Legislation with Tracking Level = Negotiating (30)
Use the drop down to the left to select the next 25 bills to display.

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/19/2018

HB 0015 NegotiatingMandatory Electronic Filing for Civil Cases in Superior and State Courts Wendell Willard
3/30/2017 Senate Conference Committee Appointed 46th, 30th, 19th Judiciary Judiciary
2017/01/27-Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2017/03/17 - Report Civil Procedure Clerk of Court
Debra Nesbit Public Safety and Courts
This legislation mandates all clerks of superior court accept electronically filed cases by January 1, 2018.  The cost of such filing shall not exceed $7.00.  The bill includes a hardship clause that extends that deadline for six months for counties who need additional time.  An amendment was added to the bill that prohibits the Council of the Superior Court Clerks, any state entity, or governing authority of any local government from keeping any portion of the fee.
HB 0068 NegotiatingConstruction Zones - Required Emergency Pull Off Andrew Welch
1/25/2017 House Second Readers Transportation -
2017/01/27-Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation Kathleen Bowen Mandate Roads
This legislation requires counties to provide an emergency pull off shoulder for the entire distance of a road expansion project that is wide enough for a vehicle to safely exit the road or to bypass traffic in a construction zone. ACCG is working with the author to address concerns.
HB 0085 NegotiatingForest Land Conservation Valuation - Appraisal Methodology Jay Powell
2/23/2018 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Ways & Means Finance
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2017/03/06 - Report 2018/02/23 Report
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
The substitute version of this bill changes the method of valuation of forest land conservation property by uncoupling that valuation from 2008 values as existing law provides. In addition, this bill creates a new appraisal methodology for valuation of non-covenant timberland property (defined as property with the primary purpose of commercial timber production).The Department of Revenue (DOR) will develop a methodology each year for valuing such property via actual income data for such properties. DOR is allowed to withhold a 1 percent administrative fee from assistance grants to counties, cities, or school districts. The bill is contingent upon ratification of an enabling constitutional amendment, HR 51. Local assessors and taxpayers would have the right to appeal DOR's appraisal methodology.
HB 0090 NegotiatingLand Purchase - Illegal for Board Member to Discuss if Conflict of Interest Robert Gasaway
3/30/2017 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Judiciary Non-Civil -
2017/01/27-Report Criminal Procedure Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Ethics General County Government Procurement Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards
This legislation makes it a misdemeanor for members of the board of commissioners, city council, school board or local board or authority to knowingly and intentionally vote, attempt to influence a vote, or be present in executive or closed session when their respective body is considering or discussion the acquisition of property if the member has direct or indirect ownership interest in the property, or any business in which the member serves in a fiduciary capacity has an ownership interest in the property.      
HB 0144 NegotiatingRetail Pet Stores - Preempt Local Ordinances Earl Ehrhart
3/30/2017 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Agriculture & Consumer Affairs -
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report Animal Control General County Government Preemption
Public Safety and Courts Todd Edwards
This legislation preempts counties and cities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that directly or indirectly prohibit the sale, delivery or transfer of a dog or cat from a properly licensed retail pet store or from imposing restrictions in addition to the requirements of state law. Many attempts were made to add this preemptive language to other bills late in the session.  All attempts failed. 
HB 0152 NegotiatingWorker's Compensation For Firefighters Diagnosed with Cancer Micah Gravley
3/30/2017 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Industry and Labor -
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report Debra Nesbit Fire Services Insurance
Insurance Mandate Personnel/Employment Public Safety and Courts
 This legislation allows worker's compensation benefits for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer that, upon a preponderance of competent and credible evidence, can prove the cancer was directly related to their duties as a firefighter.
HB 0327 NegotiatingTitle Ad Valorem Tax on Vehicles - Amendments Jay Powell
2/22/2018 Senate - Senate Read and Referred Ways and Means Finance
2017/02/17-Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report
Larry Ramsey Property Tax Revenue & Finance
This bill would make several changes to the calculation and distribution of title ad valorem tax (TAVT).

Rather than the current law which provides for annual adjustment of the state/local split based on prior year collections, under HB 327 1) local governments will continue to collect ad valorem taxes on pre-2013 vehicles; 2) TAVT proceeds would first be paid to local governments to cover the difference between 2012 ad valorem tax receipts on motor vehicles and the current-year remaining ad valorem tax receipts; and 3) the remaining TAVT proceeds would then be split between the state and local governments. The percentage split of these remaining proceeds would start at 80/20 (state/local) and adjusting annually until, in 2025 and thereafter, the split would be 30/70 (state/local). For those transition years, the local share would continue to be distributed among local governments in the same way as at present. In 2025 and beyond, the local share would be distributed as follows: 1) for vehicles registered in unincorporated areas, 51% of the local proceeds would be paid to the county and 49% to the school system; and 2) for vehicles registered in incorporated areas, 49% would be paid to the school system, 28% to the county, and 23% to the city.

