HB 781 was presented to the House Banks & Banking Committee on Tuesday by Representative Bruce Williamson (R), Monroe. This is the Department of Banking and Finance’s annual housekeeping bill. As it relates to banks, the bill is truly clean-up in nature. An amendment was made to the bill during the committee meeting to clarify the Department’s ability to waive residency requirements for a bank’s Boards of Directors. The bill passed as a substitute from Committee.
We will continue to monitor the bill as it progresses.
A hot topic in virtually every banker and bank regulator discussion these days relates to hemp and cannabis banking. This week, the topic has now appeared under the Gold Dome.
HB 847 was introduced by Representative John Corbett (R), Lake Park. This Bill relates to hemp farming and establishes certain state requirements in order to comply with federal laws and regulations. The bill was assigned to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
HR 875 was introduced by Representative Dar’shun Kendrick (D), Lithonia. This Resolution creates a House Study Committee on Financing Options for Cannabis-based Businesses.
HR 876 was introduced by Representative Dar’shun Kendrick (D), Lithonia. This Resolution urges the United States Congress to enact legislation removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, exempting certain activities related to marijuana, facilitating the full spectrum of private banking services for cannabis related business, and encouraging scientific research related to cannabis products.
CBA will monitor the progression of the bill and resolutions. Next week, CBA will be hosting a Safety & Soundness RAP Banker Regulatory Forum on February 5th. During this forum, we will have roundtable discussions about banking marijuana businesses after our regulatory updates. If you’d like to join us for this event, please click here to register.
This week, your legislators were hard at work and completed Days 5 through 9 of the 40 day session. While progress was made on a number of items, the atmosphere was buzzing with all of the movements for the upcoming election for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Frustrations amongst legislators was high with internal politics at the Gold Dome relating to elections.
HR 933 was introduced by Representative William Boddie (D), East Point. This Resolution creates a House Study Committee on Homeowners’ Associations, Condominium Owners’ Associations, and Property Owners in Community Associations.
SB 286 was introduced by Senator Tonya Anderson (D), Lithonia. This bill relates to hairstyles historically associated with race and prohibits discrimination in certain situations including fair housing. The bill was assigned to the Insurance and Labor Committee. CBA will monitor this bill as it progresses.
SB 309 was introduced by Senator Jesse Stone (R), Waynesboro. This bill establishes the Georgia Municipal and Local Government Infrastructure Finance Authority Act. The bill provides a mechanism through which local governments may finance infrastructure at lower prevailing costs to make such mechanism available to the largest number of local governments feasible. The Georgia Municipal Authority is behind this bill and sees this as a costs savings to governments. This is a specialized lending area that many community banks do not participate in, but CBA will monitor the progress of this bill. This bill was assigned to the State and Local Government Operations Committee.
SB 315 was introduced by Senator Lindsey Tippins (R), Marietta. This bill relates to mechanics and materialmen liens and rights. The bill was dropped in response to the Georgia Court of Appeals decision affecting GA’s Lien Law (Landmark Electric v ALA Services). This bill would preserve a contractor’s right to sue under a breach of contract despite having otherwise waived their rights to place a lien on the subject property. This bill also expands the time period for a contractor to file an affidavit of non-payment to preserve their lien rights from sixty to ninety days. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee. CBA will continue to monitor this progress of this bill.
SB 329 was introduced by Senator Randy Robertson (R), Cataula. This bill establishes the Motor Vehicle Title Loan Act. The bill would allow the Department of Banking and Finance to license and regulate motor vehicle title lenders through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System. CBA wants/ to make sure that the Department receives appropriations sufficient to take on the new responsibilities without adversely impacting the oversight of the Department from a banking perspective. The bill was assigned to the Finance Committee.
CBA has Partnered with NFIB to present the Small Business Day at the Dome. This important event is a chance for you to hear from key government leaders as well as network with other small business owners to get a first-hand account to what is happening in the Peach State! Governor Brian Kemp and Vince Dooley are confirmed speakers for our event. Registration is now open for this event.
The 2020 Legislative Session kicked off on Monday, January 13, 2020 and we completed days one through four of this 40-day legislative session. The 2020 session will be the second session of a two-year term of the Georgia Assembly. So, all bills introduced during the 2019 session that did not pass and were not defeated will be live bills for the 2020 session. To review some of the outstanding bills that may be debated and voted upon from last session, please look at the 2019 Legislation CBA is Tracking document for more information. We will continue to closely watch bills that may have an impact on our industry.
