Legislation Assigned to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee (34)
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Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0023 SupportAuthorization for EMCs to Provide Broadband Service Penny Houston
1/13/2020 Senate Recommitted Economic Development and Tourism Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/31 Report Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Land Use/Zoning
Todd Edwards

Mirroring SB 2, this legislation authorizes Georgia's Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate.  EMCs are prohibited from cross-subsidizing broadband services through funds from their electric or gas accounts, and an annual audit will be conducted to ensure this prohibition.  Furthermore, EMC members in good standing can sue (in the superior court of the county where the EMC is headquartered) to also ensure no cross-subsidization. EMCs will not be able to disconnect, or threaten to disconnect, a customer from their electric or gas services for failure to pay their broadband bill.  EMCs will be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide broadband service.  This proposal is part of the House Rural Development Council's recommendations to facilitate broadband deployment to rural areas of the state.  

HB 0076 NeutralLocals May Reduce State Distance Restrictions on Alcohol Sales Ron Stephens
4/2/2019 Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/31 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report Alcohol/Tobacco
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Todd Edwards
Currently, state law prohibits the sale of distilled spirits within 100 yards of churches and 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 a college via a less restrictive ordinance; however they cannot enact any greater distances - a more restrictive ordinance.  The term "College" shall include, but not be limited to, all buildings, campuses and grounds of a college.       
HB 0184 SupportSmall Cell (5G) Legislation - ACCG Compromise Language Brett Harrell
1/13/2020 Senate Recommitted Economic Development and Tourism Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/08 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/15 Report General County Government Todd Edwards

Mirroring SB 66, this is the compromise Small Cell (5G) legislation.  By way of background, over the past two years, ACCG has opposed legislation which would have greatly preempted local government of the public's rights of way for the placement of small cell (5G) poles, antennas and equipment.  At the urging of the General Assembly, ACCG, GMA, Verizon and AT&T negotiated this reasonable compromise over the 2018 interim that has incorporated many safeguards which ACCG had called for in previous legislation.  

Key points of this ACCG compromise include: incentives for collocation in order to limit new poles; protections for historic districts and residential areas; the requirement that telcoms share build-out plans prior to deploying new facilities; a safe-harbor in case the current FCC order preempting state and local regulation of 5G deployment is overturned; the prohibition of speculative permit requests by third parties; and safeguards for local aesthetic and decorative pole conditions, among many others.  For a summary of the bill's key provisions, please click here. 

For a detailed, section-by-section summary of the bill, please click here.  

HB 0208 NeutralLocals Can Contract for Utilities for up to 20 Years Tom McCall
2/26/2019 Senate Read and Referred Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/01 Report General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes cities, counties and local government to enter into contracts for utility services (electric, natural gas or water services) for terms up to 20 years.  Current law allows local governments/authorities to contract for said services for up to 10 years.   
HB 0242 NeutralFramework for the Regulation of Massage Therapy Lee Hawkins
5/6/2019 Effective Date Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services

HB 242 establishes board certification of massage therapy educational programs, within and outside the state, which meet the standards for training and curriculum set by the rules of the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy. The bill allows the board to request on-site inspections of massage therapy businesses and requires these businesses to continuously maintain liability insurance coverage for bodily injuries and property damages. Further, massage therapy businesses must comply with appropriate advertising. The bill increases fines for non-compliance and unlawful acts.  A provision was added that allows local governments to run criminal background checks on owners and employees.  The massage therapists themselves will undergo a criminal background check through the secretary of state.

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 0417 NeutralComprehensive Regulation of Trauma Scene Cleanup Services Alan Powell
1/1/2021 Effective Date Public Safety and Homeland Security Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report Debra Nesbit Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts
This legislation provides for system of registration for persons or entities providing trauma cleanup services.  After January 1, 2020 is shall be public policy that all trauma care cleanup services must be registered through the GBI.
HB 0493 NeutralLocal Plan Review and Permitting - Expand Private Party Participation Kevin Tanner
7/1/2019 Effective Date Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/22 Report General County Government Todd Edwards

This legislation requires local governments which impose regulatory fees or requirements to establish and make available a list of such fees/requirements and all of the documentation required of an applicant.   The local government has five business days to notify the applicant whether an application is complete.  Once the application is complete, the city or county must inform the applicant whether the regulatory function can be completed within 30 days (that includes the 5 days above) for plan review, or within two business days for inspection of receiving a valid written request for inspection.  If the city or county determines they cannot provide said actions within the above time frames, the applicant may then retain, at its own expense, a private professional provider to perform the plan review or inspection (so long as they don't have a financial interest nor are affiliated in the project under review).  If that option is selected by the applicant, the local government regulatory fees will be reduced by 50 percent.  Even if the local government determines that they can perform the plan review or inspection within the above time frames, the applicant may nonetheless select a private professional to conduct the services, but will pay the city or county 100 percent of its "convenience" fees.  In addition, HB 493: 

  • Allows local governments to pre-qualify companies that choose to handle permit reviews;
  • Requires a local government finding a deficiency in a permit review to provide a written notice of the deficiency within 30 days to allow the private plan review professional to either correct the deficiency or dispute it;
  • Requires a local government finding a deficiency in any inspection to provide a written notice of the deficiency within 2 days to allow the private plan review professional to either correct the deficiency or dispute it;
  • Retains the ability of local governments to issue stop-work orders when problems arise; and 
  • Keeps the granting of a certificate of occupancy with the local government.

