January 24, 2022 to January 27, 2022
After a week of appropriations hearings, the session resumed on Monday, January 24th and completed days five through eight of the session. The Senate established the Adjournment Calendar for the remainder of the 40-day session in S.R. 382. Tuesday, March 15th will be Day 28 or Crossover Day of the session. Crossover is the last day that a bill can pass in one chamber and be sent to the next chamber. Bills that fail to do so are no longer in consideration during the current session. Sine Die, or the last day of the session, will be Monday, April 4th.
H.B. 856 was introduced in the House by Rep. Kim Schofield (D), Atlanta. The bill provides for the establishment of the Legislative Commission on the Disparate Impact of COVID-19. The bill was assigned to the Rules Committee.
H.B. 858 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill relates to the Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act and provides for hearings upon the seizure of certain property. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 859 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill relates to the Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act and provides that certain property is exempt from seizure or forfeiture. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 860 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill relates to the Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act and requires reporting of property seized and forfeited to the Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 916 was introduced in the House by Rep. Rob Leverett (R), Elberton. The bill relates to appeal and error and provides for a unified procedure for appealing decisions of a lower judicatory to a superior or state court. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 931 was introduced in the House by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R), Woodstock. The bill relates to contents of certificates of title, certificates as evidence, and certificates not subject to garnishment or other process and the alternative ad valorem tax on motor vehicles. The bill was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee.
H.B. 940 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill allows for electronic wills to satisfy all laws of the state. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 960 was introduced in the House by Rep. Rob Leverett (R), Elberton. The bill establishes the Office of the State Inspector General to investigate the management and operation of state agencies. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 961 was introduced in the House by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R), Dacula. The bill authorizes apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits and provides for evidence of fault of nonparties. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee. CBA is one of many organizations in the business community that has signed a letter of support for the bill. On Tuesday, the bill was passed by the Judiciary Committee and is now eligible for consideration by the full Chamber.
H.B. 965 was introduced in the House by Rep. Mesha Mainor (D), Atlanta. The relates to the Fair Business Practices Act and provides that certain landlords shall provide certain notices to existing and prospective tenants with regard to certain crimes occurring on the premises being leased. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 974 was introduced in the House by Rep. Joseph Gullett (R), Dallas. The bill requires deeds, mortgages liens, maps or plats, and state tax executions to be filed electronically with the clerk of superior court. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 977 was introduced in the House by Rep. Kim Schofield (D), Atlanta. The bill lowers the age of individuals protected by the prohibition of age discrimination in employment from 70 to 50 yeas of age or older. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 995 was introduced in the House by Rep. William Boddie (D), East Point. The bill requires employers to provide at least five days of sick leave for an employee that can be used for the care of immediate family members. The bill was assigned to the Industry and Labor Committee.
H.B. 997 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sam Watson (R), Moultrie. The bill provides a state-wide exemption from all ad valorem taxes for timber equipment and timber products held by timber producers. The bill was assigned to the Ways & Means Committee.
H.R. 581 was introduced in the House by Rep. Yasmin Neal (D), Jonesboro. The bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution to authorize the General Assembly to provide for the net proceeds of one or more lottery games to support economic development by providing for loans to support small businesses located in Georgia which are independently owned and operated by Georgia residents. The bill was assigned to the Regulated Industries Committee.
S.B. 345 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R), Chickamauga. The bill prohibits state and local governments from mandating vaccine passports. The bill was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee.
S.B. 363 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Blake Tillery (R), Vidalia. The bill provides for class action suits and for damages for violating the requirements for solicitations for corporate filings or employment or labor related posted or notices. The bill was assigned to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
S.B. 364 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Blake Tillery (R), Vidalia. The bill provides for class action suits and for damages against certain persons for violating provisions related to telephone solicitations. The bill was assigned to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
S.B. 371 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Larry Walker III (R), Perry. The bill authorizes for-profit credit repair services; revised the definition of “credit repair services organization”. The bill was assigned to the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee.
S.B. 374 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Blake Tillery (R), Vidalia. The bill relates to the Georgia Data Analytic Center and establishes as an agent of all executive state agencies. The bill was assigned to the Science and Technology Committee.
S.B. 394 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R), Cumming. The bill protects the privacy of computer data and personal information of individuals in the state. It finds the use of a strictly ‘opt-out’ method for data privacy to be ineffectual and to pose an immediate risk to the health, safety, and welfare of individuals in the state. The bill was assigned to the Science and Technology Committee.
H.B. 389 Change Definition of Employment sponsored by Rep. Todd Jones (R), Cumming. The bill was presented to the House Industry and Labor Committee and was passed favorably.