HR 879 sets the schedule for the legislative session through Day 14. While the legislature will not officially be in session next week, next week is reserved for budget hearings.
HB 781 was introduced by Representative Bruce Williamson (R), Monroe. This is the Department of Banking and Finance’s annual housekeeping bill. In regards to banks, the bill is truly clean-up in nature.
Changes relate to approval of dividend payments under certain conditions; waiver of residency requirements for directors in certain circumstances; authorization of trust company and bank mergers; authorize certain activities at representative offices outside of Georgia; change registration requirements for a bank or bank holding company with a representative office; reduce the number of days the department has to approve or disapprove applications for branch offices; eliminate the department’s authority to waive publication requirement for certain procedures; add night depository to list of extensions not requiring approval; update restrictions on location of extensions; and, remove notification requirement for out-of-state banks establishing or acquiring additional branches.
CBA supports this bill and will continue to monitor activity as the bill progresses.
HB 763 was introduced by Representative Todd Jones (R), South Forsyth. This bill would create a ‘sandbox’ program to allow program participants to test financial products or services under the supervision of the Attorney General. In order for a product or service to qualify for the sandbox program, such product or service must satisfy the two-pronged definition of “Innovative”. First the product or service must use new or emerging technology or reimaging existing technology. Second, the product of service must be “a product, service, business model, or delivery mechanism that is not known by the Attorney General to have comparable widespread offering.” The bill outlines other administrative requirements for applying for and implementing the program, including consumer disclosures, but otherwise, our initial understanding is that the “sandbox” could be more like a beach, depending on the discretion exercised by the Attorney General.
Given the highly regulated financial industry, the unknown scrutiny from a federal level, and the potential impact of this bill on Georgia’s community banks, CBA is closely reviewing this bill and will monitor its progress throughout the session.
This bill was assigned to the House Banks & Banking Committee.
HB 729 was introduced by Representative Debra Bazemore (D), South Fulton. The bill relates to land installment contracts that would be filed in the superior court. A land installment contract means an agreement under which the seller agrees to sell an interest in property to the purchaser and the purchaser agrees to pay the purchase price in five or more subsequent payments exclusive of any down payment and the seller retains title to the property as security for the purchasers obligation under the agreement. This would include agreements that are leases with the option to buy. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 762 was introduced by Representative John Carson (R), Marietta. This bill relates to the exemption from state income tax and provides a deduction from the Georgia net taxable income of corporations for assessments paid by a taxpayer that were imposed on such taxpayer pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. Under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”), banks with more than $10 billion in assets were limited in the amount of the FDIC insurance assessments that would be deductible as a business expense on such banks’ federal taxes. As we understand the bill, if passed, banks with more than $10 billion in total assets would regain the ability to deduct the full amount of their FDIC insurance assessments from their taxable income at the state level, in the same manner as before the TCJA went into effect. Banks below this asset threshold will continue to be permitted to deduct the full amount of their FDIC insurance assessment as a business expense at both the state and federal level. This bill was assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee.
HB 768 was introduced by Representative Sandra Scott (D), Rex. This bill relates to rights, privileges, and prohibitions regarding military personnel and provides that it is against public policy to discriminate in housing based on a person’s status as a current or former member of the armed forces in the United States. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 769 was introduced by Representative Sandra Scott (D), Rex. This bill relates to Veteran's education and provides for graduate education and housing assistance for certain disabled veterans. This bill was assigned to the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee.
HB 776 was introduced by Representative Billy Mitchell (D), Stone Mountain. This bill relates to mortgages, conveyances to secure debt and liens and provide protections for military service members in the event of foreclosures or other proceedings to enforce secured obligations. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 785 was introduced by Representative Joseph Gullett (R), Dallas, This bill would provide for electronic notaries and remote online notaries. The bill would revise the powers of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority to provide rules and regulations for electronic notaries. While CBA supports the topic of electronic notaries, we will be reviewing the bill and the specific language included within the bill to determine if there are any potential detrimental impacts from the bill. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. CBA will continue to monitor this bill as it progresses.
EVP, Chief of Staff, Government & Regulatory Relations