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0244 SupportEMCs - Public Service Commission to Determine Pole Attachment Fees Ron Stephens
1/1/2021 Effective Date Economic Development and Tourism Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/15 Report 2020/02/07 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report General County Government
Telecommunications Todd Edwards

This legislation alters the process by which Georgia‚Äôs Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) determine the fees charged to communications service providers which place telecommunications equipment on EMC utility poles.  The fee/rate will be determined by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) after the PSC considers what is just, reasonable, nondiscriminatory and commercially reasonable.  The PSC will promulgate, by January 1, 2021, the rules explaining how the above factors will be determined.  Current PSC charges will remain in effect until the date of their natural or lawful determination.           

HB 0523 OpposeShort-Term Rentals - Preemption of Local Regulations Kasey Carpenter
2/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Regulated Industries --
2019/03/01 Report 2020/02/07 General County Government Preemption Todd Edwards
This bill would prohibit local regulation of most aspects of short-term rentals of property of eight days or less. Local governments could not prohibit such rentals, impose occupancy limits, require registration of such properties, regulate rental frequency, or require licenses/permits for or inspections of such properties.  Please contact your House members immediately if you have any concerns with this bill.  To assist, you can find ACCG's HB 523 talking points here.   
HB 0545 NeutralLimitations On Nuisance Claims Against Agriculture Facilities and Operations Tom McCall
6/18/2020 Senate - Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report 2020/02/07
2020/06/19 Report Agriculture General County Government Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment

This legislation prohibits a property owner, whether residential or commercial, from bringing a nuisance action against any kind of agricultural facility or operation unless they are within 5 miles of the source of the alleged nuisance activity. The lawsuit is allowed to be filed within two years after the nuisance occurs. 

This legislation keeps in place the ability to file a nuisance action when a nuisance results from the negligent, improper, or illegal operation of any agricultural facility or operation.

HB 0674 NegotiatingStreamlined Permitting for Alcoholic Beverage Licenses Alan Powell
3/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported Regulated Industries --
2020/02/07 2020/03/06 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Kathleen Bowen
This legislation requires the Department of Revenue, on or before January 1, 2021, to develop and implement a state-wide, centralized online platform for retailers to apply for initial applications and renewals for local and state issued alcohol beverage licenses. The Department of Revenue would adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer the licenses. 
HB 0808 NeutralTitle Ad Valorem Tax - Loaner Vehicles Martin Momtahan
1/1/2021 Effective Date Transportation Finance -
2020/01/31 2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/06/19 Report Larry Ramsey
Property Tax Revenue & Finance
Under existing law, dealer "loaner vehicles" are exempt from TAVT for so long as they are used as loaners vehicles for customers. As amended in committee, this bill would extend to 45 days (from the current 30 days) the amount of time that such a vehicle can be loaned to one customer without such vehicle being subject to TAVT. 
HB 0854 NeutralBattery-Charged Electric Fences Dale Rutledge
3/13/2020 Senate Read and Referred Governmental Affairs Assignments -
2020/02/07 2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Agriculture
Animal Control General County Government Law Enforcement Preemption Public Safety and Courts
Todd Edwards

This bill stipulates that local governments shall treat/regulate battery-charged "fence detection systems" as they do other alarm systems as defined in law.  A fence detection system is an alarm system or electronic security system and ancillary components attached to the system that must be surrounded by a nonelectric perimeter fence or wall that is at least five feet tall and marked with conspicuous warning signs reading "Warning-Electric Fence".   These fences may only be deployed in industrial and commercial districts.    

HB 0858 SupportNotice Requirement for a Pending Sale of Unclaimed Property by Law Enforcement Josh McLaurin
2/3/2020 House Second Readers Judiciary - Non-Civil --
2020/02/07 Civil Procedure Debra Nesbit Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons General County Government
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts
This legislation allows law enforcement to post legal notice of a pending sale of unclaimed property on their website or the county website once a week for four weeks, in lieu of running an ad in the paper.
HB 0859 NeutralPenalty for Tinting of Motor Vehicle Windshields Clay Pirkle
3/9/2020 Senate Read and Referred Public Safety and Homeland Security Special Judiciary -
2020/02/07 2020/02/28 Report Debra Nesbit Econ. Dev. & Transportation Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons
Public Safety and Courts Traffic Enforcement
This legislation sets the maximum penalty for motor vehicles windshield tinting at $25.00.  The bill was amended to prohibit any fees or surcharges being added to the maximum fine.
HB 0866 OpposeHome Rule Violation: New Process to Abolish County Police Department Bypassing County Commissioners Don Hogan
2/4/2020 House Second Readers Governmental Affairs --
2020/01/22 Report 2020/02/07 Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
This legislation seeks to allow local legislative delegations to bypass county commissioners by general legislation.  This bill is a general bill that will allow a local legislative delegation to pass local legislation calling for a local referendum to abolish a county police department.  Under current law the county must pass a resolution to create a county police department and have a referendum prior to that creation.  The decision to abolish a county police department is at the sole discretion of the County Commission.   This bill is the house version of SB 317, the only difference is the house bill has a sunset date of January 1, 2022. Please click here for talking and legal points. 
HB 0867 NeutralCity Annexation of County Owned Airports Charles Martin
3/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Governmental Affairs --
2020/02/07 Airports Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen
This legislation would prohibit a city (that contains more than 125 miles within its corporate limits) from annexing a county owned airport unless the county adopts a resolution approving the annexation. 

