Other GBA-monitored Bills Saw Action this Week
Banks Serving Firearms Dealers.
We testified this week before the House Banks and Banking Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Morris
(R-Vidalia), against SB 282
by Sen. Jesse Ston
e (R-Waynesboro), the Georgia Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act. As originally introduced, the bill essentially said that if a bank chose not to do business with someone who has a federal license to sell firearms, the seller could sue the bank. The bank would then have to prove that the bank’s decision was for a reason other than the seller was related to the firearms industry. That provision was taken out in an amendment on the Senate floor, but the bill passed. Although watered down, we still oppose the bill as the remaining language gives the Attorney General the right to bring an action against a bank if he believes the bank is about to violate, is violating, or has violated the act. No other industry has such a carve-out as is being given the firearms industry, and we believe this sets a bad precedent. We also asked the committee to include a parity provision for state chartered banks should the OCC or federal courts rule the bill does not apply to nationally chartered banks. We told the committee the bill was in response to the federal Operation Choke Point initiative that has been stopped, so there is no need for the legislation. The committee did not take action on the bill, but we expect they will meet again soon to vote whether to report the bill. Here’s a link to the members of the House Banks and Banking Committee
. If your representative is on that committee and you are as concerned about the bad precedent this legislation sets as we are, we encourage you to call your representative and ask that he or she oppose the bill. Click here to read what we said to the committee...
The House Judiciary Committee reported a revised version of SB 206
by Sen. William Ligon
(R-Brunswick). The bill as currently written gives certain individuals and entities, specifically including lenders, the right to file a written request with a public or private water supplier inquiring about the existence of unpaid bills attributable to the property. GBA has successfully worked with the author and others to improve the bill and we will continue to weigh in as needed.
Unauthorized Practice of Law.
The Senate Banking Committee reported HB 759
, the bill by Rep. Wendell Willard
(R-Sandy Springs) that clarifies 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 Senate Special Judiciary Committee amended and reported HB 381
by Rep. Andy Welch
(R-McDonough). The bill makes significant revisions to the Georgia code dealing with notaries public. GBA is monitoring.
Real Estate Broker Paperwork. HB 869
by Rep. Alan Powell
(R-Hartwell) was reported out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee this week. The bill removes the requirement for mortgage brokers to retain indefinitely copies of certain paperwork related to real estate sales transactions. GBA is monitoring.
Electronic Real Estate Filings.
The Senate Special Judiciary Committee reported HB 1004
by Rep. Rick Jasperse
(R-Jasper). The bill provides for the addition of electronic images of maps, plats and plans to be filed with the Clerk of Superior Court and into the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority registry. GBA is monitoring.
The House Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on SB 389
by Sen. Hunter Hill
(R-Atlanta). The bill adds compliance rules for certain public benefit recipients to follow to continue receiving the benefits. The bill also would require benefit card issuers or ATM operators to disallow benefits when used when the card is presented in a range of establishments such as tattoo parlors and aboard cruise ships. An amended version removing the ATM provisions is in the works and we expect it to be considered next week. GBA is monitoring.
The House Judiciary Committee reported SB 333
by Sen. John Kennedy
(R-Macon). The bill provides a mechanism for foundations to re-domicile in Georgia. GBA supports.
Public Retirement Funds – Permissible Investments.
The House Retirement Committee reported SB 335
by Sen. Ellis Black
(R-Valdosta). The bill would add as eligible public retirement system investments comingled funds and collected investment funds managed by state-chartered banks and state-chartered trust companies. GBA supports.
Savings Accounts for the Disabled.
The Senate Finance Committee reported HB 768
by Rep. Lee Hawkins
(R-Gainesville). The bill establishes a qualified ABLE program in Georgia so people can contribute to accounts to pay for qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation, of eligible individuals with disabilities. The state program will be structured in compliance with federal rules so that contributions to the account may be eligible for a federal tax deduction. GBA is monitoring.
The House Judiciary Committee reported SB 356
by Sen. Michael Williams
. (R-Cumming), The bill revises the lien statute applying to impounded animals and establishes a procedure for foreclosing on such liens. GBA is monitoring.
The Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee reported HB 949
by Rep. Alan Powell
(R-Hartwell). The bill would prohibit certain county officials from issuing purchasing cards without enacting regulations regarding their use. GBA is monitoring.