Advocacy Update 2024 - Legislative Days 29-32

Advocacy Update,
Budget Process and Delays 

Oldtimers at the Gold Dome will remember when Crossover Day was set for the 35th legislative day.  It was then moved to the 30th day, and more recently, to the 28th legislative day.  These incremental shifts to earlier in the session were intended to give both chambers sufficient time to adequately review the deluge of bills it receives after Crossover. 

Despite the good intentions, one critical measure operates outside the Crossover Day restrictions: the budget.  The House approved the FY2025 budget on March 7, sending it to the Senate on the 31st legislative day.  In protest of this delay, the Senate did not consider any House measures on the floor until March 8.  The Senate Appropriations subcommittees began work on the budget on March 5, days before it was technically eligible for consideration in the upper chamber. 

Political posturing is expected this time of year.  With any luck, the budget will soothe flaring tempers – at least until the next snub creates another deadlock.  While Sine Die and March 29 feel distant, just eight legislative days remain this year. 

The 2024 Election Field is Set 

All 236 members of the Georgia General Assembly stand for election later this year, as does Georgia’s US Congressional delegation, and several members of the state’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  While qualifying is still open through the end of March 8, preliminary analysis points to a quieter political season than in recent years.  Compared to the last Presidential Election year cycle (2020), the number of unopposed incumbents in the House and Senate is up by 50%.  Those with a challenger in the Primary or General Election are reduced by about 25%. 

With races for the state’s top posts still two years away, there have not been many vacancies created by incumbents seeking higher office.  This is sure to be the case in 2026, when Governor Brian Kemp is term-limited and several other constitutional officers are already indicating they intend to run.  There have been high-profile retirements, including the top Democrats in both the House and Senate, Rep. James Beverly and Sen. Gloria Butler, respectively.  The House is also losing two Appropriations subcommittee chairs, Rep. Penny Houston and Rep. Clay Pirkle. 

On March 12, Georgia voters will head to the polls to cast their ballot in the Presidential Preference Primary.  The regular Primary Election is set for May 21, with the General Election on November 5. 

Bill Highlight: HB 876 Department of Banking’s Housekeeping Bill 

Department’s Housekeeping Bill (HB 876)  
Rep. Bruce Williamson, R—Monroe  

Senate passed the bill with a vote of 48-0 on Mar 7th  

The bill is the annual housekeeping for the Department of Banking & Finance.  After the passage of the bill by the Senate, the bill now goes to the Governor for signature.     

As it relates to community banks, the bill changes code sections relating to bank formations, notices and filings with the Secretary of State, the definition of “subsidiary”, and the Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank Act.  For a full summary of substantive changes, click here. 

Active Measures:  General Business 

Uniform Commercial Code Modernization Act of 2024 (HB 1240)  
Rep. Matt Reeves, R—Duluth  

Bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Mar 7th  

The bill updates and modernizes various statutes in the commercial code relating to commercial transactions in order to maintain uniformity in this state’s statutes governing commercial transactions as recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.  It establishes commercial law for transactions involving digital assets, adds a new article pertaining to electronic records, and adds a new article pertaining to transitional provisions. 

Small Business Protection Act (SB 429)  
Sen. Greg Dolezal, R—Cumming 

Bill heard by the House Budget & Fiscal Affairs Committee on Mar 7th   

This bill provides for the preparation and submission of small business impact analyses for bills introduced during sessions of the General Assembly.  This bill is the centerpiece of the Lieutenant Governor’s red-tape reduction agenda.  The small business impact analysis would be similar to a fiscal note the General Assembly is required to produce for tax bills describing the cost to the state.  Proposed agency rulemaking would be required to include an economic analysis and the impact on small businesses.     


Increase Statewide Ad Valorem Exemption for Tangible Personal Property (HB 808)  
Rep. Mike Cheokas, R--Americus 

Bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Mar 6th   

The bill increases a statewide ad valorem tax exemption for tangible personal property.  The exemption would increase from $7,500 to $50,000 in a tiered manner over several years.  A substitute bill was presented capping the exemption at $20,000 instead of $50,000 over several years. 



COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety (SB 430)  
Sen. Greg Dolezal, R—Cumming 

Bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Mar 7th   

The bill revises provisions for rebuttable presumptions of risk by claimants in certain COVID-19 liability claims by repealing certain warning requirements.  The liability protections remain in place, but the legislation removes the need for the warning signs that became ubiquitous during the pandemic. 


Appellate Jurisdiction (SB 450)
Sen. John Kennedy, R—Macon 

Bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Mar 7th   

The bill clarifies that neither superior court nor a state court has appellate jurisdiction over any non-appealable order of a probate court relative to property, wills, trusts, and administration of estates. 



Georgia Hemp Farming Act (SB 494)
Sen. Sam Watson, R—Moultrie 

Bill approved by the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on Mar 7th  

The bill revises the Georgia Hemp Farming Act.  See also HB 1286 and HB 1322 

List of Eligible Bills that CBA is Monitoring 

The following bills have crossed over from their respective chambers and remain eligible for action.  CBA continues to actively monitor these bills and will provide updates as actions are taken on the bills: 


HB 206: C-PACE 

HB 985: GA Higher Education Assistance Corp 

HB 1018: Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act 

HB 1040: Mortgage Trigger Leads 

HB 1053: Central Bank Digital Currency as Payment 

HB 1123: Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Multidisciplinary Team 

HB 1218: Notice to Beneficiaries of a Testate Estate 

HB 1247: Transfer-on-Death Deeds 

SB 254: Earned Wage Access Providers 

SB 425: Remote Online Notaries 

SB 473: GA Consumer Privacy Protection Act 

SB 469: GA Higher Education Savings Plan