HB 0868 OpposeSales Tax Exemption - Ride-Sharing, Taxis and Limos Charles Martin
2/4/2020 House Second Readers Ways and Means --
2020/02/07 Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill would exempt from all sales taxes transportation services such as ridesharing (Uber, Lyft), taxis, and limos.
HB 0878 NeutralAllow Local Government to Adopt Ordinances and Resolutions Regarding Possession of Less than an Ounce of Marijuana Spencer Frye
2/5/2020 House Second Readers Judiciary - Non-Civil --
2020/02/07 Code Enforcement Criminal Procedure Debra Nesbit General County Government
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts
 This legislation enables local jurisdictions to adopt ordinances or resolutions pertaining to criminal charges for possession of marijuana less than one ounce.
HB 0879 OpposeAlcohol - Omnibus Bill: Home Delivery, Streamlined Permitting and Sunday Sales Brett Harrell
8/3/2020 Effective Date Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/02/07 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government
Revenue & Finance Todd Edwards

This legislation was amended in Senate Rules Committee to include HB 67, which requires the Department of Revenue (DOR), on or before January 1, 2021, to develop and implement a state-wide, centralized online platform for retailers to apply for initial applications and renewals for local and state issued alcohol beverage licenses. DOR is charged with adopting the rules and regulations necessary to implement and administer the licenses.  

***ACCG's Policy Council voted to oppose this legislation only due to two very narrow, specific elements contained in the above section.  First, ACCG asked to extend the effective date from January 1, 2021 to July 1, 2021 in order to provide DOR and local governments more time to adequately develop the online licensing platform.  Secondly, ACCG asked that local alcohol licenses be issued prior to the state issuing its license using this platform.  Both requests were denied.

The legislation also authorizes the sell and delivery of packaged alcohol (beer, wine and liquor), under specific terms and conditions, to persons who establish accounts with the retailer.  Delivery drivers must undergo training, background checks and meet certain conditions and delivery addresses must be located within the local alcohol licensing jurisdiction of the retailer.  Local governments could prohibit, via ordinance, this delivery within their jurisdiction.         

Additionally, this bill alters the hours and process of approving Sunday package and on-premise (restaurant) alcohol sales (aka, the "brunch bill") of beer, wine and distilled spirits.  Cities and counties who have authorized these sales, via a referendum, may now allow sales starting at 11:00 a.m. via passage of an ordinance or resolution (current sales start at 12:30 noon, and local voters currently would have to pass a referendum in order to alter the times).  Cities and counties could also require a referendum to change this time if they would like.  Going forward, any county that newly-adopts Sunday sales - be they on-premise or package for beer, wine or liquor - must still have a referendum adopted, but the hours of said sales would be from 11:00 a.m. to midnight.   

Lastly, current law prohibits the sale of distilled spirits within 200 yards of schools and college campuses.  Under this bill, local governments may authorize the sale of packaged alcohol (for consumption off premise) within 200 yards of college campuses via the adoption of a less-restrictive ordinance; however, local governments cannot adopt more restrictive distances. The term "college" includes, but is not limited to, all buildings, campuses and grounds of a college.     

      

