Committee Hearings of Note This Week
GBA’s priority bill creating a multibank public deposit collateralization pool, SB 283
, by Sen. John Kennedy
(R-Macon), was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee Thursday. However, the session ended early and with the General Assembly not in session Friday, most afternoon committee meetings were postponed so legislators could head home. We expect the hearing to be next week. We will be testifying in support of the bill as will Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler
and State Treasurer Steve McCoy
The Senate Judiciary Committee met this week to consider SB 255
by Sen. Jesse Stone
(R-Waynesboro). The bill was introduced to address the reasons a federal judge ruled portions of Georgia’s garnishment statute unconstitutional. The bill is the result of a task force put together at the request of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard
(R-Sandy Springs). Adam Cleveland
of the Thompson O’Brien firm in Norcross, and Ellen Fleming
, an in-house attorney at SunTrust, served on the Task Force representing the interests of financial institutions.. At the hearing, several issues were raised that would continue to improve the bill and we expect those amendments to be adopted prior to the bill being reported out of committee next week. GBA supports the concept.
Taxes – Property Redemption.
The Senate Judiciary Committee reported out HB 51
by Rep. Tommy Benton
(R-Jefferson) that had been held over from the 2015 session. The bill changes the provisions about the amount of taxes payable upon redemption of a property sold for taxes, as well as establishes timeframes for when the purchaser of a property is required to join a homeowners association and pay association dues. GBA is monitoring the bill.
Credit Union Activities - Unauthorized Practice of Law.
The House Judiciary Committee favorably reported HB 759
by Rep. Wendell Willard
(R-Sandy Springs) clarifying that credit unions have parity with other financial institutions so that loan closings may be done without the use of an attorney in limited situations. GBA is monitoring the bill
Tax Exempt Savings Accounts for the Disabled.
A subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on HB 710
by Rep. Scot Turner
(R-Holly Springs) and HB 768
. The bills would establish a qualified program in Georgia so people can contribute to tax-exempt accounts to pay for qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation of eligible individuals with disabilities. This is a national initiative and is commonly referred to as an ABLE account, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. No action was taken on moving the bills forward. GBA is monitoring the bills.