The 2023 Legislative Session is winding down with Legislative Days 36-38 in the books. Next Monday is Legislative Day 39. Tuesday is a Committee Workday and Sine Die (Legislative Day 40) is Wednesday.


The House and Senate appointed Conference Committee Members to work out the differences in the FY24 budget (HB 19). President Pro Tem John Kennedy, Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery were appointed in the Senate. Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones, Majority Leader Chuck Efstration, and House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett were appointed in the House. The only constitutional requirement of the general assembly is to pass a balanced budget. Before the end of session. A major difference in the House and Senate’s $32 billion budget is the removal of about $105 million in the University System of Georgia’s budget; state law enforcement officers would receive a higher pay increase. Last week, Governor Kemp signed the Amended Fiscal Year 23 budget (HB 18).

Governor’s bills

HB 128, sponsored by Rep. Soo Hong (Governor’s Floor Leader), would increase the representation of businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans in the procurement of state contracts for construction, services, equipment, and goods.  The bill passed in the Senate 44-1 and heads to the Governor’s desk.

SB 42, sponsored by Sen. Mike Hodges (Governor’s Floor Leader), would increase the fines for businesses that fail to comply with model notice requirements for the human trafficking hotline. The bill unanimously passed in the House and heads to the Governor’s desk.

Other notable bills

HB 30, sponsored by Rep. John Carson and co-sponsored by Majority Leader Chuck Efstration, would create a state definition of antisemitism in Georgia and would require state agencies and departments to consider discriminatory intent in investigations. The bill refers to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. This bill is complimentary to the Hate Crimes legislation that was passed and signed into law in 2020. This bill ended up being tabled in the Senate after changes to the bill’s language. Senators stripped the language in HB 144 and replaced it with the contents of HB 30. It was favorably reported in the Senate Children and Families Committee.

SB 93, sponsored by Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Jason Anavitarte would prohibit a state employee from installing or using a social media platform that is controlled or influenced by a foreign adversary recognized by the GEMA on state equipment. The bill would also require GEMA to maintain and update a list of foreign adversaries. The House unanimously passed by substitute, and it heads back to the Senate for final approval.

HB 189, sponsored by Rep. Steven Meeks, would increase the weight variance of trucks carrying agricultural and forestry products from 5% to 10% (88,000 lbs). The sunset date is July 1, 2024. The Senate passed the bill on Thursday 44-5.

HB 406, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jasperse, would create regulations for electric vehicle chargers. It passed out of the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities by substitute. The companion bill in the Senate, SB 146, passed out of the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure Innovation.

HB 408, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Williamson, would extend the sales tax exemption for major economic development projects of regional significance to 2026. It passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week.

HB 514, sponsored by Rep. Dale Washburn, would limit local moratoriums on new residential development to 180 days and gives exceptions during emergency situations. One of the amendments added in the Senate committee changed the moratoriums to apply to all types of housing. The bill passed out of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

SR 85, sponsored by Sen. Larry Walker, would create the Senate Occupational Licensing Study Committee to address Georgia’s current occupational licensing laws and requirements. Senate Rules Committee favorably reported this week.

SR 275, sponsored by Sen. John Albers, would create the Senate Study Committee on Expanding Georgia’s Workforce to review current programs and initiatives to strengthen workforce opportunities. Senate Rules Committee favorably reported this week.

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