2020 Legislative Update June 23, 2020
On Monday, June 15, the 2020 Legislative Session resumed for Legislative Day 30. The General Assembly met Monday through Saturday, completing, Days 30 through 35. They passed an adjournment resolution on Saturday, setting the schedule for the remainder of the session to be in all five days this week with Friday, June 26 set for Sine Die.
HB 793 the general appropriations budget. The 2020-2021 fiscal year budget passed the full Senate on Friday and was amended to reflect the 11% budget cuts. The House disagreed with the Senate substitution, and the Senate insisted on their position, forcing the budget into a conference committee. The conferees are House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, House Majority Leader Jon Burns, House Speaker Pro Temp Jan Jones, Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery, Senate Pro Temp Butch Miller, and Majority Leader Mike Dugan.
The Senate version of the budget eliminated funds for the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. Changes are reflected on page 64 of the budget. Please reach out to your legislators to let them know the significance of the Water Planning District and the importance of funding this measure.
Business & Industry:
HB 167 sponsored by Representative Darlene Taylor (R- Thomasville) previously allowed insurers to adjust residential property insurance claims. However, on Thursday, this bill was substituted by Senator John Kennedy (R-Macon) to include protections for businesses against lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is scheduled for a Senate floor vote on Tuesday.
HB 879 sponsored by Representative Brett Harrell (R-Snellville), allows for the home delivery of alcohol sales. The bill passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Friday. The bill is scheduled for a Senate floor vote on Tuesday.
HB 1039 sponsored by Representative Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) prevents companies from automatically renewing customer contracts for periods longer than 12 months. The bill passed the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee on Friday and awaits action in the Senate Rules Committee.
SB 316, sponsored by Representative Bruce Thompson (R- White), would provide for military spouses licensed in other states to practice certain professions and occupations to obtain a license by endorsement to practice in the state of Georgia. The bill was recommitted to House Rules Committee on Friday where it awaits further action.
SB 493 sponsored by Senator Bruce Thompson (R-White), encourages businesses to use the highest cybersecurity software, which provides them affirmative defenses for data breaches. The bill is pending action by the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 426 sponsored by Representative Chuck Efstration (R- Dacula), intends to revise the criteria for imposition of punishment for crimes involving bias or prejudice. The Senate version of the hate crimes bill, which was substituted into HB 426, and received a do pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee was amended by the Rules Committee late on Monday and is scheduled for a Senate floor vote on Tuesday.
The RBC Board approved the following statement in support of hate crimes legislation.
The Regional Business Coalition of Metropolitan Atlanta (RBC) fully supports the passage of a hate crimes bill. Although the remainder of this legislative session is short, we strongly urge the GA General Assembly make hate crimes legislation a top priority. This legislation provides the framework necessary in bringing our community together and continuing our reputation of being the #1 State to do business in the country.
HB 1035 sponsored by Representative Chuck Martin (R- Alpharetta), was changed by a committee substitute in Senate Finance Committee to eliminate a number of tax exemptions. On Thursday, the bill received a do pass in the Senate Finance Committee and now awaits action in Senate Rules.
HB 1037 sponsored by Representative Matt Dollar (R-Marietta), updates the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act. The bill passed by substitute out of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday and awaits action in the Senate Rules Committee.
HB 105 sponsored by Representative Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), the hurricane Michael disaster relief bill, was amended in the Senate to include provisions that reduce taxes on rideshare companies and direct such dollars collected to transportation-related expenses. On Thursday, the Senate agreed to the House substitute as amended. The bill now awaits actions by the Governor.
HR 935 sponsored in the Senate by Senator Brandon Beach (R- Alpharetta), would extend the Georgia Commission on Freight Logistics. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Senate on Monday, June 15 and immediately transmitted to the House for agreement.
The Regional Business Coalition of Metropolitan Atlanta (RBC) is an organization of over a dozen of the largest and most active Chambers of Commerce throughout the metro Atlanta region. RBC member chambers represent over 15,000 member companies who employ millions of metro Atlanta residents. The RBC’s primary goal is to represent the interests of RBC Chamber members on regional public policy issues impacting our transportation, water, and air quality and to advocate for solutions that improve metro Atlanta’s quality of life and economic vitality.