Legislation with Tracking Level = Negotiating

HB 0015NegotiatingMandatory Electronic Filing for Civil Cases in Superior and State CourtsWendell Willard
3/30/2017Senate Conference Committee Appointed 46th, 30th, 19thJudiciaryJudiciary
2017/01/27-Report2017/03/06 - Report2017/03/17 - ReportCivil ProcedureClerk of Court
Debra NesbitPublic 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.  NOTE:  This bill has been added to SB 407, the Governor's Criminal Justice Reform Bill.
HB 0068NegotiatingConstruction Zones - Required Emergency Pull OffAndrew Welch
1/25/2017House Second ReadersTransportation
2017/01/27-ReportEcon. Dev. & TransportationKathleen BowenMandateRoads
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 0090NegotiatingLand Purchase - Illegal for Board Member to Discuss if Conflict of InterestRobert Gasaway
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedJudiciary Non-Civil
2017/01/27-ReportCriminal ProcedureEcon. Dev. & TransportationEconomic DevelopmentEminent Domain/Condemnation
EthicsGeneral County GovernmentProcurementPublic Safety and CourtsTodd 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 0144NegotiatingRetail Pet Stores - Preempt Local Ordinances Earl Ehrhart
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedAgriculture & Consumer Affairs
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-ReportAnimal ControlGeneral County GovernmentPreemption
Public Safety and CourtsTodd 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 0152NegotiatingWorker's Compensation For Firefighters Diagnosed with CancerMicah Gravley
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedIndustry and Labor
2017/01/27-Report2017/02/03-ReportDebra NesbitFire ServicesInsurance
Insurance MandatePersonnel/EmploymentPublic 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 0367NegotiatingPublic Employees Privacy ProtectionBrian Strickland
2/16/2017House Second ReadersJudiciary
2017/02/17-ReportCorrectional Institutions/JailDebra NesbitDistrict AttorneysEcon. Dev. & Transportation
Georgia Bureau of InvestigationJuvenilesLaw EnforcementMagistrate CourtMandate
Nat. Res. & the EnvironmentOpen Records/Meetings ActProbate CourtPublic Safety and CourtsSheriff
SolicitorsState CourtSuperior 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 0399NegotiatingEthics - No Longer Filing Campaign Disclosure Reports at Local Level Wendell Willard
2/21/2017House Second ReadersJudiciary
2017/02/24 - ReportElectionsEthicsGeneral County GovernmentTodd 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 0451NegotiatingExceptions to County Road Restrictions James Epps
3/30/2017House Withdrawn, RecommittedGovernmental Affairs
2017/02/24 - ReportEcon. Dev. & TransportationGeneral County GovernmentKathleen BowenLaw Enforcement
PreemptionPublic Safety and CourtsRoadsTraffic 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 0641NegotiatingVoting Machines - Require Permanent Paper RecordScot Turner
1/8/2018House Second ReadersGovernmental Affairs
2018/01/12 ReportAuditing/BudgetElectionsGeneral County GovernmentTodd Edwards
This legislation requires all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems purchased on and after July 1, 2017, 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 0674NegotiatingSovereign Immunity Waiver for Injunctions and Declaratory JudgmentsWendell Willard
1/18/2018House Second ReadersJudiciary
2018/01/12 ReportGeneral County GovernmentGovernment ImmunityLarry RamseyPublic 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 0680NegotiatingVoting Machines - Require Ballot Scan Voting SystemsScot Turner
1/19/2018House Second ReadersGovernmental Affairs
ElectionsGeneral County GovernmentTodd 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 0705NegotiatingIncrease Jurisdictional Limits of Civil Cases in Magistrate CourtTrey Kelley
2/8/2018House Committee Favorably Reported By SubstituteJudiciary
2018/02/09 ReportDebra NesbitMagistrate CourtPublic 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 0716NegotiatingPre-Arrest Diversion for Drug and Mental Health Treatment ActPaulette Rakestraw
1/23/2018House Second ReadersJudiciary - Non-Civil
2018/01/26 ReportCriminal ProcedureDebra NesbitDistrict AttorneysHealth and Human Services
Law EnforcementPublic Safety and CourtsSolicitors
 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 0746NegotiatingState Mandated Policies and Procedures for Law Enforcement Contact with Sexual Assault VictimsScott Holcomb
1/29/2018House Second ReadersJudiciary - Non-Civil
Criminal ProcedureDebra NesbitHealth and Human ServicesLaw EnforcementPublic Safety and Courts
HB 0791NegotiatingSovereign Immunity - Waiver for Certain Claims against the StateChuck Efstration
3/27/2018Senate TabledJudiciaryJudiciary
2018/02/02 Report2018/02/09 Report2018/02/23 Report2018/03/16 Report2018/03/2 Report
2018/03/23 ReportGeneral County GovernmentGovernment ImmunityLarry RamseyPublic 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 approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee removes local governments from the scope of this bill but retains the direct-appeal authorization. 