S.B. 332 Inform Consumers Act sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R), Roswell. The bill was presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee and was passed favorably.
Last year, the Remote Online Notary (RON) bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Joseph Gullett (R), Dallas. RONs have been allowed by Executive Order during the pandemic; H.B. 334 seeks to make them permanent.
CBA and many other groups were supportive of the legislation. While CBA had some concerns with certain provisions, we testified in both the House and Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the measure. We stated that our concerns and many of the concerns of others could be better addressed in future legislative sessions with the benefit of hindsight following implementation of the legislation.
On Sine Die 2021, the Senate passed their version of the bill, which did not include real estate closing by a vote of 52-0. Since changes were made on the Senate side, the bill had to go back to the House to allow those members to “agree” or “disagree” with the Senate revisions.
The House can make one amendment as part of the agree/disagree process. The House amended the bill, added back in the real estate language, and adopted it by a vote of 162-3. The bill was transmitted back to the Senate for a motion to agree/disagree with the changes made in the House.
Sen. Blake Tillery (R), Vidalia, made a motion to disagree with the House substitute to H.B. 334; however, the Lt. Governor did not recognize the motion. Sen. John Albers (R), Roswell, moved that the Senate agree to the House Substitute for the bill. Sen. Albers took the well to argue that the bill encourages homeownership by allowing a digital option for notarization.
Then, Sen. Tillery spoke to the bill and the action that was being considered and suggested that the bill should have been killed earlier in the day. The discussion became heated and personal, no doubt in part due to the late hour. Sen. Tillery insisted that RON hurts community banks and that removing real estate from the bill would help community banks and small businesses. Sen. Albers closed the debate by stating that he had talked with community bankers and acknowledged that we support the bill. In the last 12 months, every one of us has learned to do something differently because of COVID-19. Sen. Albers asked for favorable consideration on the bill. Sen. Brian Strickland (R), McDonough moved to table the bill, and the motion carried with a vote 46-6.
Since the bill was placed on the table and not defeated in a vote, it remains active this session. On Wednesday, January 26th, Sen. Tillery made a motion to disagree with the House Amendment or Substitute. The bill will now go back to the House. The House is expected to insist on their position and the bill will return to the Senate where they will insist on their position as well. If that holds true, a conference committee will be appointed consisting of three members of both the House and Senate to come to a consensus on language for final passage. CBA will continue to follow developments on this bill.
More information to come, be sure to sign up for Advocacy Updates in the right hand column of this page to receive the latest information.
State Representative Noel Williams (R-Cordele), was recently appointed by Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) to serve as the chairman of the House Banks & Banking Committee for the remainder of the 2021-2022 legislative term.
“I am honored and delighted to serve as the chairman of Banks and Banking Committee, and I certainly look forward to embracing the challenges ahead,” said Chairman Williams. “I appreciate Speaker Ralston for giving me this opportunity. I am always proud to serve the people of House District 148 and ‘do the duty which lies nearest’ here at the State Capitol.”
The House Banks & Banking Committee has jurisdiction of financial institutions, real property finance and corporate securities law.
For more information on the House Banks & Banking Committee, please click here.
Representative Noel Williams represents the citizens of District 148, which includes Crisp, Pulaski and Wilcox counties and portions of Houston County. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and currently serves as Chairman of the Banks and Banking Committee and Vice Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Game, Fish & Parks, Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, Small Business Development, State Planning & Community Affairs and Ways & Means committees.
Noel graduated in 1994 with a political science degree from the University of Georgia. After he graduated, Noel spent 13 years working for Life of the South insurance agency. Since 2007, Noel has been with the Partners Benefit Group asa principle.
He is currently a board member of the South Georgia Banking Company and Crisp Regional Hospital. He is the chairman of the Crisp Regional Foundation board and vice chair of the Crisp Academy Board of Trustees.
Noel has been a member of the Cordele First United Methodist Church since 1994 and serves on the church’s council. He has also served on the Parish Relations Committee and as a mentor for FMC youth confirmations.
January 10, 2022 to January 14, 2022
The 2022 Legislative Session kicked off on Monday, January 10, 2022 and we completed days one through four of this 40 day legislative session so far. H.R. 570 was introduced and outlines the adjournment schedule through day seven of the 40-day session. Next week, the Legislature will use the days for Joint Appropriation (budget) hearings and will not convene formally for a legislative day. The 2022 session will be the second session of a two-year term of the Georgia Assembly. So, all bills introduced during the 2021 session that did not pass and were not defeated will be live bills for the 2022 session. This year, CBA has partnered with Fiveash-Stanley, Inc. for our grassroots lobbying efforts year round.