HB 0881 NeutralAddition of Ambulance Services to Locations Required to Become a Safe Place for Newborns Sharon Cooper
3/13/2020 Senate Read and Referred Health and Human Services Assignments -
2020/02/07 2020/03/13 Report Debra Nesbit EMS/Ambulance Fire Services
Health and Human Services Public Safety and Courts
This legislation requires that ambulance services become one the mandated locations for a Safe Place for Newborns.  All ambulances will be required to place a sign on their vehicles indicating that they are a Safe Place for Newborns.
HB 0882 SupportSales Tax Exemptions - Food Banks and Food for Hunger/Disaster Relief Penny Houston
6/22/2020 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Ways and Means Finance -
2020/02/07 2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
Sales Tax-Local
This bill would remove the current sunset date (2021) for the sales tax exemption for food purchases by food banks and non-profit organizations that provide hunger-relief services. The latter exemption would be extended to also include non-profit organizations providing disaster relief. The bill is estimated to reduce local (county, city, and schools) sales taxes by approximately $1.6 million per year on a statewide basis. The substance of this bill has also been added to HB 1035.
HB 0886 NeutralAnimals - Vets Must Scan for Microchip to Verify Proper Owner Andrew Welch
3/13/2020 Senate Read and Referred Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Assignments -
2020/02/07 2020/03/13 Report Animal Control District Attorneys General County Government
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Solicitors Todd Edwards
This bill requires veterinarians and veterinary technicians to scan the animals they are treating for microchips to ensure that the animal's owner is the same person presenting the animal for treatment.  If not, the veterinarian must notify law enforcement.     
HB 0891 OpposeSales Tax Exemption - Admission Tickets to Fine Arts Performances Matthew Gambill
2/18/2020 House - House Second Readers Ways and Means --
2020/02/07 Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local
This bill would extend, through 2023, the current sales tax exemption for tickets to fine arts performances sold by certain non-profit organizations. Eligible non-profits would be broadened, to include any non-profit that has as one of its missions (as opposed to current law's requirement of "primary mission") the promotion of the arts and culturally significant programming and events.
HB 0895 EvaluatingMaximum Fine for Offense of Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device Ed Setzler
3/3/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Motor Vehicles --
2020/02/07 Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts Traffic Enforcement
This bill sets the maximum fine amount for failure to obey a traffice control device (red light, speeding camera) at $100 with no points assessed to the driver's license.
HB 0897 SupportTimber Harvesting: Changes to County Ordinance & New Notification Website James Burchett
7/22/2020 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/06/19 Report
Agriculture Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen
This legislation establishes a framework for a statewide timber harvest notification webpage housed by the Georgia Forestry Commission, increases the fine for harvesters who fail to notify the county that they are operating, and increases the bond amount due by harvesters who have previously been found to cause damage to county roads/rights of way. In addition, the legislation narrows the scope of when the bond can be used and creates a timeline for when and how a county can utilize a bond.

For additional details, including background information, click here.  
HB 0898 NeutralZoning Decisions May Take into Consideration School Overcrowding Michael Wilensky
3/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported Governmental Affairs --
2020/02/07 2020/03/06 Report General County Government Land Use/Zoning Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes cities and counties to take school overcrowding into consideration when making zoning decisions.  
HB 0901 SupportGEFA Loans for Land and Water Conservation Projects Mike Cheokas
8/3/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Finance -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation allows the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to award loans to local governments and nongovernment entities for projects that permanently protect land and water. 
HB 0909 NeutralIncrease in Age to Purchase Tobacco and Tobacco Related Objects, Vapor Products Sharon Cooper
2/19/2020 House Second Readers Judiciary - Non-Civil --
2020/02/07 Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
This legislation makes it a crime to sell any tobacco or tobacco related objects, vapor products or marijuana flavored programs to anyone under the age of 21.  The bill also sets up regulatory framework for those selling these products.
HR 0935 SupportGeorgia Commission on Freight and Logistics Kevin Tanner
8/5/2020 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2020/01/31 2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/06/19 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Kathleen Bowen Transportation
This resolution extends the work of the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for an additional year. The Commission will continue to study solutions for trucking, rail, and air cargo, including reducing the driving risks for truck drivers and other motorists, expanding dedicated lanes for moving freight, and reducing traffic impacts in and out of the ports and around key metropolitan areas. 

Click here to view the 2019 Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics Report.
HR 1023 NeutralSovereign Immunity - Waiver for Certain Non-Monetary Claims Andrew Welch
8/5/2020 Effective Date Judiciary Judiciary -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/06/19 Report General County Government
Government Immunity Larry Ramsey
This proposed constitutional amendment would waive governmental sovereign immunity to allow lawsuits against the state, counties, and cities for declaratory judgments for actions allegedly outside the scope of their legal authority or in violation of the Georgia or U.S. Constitutions. As amended in the Senate, courts would be authorized to enforce its rulings via injunction on such declaratory rulings. Damages, attorney's fees, and other monetary costs would not be available under this amendment. Such lawsuits would be against the governmental entity, and could not be brought against individual government officials/employees. Governments would retain all other legal defenses to such lawsuits, such an ante litem notice and time limitations on bringing such actions. If ratified by the voters, the amendment would apply to claims arising on or after January 1, 2021.
SB 0123 SupportSolid Waste: Landfills, Host Fee & Trust Funds William Ligon
6/29/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/02/22 Report 2020/02/07 2020/02/28 Report 2020/06/19 Report Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment
This bill includes language from SB 123, HB 926 and SB 356. This omnibus solid waste related bill does the following:
  • Increases the minimum host fee applied to coal ash from $1 to $2.50 per ton. Coal ash would now be charged the same host fee per ton as regular household waste. This increase (and host fees) only applies to a municipal solid waste disposal facility that is owned by a private entity. 
  • Alters the restrictions on how counties can spend the host fees from 50% to 20%. HB 792, passed during the 2018 Session, required that 50% of the host fees received be spent for certain purposes.
  • Halts the reduction in the fees assessed for the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (HWTF) and the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF), which were set to reduce on July 1, 2020. In addition, the sunset on the collection of the fees is extended until 2025.
  • Allows an existing landfill (in McIntosh County) to expand within two miles of military air space used as bombing ranges. Current law prohibits such expansion.
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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