HB 0855NegotiatingIncrease in Joshua's Law Add-on Fee to all Traffic ViolationsJohn Deffenbaugh
2/13/2018House Committee Favorably Reported By SubstitutePublic Safety and Homeland Security
2018/02/09 ReportDebra NesbitForfeitures, Fees, and Fine Add OnsPublic Safety and CourtsTraffic 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 0858NegotiatingOccupation Tax - Expansion of Businesses Exempt from Gross Receipts TaxShaw Blackmon
2/12/2018House Second ReadersWays and Means
2018/02/09 Report2018/02/16 ReportBusiness and Occupation TaxLarry RamseyRevenue & 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.


SB 0162NegotiatingEminent Domain - Payment of Assessors' Costs and Condemnee's Attorneys FeesFrank Ginn
2/14/2017Senate Read and ReferredJudiciary
2017/02/17-ReportEminent Domain/CondemnationGeneral County GovernmentLarry RamseyMandate
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 0333NegotiatingDeferred Compensation Plans - Automatic Enrollment of Municipal EmployeesEllis Black
5/8/2018Act 447Governmental AffairsRetirement
General County GovernmentLarry RamseyRetirement
This bill would allow municipalities to automatically enroll employees in deferred compensation plans and to pay certain fees from those plans.
SB 0366NegotiatingState Mandated Completion of Salary Surveys for Employees of the Sheriff's DepartmentSteve Gooch
3/23/2018House Committee Favorably Reported By SubstituteAppropriationsPublic Safety
2018/02/02 Report2018/02/09 Report2018/02/16 Report2018/03/23 ReportCompensation
Debra NesbitGeneral County GovernmentLaw EnforcementPersonnel/EmploymentPopulation Acts
Public Safety and CourtsSheriff
This legislation is based on the report of the Compensation of Police and Sheriff's (COPS) and requires that every county conduct a wage and compensation study once every five years or lose their qualified local government status.  A detailed summary can be found here.
SB 0386NegotiatingTransit Governance & Funding for Metro Atlanta Brandon Beach
3/7/2018House Committee Favorably Reported By SubstituteTransportationTransportation
2018/02/09 Report2018/02/23 Report2018/03/09 Report2018/03/2 ReportEcon. Dev. & Transportation
Kathleen BowenRevenue & FinanceSales Tax-LocalTransportation Funding

During the House Transportation Committee meeting that took place on 3.6.18, the language from SB 386 was stripped and in its place, the language from HB 930 was inserted. HB 930 is the transit bill authored by House Transportation Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner that 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). 

On 3.23.18, the Senate and the House insisted on their position to HB 930; therefore, a conference committee has been appointed where the differences from the House and Senate transit bills will be discussed with the goal of an agreed upon version will pass both chambers.  

HB 930 Conference Commitee composition: Rep. Kevin Tanner, Rep. Jan Jones, Rep. Calvin Smyre, Sen. Brandon Beach, Sen. Steve Gooch and Sen. David Lucas.  

Original Senate Transit Bill Language: 

This bill provides a new transit governance structure for the Metro Atlanta region and allows for an optional local funding mechanism to fund transit projects (Transit SPLOST). 

The newly created Atlanta-region Transit Link "ATL" Commission is a new division that would be placed under the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. The purpose of this commission is to plan and coordinate transit services, transit facilities, and the funding of those purposes throughout its jurisdiction. This jurisdiction consists of any county which has approved a MARTA tax or any county which has approved a Transit SPLOST.

The ATL Commission is initially composed of 14 members including the Governor, GDOT Commissioner, CEO of MARTA, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, and appointments made by the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, President of the Atlanta City Council, Chair of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, Chair of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, CEO of DeKalb County, Chair of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners as well as an appointee selected by a majority vote of a caucus of the mayors from the municipalities in each county (Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton). If an additional Metro Atlanta county approves a Transit SPLOST, they shall have an appointee to the commission.

The legislation provides for a 1% Transit SPLOST for a period of 30 years. An IGA between the county and qualified municipalities must be agreed upon that includes the list of proposed transit projects, an agreement with MARTA for all rail based projects and/or an agreement with the ATL Commission approved bus operator.  The ATL Commission will have final approval of the transit project list.  

SB 0428NegotiatingStatewide Regulations for the Practice of Booting VehiclesMatt Brass
2/15/2018Senate Read and ReferredTransportation
2018/02/16 ReportCode EnforcementEcon. Dev. & TransportationKathleen BowenLaw Enforcement
Public Safety and CourtsRoadsSheriffTraffic Enforcement
This legislation (similar to HB 774) defines and sets statewide standards for vehicle immobilization devices and services - commonly known as "booting". In addition, this bill allows a county or city to pass an ordinance stricter than the provisions set out by this bill; however, of concern is that the language does not clearly state that a local government can ban the practice of booting vehicles.