HB 327 also would cause TAVT on used car sales to be calculated in the same was as TAVT on new car sales is calculated. As a general rule, TAVT on new cars is based on the retail sales price, less the “book” value of any trade-in. In contrast, presently TAVT on used car sales is calculated on the book value of the used car, less the book value of any trade-in. Because the “book” value is an average of retail and wholesale fair market value, it is almost always less than the actual sales price of the used car. By basing TAVT for used car sales on the actual retail sales price, HB 327 stands to substantially increase total TAVT receipts statewide. 

A proposed substitute in the Senate Finance Committee would leave the TAVT formula for used cars unchanged; would change the above distribution formula to 60% local/40% state beginning in 2019; and would split the local share 1/3 according to the local LOST formula; 1/3 according to the SPLOST formula; and 1/3 to the school system.

HB 0367 NegotiatingPublic Employees Privacy Protection Brian Strickland
2/16/2017 House Second Readers Judiciary -
2017/02/17-Report Correctional Institutions/Jail Debra Nesbit District Attorneys Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Juveniles Law Enforcement Magistrate Court Mandate
Nat. Res. & the Environment Open Records/Meetings Act Probate Court Public Safety and Courts Sheriff
Solicitors State Court Superior Court
This legislation allows certain public safety and judicial officials to execute a certificate of redacted information that requires counties to redact the home address and telephone number of the public safety or judicial official and their relatives from the county's website or other Internet access point within the county's control.
HB 0374 NegotiatingTax Assessment - Change Procedures David Knight
3/12/2018 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Ways & Means Finance
2017/02/17-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/09 Report 2018/03/2 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.
HB 0399 NegotiatingEthics - No Longer Filing Campaign Disclosure Reports at Local Level Wendell Willard
2/21/2017 House Second Readers Judiciary -
2017/02/24 - Report Elections Ethics General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation amends the Ethics in Government Act in many areas, particularly to charges, hearings and evidence before the ethics commission, and penalties for violations.  Of possible concern to county commissioners is that campaign contribution disclosure reports can only be filed on paper (for a $40 fee) or directly on the ethics commission's Web site.  Candidates may no longer file with their local election superintendent.  ACCG would like to have all the aforementioned methods available to candidates.        
HB 0451 NegotiatingExceptions to County Road Restrictions James Epps
3/30/2017 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Governmental Affairs -
2017/02/24 - Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation General County Government Kathleen Bowen Law Enforcement
Preemption Public Safety and Courts Roads Traffic Enforcement
This legislation requires counties and cities to allow vehicles weighing over 36,000 pounds or longer than 30 feet to use any county and city roads if the vehicle is making a delivery on the road, using the road as the route to make a delivery or pick up, providing service on the road, or if avoiding the road would cause the driver to go more than ten miles out of the most direct route. This legislation allows counties and cities to adopt a local ordinance that would make the driver justify the presence of their vehicle on a restricted road.  
HB 0533 NegotiatingLocal Right of Way - Preempt and Authorize Unlimited, Unfettered Access for Wireless Structures Brett Harrell
3/6/2017 House Second Readers Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications -
Business and Occupation Tax Code Enforcement Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons
General County Government Land Use/Zoning Preemption Roads Todd Edwards
Transportation Utilities

This is a very complex and lengthy bill providing as close to unfettered access to county and municipal rights of way (ROW) as possible for wireless providers to construct unlimited wireless support structures/poles (50' high, or 10' taller than any existing pole within 500'), antennas (up to 6 cubic feet), equipment boxes (up to 28 cubic feet) and other infrastructure in order to roll out 5G service in metropolitan/already-served areas.  The bill limits or preempts a broad range of county decisions regarding: wireless structures within and outside public ROW, collocation of small wireless facilities, zoning reviews for cell towers and wireless support structures, modifications to wireless facilities outside public ROW, location of wireless facilities on local government owned utility poles, and county jurisdiction over small wireless facilities on private property. For example, HB 535 would bar local governments from subjecting certain wireless facilities to zoning review and approval, limit fees that counties and cities could impose for permitting, regulating and managing access to public ROW by wireless companies, and impose unrealistic shot clocks for counties to make decisions regarding various wireless facilities, otherwise the applications are "deemed approved". In addition, the bill would prohibit counties from requiring that wireless providers indemnify and hold the county harmless against claims arising from negligent acts of the provider and does not provide that these structures be removed or relocated, at provider expense, for road widening, maintenance or emergency situations. Lastly, counties can only deny a permit for this infrastructure if it violates stipulations in the bill... which are slim to none.  