Lastly, under the state's soil erosion and sedimentation (E&S) law, the bill now authorizes counties and cities to become local permit issuing authorities if they can demonstrate that they "contract" with qualified personnel to implement local E&S ordinances.  Current law requires the local government to "employ" said personnel. This allows another option from having to rely on the local soil and water conservation district to issue permits.            

 

            

HB 0499 NeutralBroadband - Authorize Use of Electric Easements Trey Kelley
1/13/2020 Senate Recommitted Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/29 Report General County Government Todd Edwards
This bill permits broadband services, so long as additional poles or other ground-based structures are not employed, to be deployed in electrical easements without changing the nature of the easement, nor interfere with or impair any vested rights of the easement owner or occupier.  Broadband providers, or owners of electric easements, may install, maintain, lease, and operate broadband services in the easement without incurring liability or paying additional compensation to the owner of the property subject to the easement.  Owners of electric easements may assess fees and impose reasonable conditions on the use of its facilities within an easement.            
HB 0857 NeutralProhibition - Burning Chemically Treated Wood Products Alan Powell
8/4/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/03/13 Report Air Quality Fire Services Health and Human Services Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment Public Safety and Courts

This legislation prohibits biomass plants in Georgia from burning wood products treated with creosote or naphthenate compounds.

See article here for more details. 

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 1032 NeutralCertificate of Need Provisions James Hatchett
6/15/2020 Senate - Senate Withdrawn & Recommitted Special Committee On Access to Quality Health Care Regulated Industries and Utilities -
Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services
SB 0002 SupportAuthorize EMCs to Provide Broadband Service and Utilize Electric Easements Steve Gooch
4/26/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/18 Report 2019/02/08 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/22 Report
2019/03/29 Report Todd Edwards

This legislation authorizes Georgia's Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate, within their respective jurisdictions in Georgia.  EMC's would not be able to "cross-subsidize" their broadband services through their electric or gas funds, nor would they be able to charge the costs of their broadband services to their electric or gas customers.  Those EMCs providing broadband would have a duty to provide access to their poles and rights of way to all communications service providers on rates, terms and conditions that are reasonable and nondiscriminatory.  Other communications service providers or EMC members can petition to enforce the above conditions with the Georgia Public Service Commission.  EMCs will also be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide this service. EMCs already providing broadband services have until January 1, 2021 to comply with the provisions of this law.   

The language form HB 499 was attached to this bill, permitting broadband services (so long as additional poles or other ground-based structures are not employed) to be deployed in electrical easements provided this does not change the nature of the easement nor interfere with or impair any vested rights of the easement owner or occupier.  Broadband providers, or owners of electric easements, may install, maintain, lease, and operate broadband services in the easement without incurring liability or paying additional compensation to the owner of the property subject to the easement.  Owners of electric easements may assess fees and impose reasonable conditions on the use of facilities within the easement. 

SB 0017 SupportAuthorization for Telephone Coops to Provide Broadband Service Steve Gooch
4/26/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/18 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report
2019/03/29 Report Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Land Use/Zoning
Policy Council Todd Edwards
Mirroring HB 22, this legislation authorizes Georgia's Telephone Cooperatives to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate.  Coops will also be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide this service. 
SB 0066 SupportSmall Cell (5G) Legislation - ACCG Compromise Language Steve Gooch
10/1/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/08 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Broadband General County Government Todd Edwards

Mirroring HB 184, this is the compromise Small Cell (5G) legislation.  By way of background, over the past two years, ACCG has opposed legislation which would have greatly preempted local government management of the public's rights of way for the placement of small cell (5G) poles, antennas and equipment.  At the urging of the General Assembly, ACCG, GMA, Verizon and AT&T negotiated this reasonable compromise over the 2018 interim that has incorporated many safeguards which ACCG had called for in previous legislation.  

Key points of this ACCG compromise include: incentives for collocation in order to limit new poles; protections for historic districts and residential areas; the requirement that telecoms share build-out plans prior to deploying new facilities; a safe-harbor in case the current FCC order preempting state and local regulation of 5G deployment is overturned; the prohibition of speculative permit requests by third parties; and safeguards for local aesthetic and decorative pole conditions, among many others.  For a summary of the bill's key provisions, please click here.  

