Advocacy Update 2023 - Days 21-23

Posted By: Lori Godfrey Advocacy Update,
Crossover Day Fast Approaching
February 16 marked the halfway point of the forty-day session.  The next substantial milestone – Crossover Day – is slated for March 6, in just four legislative days.  Crossover Day is just like it sounds: it’s the deadline for bills to “cross” to the other chamber.  In other words, House bills must be approved by the House and Senate bills must be approved by the Senate by the end of Crossover Day to remain viable for the balance of the session.  This ensures lawmakers have at least twelve legislative days in which to review, amend, and vote on measures from their colleagues across the hall.
As the calendar approaches Crossover Day, legislative days will grow longer as lawmakers attempt to make the most of their limited time.  Next week legislators will gavel in Monday through Thursday, with Friday reserved as a committee work day before Crossover the following Monday.
New Legislation of Interest
Unsolicited Home Sales (HB 471)                                                                    Rep. Clint Crowe, R-Jackson
Assigned to the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Cmte on Feb-21
Provides guidelines and penalties for the unsolicited purchase of real estate.
American Dream Workforce Housing Tax Credit (HB 488)                            Rep. Matt Reeves, R-Duluth
Assigned to the House Ways & Means Cmte on Feb-21
Provides for tax credits for certain contributions made by taxpayers to certain mortgage loan originators. 
Georgia Online Automatic Renewal Transparency Act (HB 528)             Rep. Houston Gaines, R-Athens
Assigned to the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Cmte on Feb-22
Provides for regulation of certain acts and practices of businesses that offer paid subscriptions or purchasing agreements online subject to automatic renewal or continuous service.  Provides for online cancellation.  Provides that certain automatic online renewal offers and online continuous service offers shall be unlawful. Provides that terms shall be clear and conspicuous. Provides that online businesses shall obtain customers' consent prior to authorizing a charge to any debit card, credit card, or consumer's account with a third party. 
Discussions were held with the author of this bill to strike the language on lines 161-164 and insert “Any financial institution as defined in OCGA 7-1-4, or any subsidiary or affiliate of such institution, or any holding company as defined by OCGA 7-1-605; or Any foreign bank maintaining a branch or agency licensed under federal law or under the laws of any state of the United States; and”
Local Government Investment Policy (HB 531)                                       Rep. Carter Barrett, R-Cumming
Assigned to the House Banks & Banking Cmte on Feb-22
Provides for local government investment policies.  Authorizes additional investment options for school funds.
Other Active Measures
Ad Valorem Taxation of Property (HB 36)                                             Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta
Passed out of the House with a vote of 170-0 on Feb-23
Revises the language required to be included in the notices of current assessments and adds hearing officer review for tax assessments of certain business personal property.
Disclosure Statement for Sale of Energy Systems (HB 73)                      Rep. Joseph Gullett, R-Acworth
Passed out of the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Cmte as a Substitute on Feb-21
Requires that the seller provide a written disclosure statement with any agreement for the sale of distributed energy generation systems or for the financing of such systems through leases or solar energy procurement agreements.
Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act (HB 80)                                               Rep. Rob Leverett, R-Elberton
Passed out of the House with a vote of 174-0 on Feb-21
Provides that unsworn declarations have the same effect as sworn declarations in certain circumstances, including related to the offense of perjury.
Internal Revenue Code Conforming Changes (HB 95)                                    Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin
Passed out of the House with a vote of 172-0 on Feb-23
Incorporates certain provisions of the federal law into Georgia law.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) (HB 122)                                Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville
Passed out of the House Higher Education Cmte as a Substitute on Feb-21
*See also HB 1008 from 21/22*
Changes governance of the Georgia ABLE program to the board of directors of the GA Higher Education Savings Plan; removes the maximum amount of contributions currently allowed per beneficiary and authorizes the Board to establish the maximum.
Property Tax Exemption Population Brackets (HB 138)                                Rep. Clint Crowe, R-Jackson
Passed out the House with a vote of 170-1 on Feb-23
*See also HB 896 from 21/22*
Updates the population bracket and census date for a certain property tax exemption for certain leased property; applies only to property owned by GA Power in Butts Co.
One-Time Tax Credit (HB 162)                                                           Rep. Lauren McDonald, R-Cumming
Passed out of the House with a vote of 170-2 on Feb-23
Governor’s Bill.  Provides for a one-time tax credit for individual taxpayers who filed income tax returns for both the 2021 and 2022 taxable years.
Authorize For-Profit Credit Repair (HB 187)                                               Rep. Rob Leverett, R-Elberton
Passed out of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Cmte as a Substitute on Feb-22
Authorizes for-profit credit repair services and revises the definition on "credit repair services organization."
Rate Reeducation for Sale or Harvest of Timber (HR 96)                           Rep. Noel Williams, R-Cordele
On the agenda of the House Ways & Means Cmte for Feb-23
Proposes an amendment to the Constitution to reduce the rate of the ad valorem tax assessment of timber at sale or harvest; requires state appropriations to each county, municipality, or school district affected by the tax rate reduction.
Commercial Financing Disclosures (SB 90)                                                        Sen. Clint Dixon, R-Buford
Passed out of the Senate with a vote of 52-1 on Feb-22
Provides for commercial financing disclosures and requires certain persons who provide commercial financing transactions to make certain disclosures.
Georgia Cyber Command Division (SB 97)                                                 Sen. Jason Anavitarte, R-Dallas
Passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Cmte on Feb-21
Creates the Georgia Cyber Command Division under the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.
Nonprofit Corporation (SB 148)                                                                    Sen. John Kennedy, R-Macon
On the agenda for the Senate Judiciary Cmte on Feb-23
Provides for the comprehensive revision of the statute related to nonprofit corporations.