Updates on Legislation CBA is Tracking 5

Posted By: Lori Godfrey Advocacy Update,

Floor Updates

HB 961 Apportionment of Damages by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R), Dacula. In August 2021, the Georgia Supreme Court upended Georgia’s longstanding apportionment statute. In the opinion, the court ruled that only named defendants could be apportioned fault. This increases exposure and liability for “deep pocket” defendants. HB 961 restores the statute by allowing apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits. The law would become effective for all cases filed after the signature of the Governor. After being postponed for several weeks, the House adopted the bill 168-0.

HB 974 Deeds Requiring Electronic Filing by Rep. Joseph Gullett (R), Dallas. Requires deeds, mortgages, liens, maps or plats, and state tax executions to be filed electronically with the clerk of the superior court. During a Feb-10 hearing, there was debate about how the electronic mandate would impact individuals making filings in superior court. In the version adopted by the House 164-3, the clerk is required to accepted original paper filings for recordation by delivery in person.

Committee Actions

HB 1400 Revises Medical Cannabis Production Licenses by Rep. Alan Powell (R), Hartwell. This makes comprehensive revisions to the Access to Medical Cannabis Commission and the Oversight Committee. It revises the number of Class I and Class II production licenses that can be issued by the Commission. This has been a source of discontent following an initial procurement process that has yet to result in medical cannabis products being produced for Georgians qualifying to utilize them. The bill was passed by the Regulated Industries Committee on Mar-1.

SB 371 Credit Repair Services Organizations by Sen. Larry Walker (R), Perry. It authorizes for-profit credit repair services. It came out of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on Feb-24 and is eligible for placement on an upcoming Senate debate calendar.

Hearings Only

HB 1152 Requires Merchants to Accept Cash by Rep. Mesha Mainor (D), Atlanta. This bill requires merchants to accept cash for purchases. A substitute version requires merchants who are unable to provide change for overpayment to issue a store credit. During a Mar-2 hearing, committee members were generally supportive but questioned how this would apply to automated parking lots, non-profits (like Girl Scout cookie sales), and other merchants that aren’t traditional storefronts.

SB 116 Maternity Supportive Housing by Sen. Randy Robertson (R), Cataula. The bill was given a hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee on Mar-1.
SB 227 Blighted Properties by Sen. Emanuel Jones (D), Decatur. It provides for an alternative process for a county, municipality, or consolidated government to condemn certain blighted properties. It was given a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb-28.

SB 494 Use Restrictions on Residential Dwellings by Sen. Steve Gooch (R), Dahlonega. It prohibits local government entities from enacting or enforcing any restrictions on land or dwellings that are or are anticipated to be subject to a residential rental agreement of more than 30 days in duration and are located on any property where residential dwellings are allowed. It was given a hearing in the Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee on Mar-1. It is similar to HB 1093.