2020/06/19 Report (33)
Use the drop down to the left to select the next 25 bills to display.

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0105 NeutralSales Tax Exemption - Ridesharing Sam Watson
6/25/2020 House - House Sent to Governor Ways and Means Finance -
2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local Transit
As introduced, this bill was limited to providing an income tax exemption for disaster relief payments associated with Hurricane Michael. As amended, the bill would exempt transportation services -- taxis, limos, and ridesharing such as Uber and Lyft -- from sales taxes, and replace that tax with a 50-cent per ride fee (25 cents for shared rides), subject to annual CPI adjustment. That fee would go to the state, with the stated intent that this money be used for transportation purposes, including transit; if not so appropriated, the fee would be reduced by 50% in the first year and repealed in the second such year. Because of constitutional limitations, the actual use of this money would be subject to the annual state budget process. Additionally, the bill would require that up to 10% of the state heavy-vehicle highway impact fee and $5/night fee on lodging be used for transit purposes.
HB 0167 SupportCOVID-19 Liability Protections Darlene Taylor
6/23/2020 Senate - Senate Transmitted House Insurance Insurance and Labor -
2020/06/19 Report Kathleen Bowen
This legislation, titled the "Georgia Pandemic Business Protection Act", seeks to provide liability protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits. County government employees and county government facilities are included in the definition as being afforded liability protection. 

No cause of action (lawsuit) shall exist for the transmission or contraction of COVID-19 unless an entity or person performed willful and wanton misconduct or intentional infliction of harm.
HB 0216 SupportCOVID-19 Liability Protections Teri Anulewicz
6/17/2020 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Motor Vehicles Public Safety -
2020/06/19 Report General County Government Kathleen Bowen
This legislation, titled the "Georgia Pandemic Business Immunity Act", seeks to provide liability protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits. County government employees and county government facilities are included as being afforded liability protection as long as those parties are acting in good faith to comply with guidelines issued by the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, or the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunity would not apply where the government has acted recklessly or intentionally to cause harm.
 
Immunity protection is only in effect upon the Governor issuing an executive order declaring that a state of emergency or disaster exists due to COVID-19. Such immunity shall apply to causes of action that occur between the date of the declaration of a state of emergency or disaster and two years after the date of the last executive order issued by the Governor.
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 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 0576 SupportFines, Bond Forfeitures and Court Costs Owed to Counties Moves up in Priority on Partial Payments Ricky Williams
8/3/2020 Effective Date Judiciary - Non-Civil Public Safety -
2019/03/08 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/06/19 Report Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
This legislation would move the county governing authority to #5 in the priority list when a partial payment is made on a fine owed to the county as a result of a criminal conviction.  Under current law, the county governing authority is #10 on the priority list.
HB 0793 NeutralGeneral appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 David Ralston
6/30/2020 Effective Date Appropriations Appropriations -
2020/06/19 Report Appropriations Debra Nesbit
 This legislation is for the big budget for fiscal year 2021.  For a comphrehensive overview of budget items that may impact your county please click here.  
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 0820 NeutralGeorgia Freight Railroad Program Kevin Tanner
1/1/2021 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2020/01/31 2020/02/28 Report 2020/06/19 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen
Transportation
This legislation creates a Georgia Freight Railroad Program under the authority of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Subject to appropriations, state funds could be used for the investment in railways and railroad facilities and equipment.
HB 0846 SupportInterest on Taxes and Direct Sales Tax Pay Permits for Certain Industries John Corbett
6/30/2020 Effective Date Ways and Means Finance -
2020/01/31 2020/02/21 Report 2020/02/28 Report 2020/06/19 Report Larry Ramsey
Property Tax Revenue & Finance
This bill would lower the interest rate payable on tax refunds, as well as past-due taxes, to the prime rate (currently, prime rate plus 3%). The bill would further establish rules for direct pay permits for certain industries, allowing those companies to directly pay to the Dept. of Revenue sales taxes on their business purchases (rather than paying sales taxes to vendors who then remit those taxes). Finally, local governments would have the option of having any sales-tax refunds to such direct-pay permit holders deducted over the same period of time as the overpayments, thereby avoiding the budgetary impact of having such refunds deducted all at once (as is currently the case). No interest would run on such permit holders' overpayments until they actually submit a refund request (as opposed to running from the time of overpayment). This bill also makes provides a state income tax credit for manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) and updates the state income tax code to track similar federal law changes.
HB 0848 NeutralSurplus Property - State Can Sell to Entities Outside Georgia Shaw Blackmon
1/1/2021 Effective Date Governmental Affairs State Institutions and Property -
2020/01/31 2020/02/28 Report 2020/06/19 Report 20YY/MM/DD Report General County Government
Todd Edwards
Currently, the State government may negotiate the sale and transfer of surplus goods to political subdivisions, charitable institutions and public corporations located, or providing services, in Georgia.  This legislation removes the requirement that these entities be located or provide services in Georgia.   
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 1008 NeutralResidential Industrial Buildings - Allow to Have Permanent Metal Chassis Joe Campbell
1/1/2021 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Economic Development and Tourism -
2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report Code Enforcement
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Todd Edwards
Current law prohibits "factory built buildings and dwelling units" from having permanent metal chassis.  This bill allows these homes to have permanent metal chassis; however, these homes must still be affixed to a permanent load-bearing foundation.  Please contact Todd Edwards (tedwards@accg.org) if you have any concerns with this bill.   
HB 1035 SupportSales Tax Exemptions - Food Banks and Non-Profit Health Centers Charles Martin
6/25/2020 Senate - Senate Tabled Ways and Means Finance -
2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
Sales Tax-Local
This bill would make permanent the sales tax exemptions for purchases by non-profit health centers, clinics, and food banks. Under current law, those exemptions expire by 2024. Addtionally, the bill extends until 2025 the sales tax exemption for ready-mix concrete equipment. The bill also extends until 2026 (from its current 2021 expiration) the sales tax exemption for noncommercial written materials and mailings of nonprofit organizations. This bill also provides a sales tax exemption for non-profit organ procurement organizations. As amended in the Senate, this bill would repeal a long list of income tax and sales tax exemptions and credits.
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 0038 OpposeHome Rule Violation: New Process to Abolish County Police Department Bypassing County Commissioners William Ligon
6/29/2020 Senate - Senate Sent to Governor Judiciary Judiciary -
2019/01/31 Report 2019/02/08 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report 2020/06/19 Report
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.  Please click here for talking and legal points. 
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 now 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.
SB 0159 SupportRegulations for e-Scooters Steve Gooch
6/18/2020 House - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Transportation Transportation -
2019/02/22 Report 2020/01/31 2020/02/07 2020/06/19 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Kathleen Bowen Transportation
This legislation provides a definition for an electric scooter and maintains local authority over the regulation of the devices. 
SB 0249 SupportPeace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund Increase Monthly Dues and Amount Collected from Fines John Albers
8/3/2020 Act 551 Retirement Retirement -
2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report Debra Nesbit
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts

This legislation adds jailers to those in law enforcement eligible to receive benefits from the Peace Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund (POAB); increases the monthly contribution from members from $20 to $25 per month; increases the amount of benefit from $17.50 per month per years of service to $25.15 per month per years of service, and then to $30 per month per year of service effective january 1, 2021.

The legislation also increases the fine add on to 10% or $10 per bond forfeiture or fine, whichever is greater and provides for an add on for 5% or $5.00 whichever is greater to any pre-trial fee collected. 

SB 0295 NeutralConstitutional Officer Pay Raise Clarification John Wilkinson
7/29/2020 Act 543 Governmental Affairs State and Local Governmental Operations -
2020/01/17 Report 2020/01/31 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report
General County Government Todd Edwards

Legislation was passed last session to provide Georgia's local constitutional officers a 5% pay raise, effective January 1, 2021.  This legislation clarifies that this 5% pay raise is in addition to the constitutional officers' 2% COLA received on January 1, 2020.    

SB 0344 SupportAllow Certain Criminal Proceedings to be Conducted by Video Conference Jeff Mullis
6/24/2020 House - House Lost Reconsidered Bill/Resolution Judiciary - Non-Civil Judiciary -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report 2020/06/19 Report
Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
This legislation allows for certain criminal proceedings to be conducted by video conference.  Video conferencing systems must meet certain requirements and proceedings must be open to the public where the judge is presiding.  This bill will greatly reduce the number of transports between state facilities and local courtrooms.
SB 0362 SupportLivestock Running at Large - Change Fees for Impounding John Wilkinson
7/29/2020 Act 515 Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2020/02/07 2020/02/14 Report 2020/02/21 Report 2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/13 Report
2020/06/19 Report General County Government Todd Edwards
Current law allows counties to charge a maximum $10 fee for impounding livestock running at large.  This bill changes the fee amount to the "actual cost of impounding" each animal.  The actual cost can also be charged for transporting, posting notice of, disposition of and selling the animal.  The cost to feed the animal cannot exceed $25 per day.       
SB 0369 NeutralPublic Utilities - Electronic Submission of Property Tax Returns Chuck Payne
3/12/2020 House Second Readers Ways and Means Finance -
2020/02/28 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/06/19 Report Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
 This bill would require that each utility's annaul submission of its tax return to the Dept. of Revenue of all property owned in the state by submitted electronically.
SB 0370 NeutralBroadband Infrastructure - Railroads Determine Usage of Easements Steve Gooch
7/29/2020 Act 516 Transportation Transportation -
2020/02/14 Report 2020/02/21 Report 2020/06/19 Report Broadband General County Government
Todd Edwards
State law was recently changed to authorize owners of electric easements to allow for certain broadband infrastructure to be installed in the easement.  This bill clarifies that, if the easement is located on railroad-owned property, that the railroad determines whether the easement can be used for broadband infrastructure and under what conditions.    
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