The session began with all of the formalities and resolutions to open and start both chambers. Day one was short and sweet as many were anxious to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play in the National Championship Game. The session reconvened for Day 2 on Wednesday morning. On Thursday, the chamber combined for a Joint session for the Governor’s State of the State address. Day 5 of the session will be January 24, 2022, so there will be no blog updates next week. One of the items that we typically expect during the first week is an updated list of Committee Chairs and Assignments for both chambers. As of the writing of this blog, the updated Committee assignments had not be publicized.
Each week, we will outline new bills that have been introduced in either the House or the Senate that we are tracking that may impact community banks in Georgia. As the bills proceed through the process, we will provide updates to you and outline any important changes that are made to the bill as they occur. For your reference, we have a tracking document that can be accessed at anytime on our website that will show ALL legislation that is moving through the legislative process with bills we are tracking/monitoring highlighted for your convenience.
H.B. 829 was introduced in the House by Rep. James Burchett (R), Waycross. The bill raises the threshold at which a civil litigant can request a jury from $25,000 to $1 million. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 847 was introduced in the House by Rep. Michael Smith (D), Marietta. The bill allows victims of domestic violence or sexual assault to take time off from work without being subjected to termination or other adverse employment action; provides for certain prerequisites and procedures for taking such time off. The bill was assigned to the Industry and Labor Committee.
H.B. 859 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill provides that certain property is exempt from seizure or forfeiture under the Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act, including real property subject to a homestead exemption, currency totaling $541 or less, and cars valued at less than $5,000.
H.B. 860 was introduced in the House by Rep. Sandra Scott (D), Rex. The bill requires the reporting of property seized and forfeited; establishes a case tracking system and searchable public website.
H.B. 869 was introduced in the House by Rep. Charlice Byrd (R), Woodstock. The bill prohibits the following:
H.B. 894 was introduced in the House by Rep. William Boddie (D), East Point. The bill Prohibits a prospective tenant from being refused a rental or lease agreement solely based upon a previous eviction during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 899 was introduced in the House by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R), Monroe. The bill Provides for the legal effects of the discontinuance of LIBOR on contracts, securities, or instruments. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
S.B. 319 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R), Dallas. The bill implements "constitutional carry" (legal for gun owners to carry firearms without a permit); allows "private property owners or persons in legal control of private property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract, or any other agreement to control access to such private property to exclude or eject a person who is in possession of a weapon or long gun." The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
S.B. 329 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R), Cornelia. The bill provides for the apportionment of awards of damages among one or more persons in certain actions. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
S.B. 331 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Albers (R), Roswell. The bill prohibits the regulation of employee work hours, scheduling, and output by local government entities. The bill was assigned to the Insurance and Labor Committee.
S.B. 332 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Albers (R), Roswell. The bill requires online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information and sellers to provide that information to consumers in an effort to prevent criminals from selling stolen or counterfeit goods. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.
H.B. 891 was introduced in the House by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R), Monroe. This is the Department of Banking and Finance’s Housekeeping bill. The bill was assigned to the Banks & Banking Committee.
The bill contains proposed legislative changes identified internally or suggested by the industry over the course of the previous year. The major goal of these efforts is the streamlining or simplifying of existing statutes to make the Department’s regulation more efficient and/or ease the regulatory burden on financial institutions while at the same time ensuring that these institutions are safe and sound. The bill contains revisions to bank, credit union, installment lenders, money service businesses - money transmitters and sellers of payment instrument -, and mortgage lender and broker laws.
A number of changes in the bill are tied to the Department’s on-going review of its application processes to see if any improvements can be made. As a result of the Department’s review of its processes, this bill has a number of changes related to acquisitions and changes in control involving banks and bank holding companies and the related application processes.
More importantly, a number of the changes in the bill for money service businesses are related to the model law developed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) and the money service business industry. A stated goal of the model law is to harmonize definitions and requirements between the various states as it relates to regulated activity definitions, exemptions, control requirements, and prudential standards. Another goal is to ensure consumer protection and prevent bad actors from entering the money transmission ecosystem. This bill contains certain provisions of the model law dealing with control requirements.
For a section by section breakdown of the Housekeeping bill, click here
Lastly, we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to our PAC/PR Funds. Without those contributions, we couldn't do what needs to be done at the Capital without your support. Your contributions allow us to be as effective as possible as we interact with legislators and legislation. From the bottom of the CBA of GA's team & family, we thank you. For 2022, we are starting the year off fresh and working to build our PAC/PR balance for the year. If you have not made a contribution in 2022 thus far, then we encourage you to do so. For more information, visit our website for information on how to contribute. Be on the lookout in our weekly eNewsletter for a shout out to those that have made a PAC/PR contribution as a means of saying thanks publicly!