For a detailed, section-by-section summary of the bill, please click here.

SB 0074 EvaluatingElimination of the Certificate of Need Requirement for all Health Care Facilities Except Long Term Care Facilities Matt Brass
2/8/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/15 Report Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services
This legislation eliminates the certificate of need requirements for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, etc. with the exception of certain long term care facilities and services.  The bill also provides new reporting requirements for donors and extends the repeal date of the Rural Hospital Tax Credit until December 31, 2024.
SB 0095 NeutralLocals Can Contract for Utilities for up to 20 Years Randy Robertson
7/1/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report General County Government Todd Edwards
Mirroring HB 208, this legislation authorizes local governments to enter into contracts for utility services (electric, natural gas or water services) for terms up to 20 years.  Current law allows local governments/authorities to contract for said services for up to 10 years.   
SB 0114 EvaluatingHealth; certificate of need requirements; provisions; revise; Health Strategies Council; establish Dean Burke
2/19/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services Hospital Authority
SB 0146 NeutralAlcohol - Liquor Tastings and Brunch Referendum Frank Ginn
4/2/2019 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/29 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government
Todd Edwards
This bill authorizes liquor stores (in counties in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is lawful) to conduct up to 24 tasting events per year.  Among several provisions, tasters are limited to one and a half ounces, the tasting hours must coincide with the legal hours of business, only one tasting can occur per day and cannot exceed four hours, only one type of alcoholic beverage may be served at each tasting; and the city or county which issued the alcohol license must be notified in advance.  Tastings are also authorized for malt beverages, but for no more than eight ounces; and wine, up to five ounces.  The bill was amended in House Committee to eliminate the referendum requirement for local governments authorizing Sunday brunch on-premise sales, and to allow Savannah to authorize the package sale of liquor within 200 yards of the Savannah College of Art and Design.          
SB 0153 NeutralRegistration and Regulation of Companies Providing Trauma Scene Cleanup Services Tyler Harper
5/10/2019 Veto V13 Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report Debra Nesbit
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts
SB 153 regulates for-hire trauma scene cleanup companies through a registration process. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is directed to oversee the registration process, promulgate rules and regulations, provide the proper forms, and maintain a current list of all registered trauma scene waste management practitioners on the GBI website. A trauma scene waste management practitioner must apply with the GBI and: pay a $100 registration fee; submit to a fingerprint-based criminal background check conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); submit a surety bond in the amount of $25,000; and provide proof of insurance coverage in the amount of at least $100,000. The registration is valid for three years and may be renewed every three years thereafter with a $100 renewal fee and completed application. It is unlawful to perform or engage in the cleanup of a trauma scene unless properly registered with the GBI. Moreover, trauma scene waste management practitioners must provide a good faith estimate of expected cost of services to clients. 
SB 0162 NeutralShort Term Rentals - Counties and Cities Cannot Prohibit Entirely Matt Brass
6/25/2020 House - House Withdrawn, Recommitted Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/29 Report General County Government Intern 1 Todd Edwards
This legislation allows counties and cities to regulate the occupancy or rental of residences (short term rentals, defined as properties rented for less than 30 consecutive days) within their jurisdictions; however, local governments cannot "prohibit all such occupancies or rentals" within the county or city.        
SB 0198 EvaluatingAlcohol - Sale of Alcohol Ice Cream without Local Alcohol Permit Renee Unterman
2/27/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation authorizes the manufacture, distribution, transportation or sale of ice cream or frozen desserts made with alcoholic beverages (less than 5 percent of alcohol by volume) without an city or county alcoholic beverage license or permit.   
SB 0205 EvaluatingAlcoholic Beverages; issuance of the call and the setting of dates for elections relating to the question of Sunday sales during certain hours; provisions; change Steve Gooch
2/27/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/03/01 Report Alcohol/Tobacco General County Government Todd Edwards
SB 0296 NeutralAlternative Cremation Method Bill Heath
6/19/2020 House - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Regulated Industries Regulated Industries and Utilities -
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation addresses the use of creamation so as to allow alternative cremation methods to take place outside of a furnace, including the process called "Alkaline Hydrosis" (water cremation). See AJC article here on the bill.
SB 0298 EvaluatingChanges the Age for Purchase of Tobacco Products and Vaping Products from 18 to 21 Renee Unterman
2/18/2020 Senate Read Second Time -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/01/17 Report 2020/02/07 Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services
This legislation changes the legal age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 years of age.  The bill also sets forth criminal sanctions for establishments and persons selling these products to individuals under the age of 21.
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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