Committees Consider Bills of Interest
This early in the session, committees of the House and Senate are where most of the action is occurring and several bills we’ve been following received attention this week:
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing and unanimously reported SB 315
by Sen. Lindsey Tippins
(R-Marietta). The bill addresses Court of Appeals decisions involving waivers of liens and notices of nonpayment in contractor-subcontractor relationships. The bill reverses the Court of Appeals decisions and codifies the industry’s prior understanding that not perfecting a lien waiver waived a contractor’s lien rights, but did not affect the contractor’s right to bring a subsequent breach of contract action. If passed, contractors may bring a breach of contract action (usually for non-payment) even if they do not perfect their lien rights. The bill also adds an additional 30 days for the contractor to perfect their lien to bring the time to 90 days from the current 60 days. GBA has met with the affected parties and is monitoring the legislation.
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing and will be working on slight revisions to HB 847
by Rep. John Corbett
(R-Lake Park). The legislation builds off a bill passed in 2019 setting up a regulatory structure for growing and processing hemp so the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s policies and procedures will comply with federal law and regulations. GBA is monitoring.
Stored Value Cards.
A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing but took no further action on HB 488
by Rep. Martin Momtahan
(R-Dallas).The bill would establish a process intended to prevent the use of stored value cards to commit organized retail crime. The bill was introduced at the request of the retail association and we are in conversation with their representatives about clarifying language that the legislation is not intended to cover bank-issued cards.
The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing and unanimously reported SB 302
by Sen. John Albers
(R-Roswell). The bill creates a process to review various state tax credits. GBA has provided Sen. Albers an analysis of the Bank Tax Credit developed by GBA’s Tax Advisory Committee explaining the background of the credit and that it is neither an incentive nor transferable credit. At this point, no mention has been made that the Bank Tax Credit is being reviewed. However, GBA is monitoring the legislation as a priority bill of the session and we will continue to serve as a resource to legislators who have questions.
A subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing but took no further action on HB 715
by Rep. Shaw Blackmon
(R-Bonaire). The bill removes certain references to gross receipts in several areas of the tax code. Because the current method of taxing banks in based on gross receipts, we’ve been monitoring the bill. However, the sections of the code relating to bank gross receipts are not currently covered by this legislation.
Right to Farm.
HB 545 by Rep. Tom McCall (R-Elberton) seeks to strengthen
and protect farmers from loopholes in the existing right to farm statute.
The Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing and
favorably reported the bill.