Legislation Sponsored by Steve Gooch (16)

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

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 0154 NeutralCoroner's Training Council - Allow Outside Parties to wage Complaints on their Conduct Steve Gooch
7/1/2019 Effective Date Governmental Affairs Judiciary -
Coroners/Medical Examiners General County Government Todd Edwards
This bill revises the Georgia Coroner's Training Council, authorizing the council to review complaints from outside parties and make recommendations concerning the retention, suspension, or removal of a coroner from her or his position.    
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 0200 WatchGDOT Bid Rejection Appeal Process Steve Gooch
4/2/2019 House Conference Committee Appointed 9th, 135th, 130th Transportation Transportation -
2019/03/29 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen

This legislation requires the Georgia Department of Transportation to create an appeals process for bid rejections.

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 0241 NeutralLumpkin County Water And Sewerage Authority; composition; change Steve Gooch
5/6/2019 Effective Date Intragovernmental Coordination State and Local Governmental Operations -
Intern 2 Local Legislation
SB 0304 NeutralWhite County; board of elections and registration; create Steve Gooch
1/1/2021 Effective Date Intragovernmental Coordination State and Local Governmental Operations -
Local Legislation
SB 0370 NeutralBroadband Infrastructure - Railroads Determine Usage of Easements Steve Gooch
1/1/2021 Effective Date 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.    
SB 0371 NeutralGeorgia Freight Railroad Program Steve Gooch
1/1/2021 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 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.

Similar legislation, HB 820, has been introduced in the House.   
SB 0390 EvaluatingCivil Practice and Litigation; several titles of the O.C.G.A.; amend and revise Steve Gooch
3/9/2020 Senate Read Second Time -Judiciary -
2020/02/21 Report Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
SB 0415 NeutralTort Reform Bill Steve Gooch
3/12/2020 Senate Tabled -Insurance and Labor -
Civil Procedure Criminal Procedure General County Government Government Immunity Larry Ramsey
Public Safety and Courts
This bill makes significant changes to procedures and rules of evidence for various civil tort actions, including limiting premises liability claims. 
SB 0459 EvaluatingBroadband - Authorize Funding Under State Universal Access Fund Steve Gooch
2/28/2020 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
Broadband General County Government Todd Edwards Utilities
This legislation rewrites the role of the Georgia Public Service Commission in administering the broadband Universal Access Fund by striking out a lot of language in code and adding back a new arrangement that includes the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  DCA will recommend disbursements for the Rural Broadband Portion of said fund, capped at $10 million annually.  The bill creates a larger pot of money for some projects, possibly at the expense of others.  The "Rural Local Exchange Portion" of the fund is capped at $30 million annually; requires an increase in rates to fund these expenditures.   
SR 0334 NeutralJames Chapman Intersection; Lumpkin County; dedicate Steve Gooch
3/13/2019 Senate Read and Referred -Transportation -
Local Legislation
SR 0479 SupportSenate Study Committee: E-Scooters and Other Innovative Mobility Options Steve Gooch
4/2/2019 Senate Passed/Adopted ---
2019/03/29 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen Transportation
This resolution creates a Senate Study Committee to review and study e-scooters and other innovative mobility technologies and how local governments, state agencies and universities can work with the companies providing this technology. 
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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