ACCG continues to work with the industry and legislators to seek a compromise on facilitating 5G deployment in metropolitan Georgia ROW, which this bill is aimed at.  One of ACCG's top legislative priorities this session is facilitating rural broadband deployment, which is neither sought or achieved by this bill.  

Please pay close attention to this legislation as it will greatly impact your county's ability to responsibly manage the public ROW.               

HB 0641 NegotiatingVoting Machines - Require Permanent Paper Record Scot Turner
1/8/2018 House - House Second Readers Governmental Affairs -
2018/01/12 Report Auditing/Budget Elections General County Government Todd Edwards
This legislation requires all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems purchased on and after July 1, 2017 (that's actually the date in the bill), to be equipped with paper audit records.  ACCG has no concerns if the State of Georgia provides the funding to meet this or other state-required voting equipment upgrades; however, the association opposes unfunded state mandates as one of its guiding principles.       
HB 0674 NegotiatingSovereign Immunity Waiver for Injunctions and Declaratory Judgments Wendell Willard
1/18/2018 House - House Second Readers Judiciary -
2018/01/12 Report General County Government Government Immunity Larry Ramsey Public Safety and Courts
This bill would waive the sovereign immunity of the state and local goverments as to particular types of lawsuits: requests for injunctions and declaratory judgment claims. Sovereign immunity would not be waived for claims for monetary damages and attorneys fees. If passed, governments could be sued for violations of the constitution, state law, or local ordinance, with a judge having the power to enter an injunction ordering the government to stop such violations. The substance of this bill has been added to HB 791.
HB 0680 NegotiatingVoting Machines - Require Ballot Scan Voting Systems Scot Turner
1/19/2018 House - House Second Readers Governmental Affairs -
Elections General County Government Todd Edwards

This legislation prohibits, effective January 1, 2019, the use of direct recording electronic (DRE) machines for Georgia's primary and general elections.  Instead, elections must be conducted utilizing ballot scan voting systems along with electronic ballot markers - which leave a paper trail of votes cast.  Rather than dictate which specific systems to use the bill spells out specifications which must be met and all systems must be certified by the Secretary of State.  ACCG opposes unfunded state mandates as one of its guiding principles and there are no state appropriations for replacing Georgia's voting equipment in the proposed FY 2017 supplemental or FY 2018 budgets.  Additionally, ACCG has concerns that elections superintendents were neither consulted nor involved in this endeavor; there is not enough time to implement this successfully before the Jan. 2019 deadline; there will likely be challenges with ballot confidentiality and security; and there will likely be ballot transportation and storage issues.  

HB 0705 NegotiatingIncrease Jurisdictional Limits of Civil Cases in Magistrate Court Trey Kelley
2/8/2018 House - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Judiciary -
2018/02/09 Report Debra Nesbit Magistrate Court Public Safety and Courts
This legislation increases the jurisdictional limit to $25,000 from $15,000 in certain civil cases in magistrate court.  The current filing fee in magistrate court is $22.00, this bill will increase that filing fee to $40.00 per case that is over $15,000.  This may result in an increase in the number of cases filed in magistrate court in lieu of filing in state court.
HB 0716 NegotiatingPre-Arrest Diversion for Drug and Mental Health Treatment Act Paulette Rakestraw
1/23/2018 House - House Second Readers Judiciary - Non-Civil -
2018/01/26 Report Criminal Procedure Debra Nesbit District Attorneys Health and Human Services
Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts Solicitors
 This legislation sets forth requirements for local law enforcement to transport any citizen request transportation to a substance abuse treatment programs as well as a number of additional administrative duties. There is no funding or resources available to assist in the provision of the required services.
HB 0746 NegotiatingState Mandated Policies and Procedures for Law Enforcement Contact with Sexual Assault Victims Scott Holcomb
1/29/2018 House - House Second Readers Judiciary - Non-Civil -
Criminal Procedure Debra Nesbit Health and Human Services Law Enforcement Public Safety and Courts
HB 0791 NegotiatingSovereign Immunity - Waiver for Certain Claims against the State Chuck Efstration
3/1/2018 Senate - Senate Read and Referred Judiciary Judiciary
2018/02/02 Report 2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 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 introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee removes local governments from the scope of this bill but retains the direct-appeal authorization. 

