This week, we completed days 17 through 20 of the legislative session. We have made it to the half-way point of the session! Crossover day is Day 28 of the session so there is still time for bills to progress from one chamber to the other. Sine die will be day 40 of the session.
Other bills that CBA is tracking:
HB 42—Professional Licensing Boards by Rep. Scot Turner (R), Holly Springs, was passed by the Higher Education Committee on February 13, 2019. The bill went to the House Rules Committee where the bill was recommitted to the Higher Education Committee on Wednesday.
HB 70—Guardian and Ward by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R), Dacula, was passed by the Juvenile Justice Committee by substitute on Wednesday.
HB 81—Contracts by Rep. Todd Jones (R), South Forsyth, related to eliminating restrictive covenants in employment agreements with Information Technology employees, was voted upon by the House Judiciary Welch Subcommittee. The author of the bill made significant changes to narrow the scope to only apply to non-compete agreements and to narrow the type of Information Technology person the bill applies to. The bill was passed by the Subcommittee. The bill is on the full House Judiciary Committee calendar for Friday afternoon.
HB 239–Georgia Business Court by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R), Dacula, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday. There were numerous questions on the bill and the author of the bill indicated that amendments would be made to the bill.
HB 307—Abandoned Motor Vehicle Act by Rep. Alan Powell (R), Hartwell, was introduced in the House. The bill relates to abandoned motor vehicles, so as to repeal Article 1, relating to abandoned and derelict vehicles, and to enact a new Article 1; to amend Article 5 of Chapter 12 of Title 44 of the O.C.G.A., relating to disposition of unclaimed property, so as to provide for proceeds from the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle after satisfaction of a lien to be deposited with the commissioner of revenue; to provide for publication of "Georgia Unclaimed Property List"; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. CBA will continue to monitor this bill.
HB 314—Georgia Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act by Rep. Ron Stephens (R), Savannah, was introduced in the House. The bill relates to registration, operation, and sale of watercraft, so as to provide for the titling of certain vessels; to provide for procedures with regard to titling such vessels; to provide for legislative intent and findings; to provide a short title; to amend Part 1 of Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding sales and use taxes, so as to provide for a cap on the sales and use tax on the purchase or lease of a vessel; to provide for definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. This bill is similar to boat titling bills that have been introduced in years past; however, the taxes established within the bill caused many questions and concerns when the bill was discussed in Committee. CBA will continue to monitor this bill.
HB 402—Handicapped Persons; items to be reported by financial institutions by Rep. Houston Gaines (R), Athens, was introduced in the House. The bill relates to the protection of disabled adults and elder persons, so as to include abuse and neglect in the items to be reported by a financial institution; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. As written, the definition of abuse and neglect is very broad. CBA is opposed to the bill as written as financial institutions would be mandated reporters for not only financial exploitation, but for abuse and neglect as well. We do not believe our banks have the training necessary to make a determination on what constitutes abuse and neglect. CBA is working with the Department of Human Services to see if we can work on revised language that can be agreeable to all parties.
SB 38—Courts; electronic filing requirements of superior and state courts by Sen. William T. Ligon, Jr. (R), Brunswick, was passed by the Senate with a vote of 53-0 on February 13, 2019. The bill was introduced in the House on February 14, 2019.
SB 52—Code Revision Commission by Sen. William T. Ligon (R), Brunswick, was passed by the Senate with a vote of 52-0 on February 14, 2019. The bill was introduced in the House on February 15, 2019.
SB 110—Statewide Business Court by Sen. Jesse Stone (R), Waynesboro, was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday. There were numerous questions by Committee members on the bill and the author of the bill welcomed feedback from Committee members and others that may have concerns in writing to his office.
SB 120—Georgia Tax Credit Business Case Act by Rep. John Albers (R), Roswell, was introduced in the Senate. The bill relates to fiscal bills generally, so as to require an economic analysis to be conducted by the state auditor of certain income tax credits and exemptions from sales and use taxes according to a schedule; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. One of the income tax credits outlined within the bill is Code Section 48-7-29.7, which is a tax credit for depository financial institutions. The bill would require that on or before December 31, 2019, an economic analysis of this tax credit should be issued to the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. CBA will monitor this analysis.