The General Assembly convened the last two weeks for Legislative Days 17-23. Legislators will resume business this week for Legislative Days 24-27. Crossover Day is a week away (March 6). Lawmakers have until then to pass a bill out of their chamber for it to still be considered this session.
The only constitutional requirement for lawmakers is to pass a balanced budget. Last week, the Senate passed by substitute the Amended Fiscal Year 23 budget (HB 18) 54-1. The AFY23 budget reflects almost a 7 percent increase from the original budget. The general assembly will begin considering the FY24 budget.
HB 162 sponsored by Rep. Lauren McDonald (Governor’s Floor Leader), would provide a one-time tax credit of $250 for individuals and $500 for married couples who filed taxes in Georgia in 2021 and 2022. The House passed the measure 170-2. It now heads to the Senate.
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 passed the Senate 51-1 and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
Other notable bills
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 bill passed the Senate 50-0 and has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
SB 57 sponsored by Sen. Billy Hickman would legalize online sports betting and fixed-odds betting on horse racing in Georgia. The bill passed the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee 8-1. Several related bills were also introduced, including the regulation and taxation of sports betting (SB 172 sponsored by Sen. Bill Cowsert and HB 380 sponsored by Marcus Wiedower). Two resolutions that propose a constitutional amendment were also introduced (SR 140 & HR 210).
HB 246 sponsored by Rep. Martin Momtahan would prohibit all governments of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, including their citizens and companies owned and operated by them, to acquire title or property in Georgia. It has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 406 sponsored by Rep. Rick Jasperse would create regulations for electric vehicle chargers. Last week, the House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure Innovation favorably reported by substitute.
SR 147 sponsored by Sen. Derek Mallow creates the Senate Local Options Sales Tax Study Committee.
To learn more about the Chamber’s public policy initiatives, visit https://gwinnettchamber.org/publicpolicy/