HB 0855 NegotiatingIncrease in Joshua's Law Add-on Fee to all Traffic Violations John Deffenbaugh
2/13/2018 House - House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Public Safety and Homeland Security -
2018/02/09 Report Debra Nesbit Forfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add Ons Public Safety and Courts Traffic Enforcement
This legislation doubles the amount of the fine add on to all traffic violations to fund driver training (Joshua's Law) from 1.5 percent of fine to 3 percent of fine.
HB 0858 NegotiatingOccupation Tax - Expansion of Businesses Exempt from Gross Receipts Tax Shaw Blackmon
2/12/2018 House - House Second Readers Ways and Means -
2018/02/09 Report 2018/02/16 Report Business and Occupation Tax Larry Ramsey Revenue & Finance
This bill adds more professions/occupations to the so-called "$400.00 Club" and will allow contractors and others who are required to be licensed by the state to choose what type and amount of occupation tax they pay. They can choose the amount that would otherwise be determined under general law, or, they can choose a set amount of $400.00. Importantly, anyone in this 'club' cannot be required to provide local government with any information regarding gross receipts. The author has agreed to pursue a study committee rather than this bill.


HB 0930 NegotiatingTransit Governance and Funding Kevin Tanner
3/15/2018 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Transportation Transportation
2018/02/16 Report 2018/02/23 Report 2018/03/16 Report 2018/03/2 Report Econ. Dev. & Transportation
Kathleen Bowen Revenue & Finance Sales Tax-Local Transportation Transportation Funding

During the Senate Transportation Committee meeting that took place on 3.12.18, the language from HB 930 was stripped and in its place, the language from SB 386 was inserted. SB 386 is the transit bill authored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Brandon Beach that addresses transit governance and funding options for the Metro Atlanta region. 

The goal of this maneuver is for the bill to go to a conference committee where the differences from the House and Senate transit bills will be discussed and an agreed upon version would pass both chambers.  

Original House Transit Bill Language: 

This bill mainly addresses transit governance and funding options for the Metro Atlanta region (Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale Counties). The Atlanta-region Transit Link (ATL) Authority is a newly created regional governing board that will lead the planning and coordination of transit in Metro Atlanta as well as controlling state and federal transit funding. 

Two new funding revenues would be created to support transit: 1) a 50-cent charge per trip on rideshare, taxi and limo providers; 2) a 1% airport tax on retail purchases at the Atlanta airport.

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.  If an IGA is agreed upon with the qualified municipalities representing 75% of the county's population, the tax can be levied up to 1%. The IGA must include the list of transit projects, procedures for distributing the funds and an agreement identifying the transit operator. Without an IGA, the max rate of the tax cannot exceed 0.75%. 

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. An IGA must be agreed upon with the qualified municipalities representing 75% of the county's population or the tax will not be authorized to be levied.  The referendum must pass both counties for the tax to be imposed.

HR 0051 NegotiatingForest Land Conservation Valuation - Constitutional Amendment Jay Powell
2/23/2018 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Ways & Means Finance
2017/01/27-Report 2017/02/03-Report 2017/02/24 - Report 2017/03/06 - Report Larry Ramsey
Property Tax Revenue & Finance
 This enabling constitutional amendment removes from the constitution the existing method of valuation of forest land conservation use, which is tied to 2008 fair market valuation. It also allows DOR to withhold a 1 percent administrative fee from assistance grants to counties, cities, or school districts. As amended by substitute, this constitutional amendment would create commercial timberland property as a separate class of property, which in turn would allow for different assessment of such property. The constitutional amendment, if ratified by the voters, will be implemented by HB 85.
SB 0162 NegotiatingEminent Domain - Payment of Assessors' Costs and Condemnee's Attorneys Fees Frank Ginn
2/14/2017 Senate Read and Referred -Judiciary
2017/02/17-Report Eminent Domain/Condemnation General County Government Larry Ramsey Mandate
This legislation would require the county to pay all assessors' costs, as well as the condemnee's attorneys fees, in a condemnation case where the total amount awarded is 10 percent or more of the highest amount offered by the county.
SB 0333 NegotiatingDeferred Compensation Plans - Automatic Enrollment of Municipal Employees Ellis Black
3/14/2018 House - House Passed/Adopted Governmental Affairs Retirement
General County Government Larry Ramsey Retirement
This bill would allow municipalities to automatically enroll employees in deferred compensation plans and to pay certain fees from those plans.
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.

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