March 25, 2022

General Assembly Nearing Sine Die

Upon their adjournment today, the Georgia General Assembly has five legislative days remaining in their 2022 40-Day session. Sine Die are the last two words uttered each year as the gavels fall on the final day which in Latin means “without a day.” If the schedule holds, at the close of business on April 4, the General Assembly will have used all 40 days allowed by the Georgia Constitution for legislation to pass. It’s been a busy week for your advocacy team as a number of bills we’ve asked to be amended or are monitoring received action. Details are below. Legislators will reconvene Monday and be in session each day with Thursday reserved as a committee work day.

Committee and Floor Action This Week

Legislators are learning which of their bills have a chance to pass this session as committees hold hearings and schedule floor votes. Below are those bills of interest to banking that received action this week.
Probate. The Senate Special Judiciary Committee held a hearing, amended and unanimously reported HB 1350 by Rep. Will Wade (R-Dawsonville). As introduced, the bill requires personal representatives to send notices to beneficiaries regarding the issuance of letters testamentary or letters of administration. Our thanks to Rep. Wade for amending the bill to include GBA-requested language to revise a definition to include financial institutions within the Uniform Transfer on Death Security Registration. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. If passed, the House must agree to the Senate amended version. GBA supports.
Time-Share Foreclosures. The House passed SB 493, by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga). The bill provides for a nonjudicial foreclosure process of time-share estates. The House action clears the bill for the Governor’s signature. An identical bill, HB 1088 by Rep. Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville), has passed the House, although with this week’s House action, there is no need to pursue action on Rep. Gunter’s bill. Our thanks to Sen. Mullis and Rep. Gunter for incorporating GBA recommended language in their bills to recognize the position of the lienholder. GBA supports with the amendment.
Telephone Solicitations. GBA’s advocacy team member Steve Bridges testified this week before the House Judiciary Committee expressing concerns and offering suggestions for improving SB 364 by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia). The bill allows class action lawsuits for damages against certain persons violating Georgia code provisions relating to telephone solicitations. A representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also testified and stated no other state authorizes class action remedies like those being proposed. However, it was clear that there was near unanimous support from republican and democrat committee members for doing something to stop incessant and potentially fraudulent telemarketing calls. We will keep up the effort and report what happens should another hearing be scheduled next week.
Solicitations. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing and reported SB 363 by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia). The bill amends the Code relating to written solicitations for corporate filings to add “employment or labor posters or notices” to the items that must be identified as solicitations and specifically allows class action lawsuits for a violation of these provisions. The bill is pending in the House Rules Committee awaiting scheduling of a floor vote.
Wade
Mullis
Gunter
Tillery
Timber Ad Valorem Taxation. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing and reported HB 997 by Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie). The bill would exempt timber equipment and timber products held by timber producers from ad valorem taxes. GBA is monitoring.
Mortgage Broker/Lender Licensing. The House passed SB 470 by Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula). The bill relates to the licensing of mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers to, among other things, provide for different categories of felony convictions for purposes of investigations of mortgage loan originator applicants. The House action clears the bill for the Governor’s signature. GBA monitored.
Income Tax Filings – Affiliated Corporations. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing and reported HB 1058 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe). The bill removes the requirement that affiliated corporations file separate state income tax returns unless the Department of Revenue has requested or preapproved the filing of consolidated returns. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Rural Hospital Tax Credits. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing and reported HB 1041 by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn). The bill increases tax credits for contributions to rural hospital organizations. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Real Property. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing and reported HB 554 by Rep. Stan Gunter (R-Blairsville). The bill revises when an action related to a dispute involving real property may operate as a lis pendens. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Watson
Robertson
Williamson
Pirkle
GAP Insurance. The Senate Insurance and Labor Committee held a hearing and reported HB 733 by Rep. Tyler Smith (R-Bremen). The bill revises the definition of a guaranteed asset protection waiver to allow a waiver contract to be issued with or without a fee. The waiver may also provide, with or without a separate charge, a benefit that waives an amount, or provides a borrower with a credit, toward the purchase of a replacement vehicle. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Mobile Homes – Derelict Notices. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing and reported HB 1294 by John Corbett (R-Lake Park). The bill provides for the timing of sending the notice by a landowner when a mobile home has been determined to be derelict. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Legal Notices. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing and reported HB 1388 by Rep. James Burchett (R-Waycross). The bill provides an alternative procedure for the designation of the official legal organ for various notices. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Regional Development Authorities. The Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee held a hearing and reported HB 1044 by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn). The bill provides for the creation of regional development authorities and provides an enhancement for the jobs tax credit for such authorities. The bill is pending in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting the scheduling of a floor vote. GBA is monitoring.
Freedom to Farm. The Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee held a second hearing but did not take further action on HB 1150 by Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella). The bill seeks to provide protection to farmers from frivolous and nuisance lawsuits. GBA supports.
Smith
Corbett
Burchett
Dickey
Unclaimed Property. The Senate Special Judiciary Committee held a hearing but took no further action on HB 1352 by Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain). The bill relates to the disposition of unclaimed property making significant additions and rewriting existing unclaimed property laws, including how wills found in safe deposit boxes are to be handled. GBA is monitoring.
Development Authority Governance. The Senate Ethics Committee held a hearing but took no further action on HB 923 by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur). The bill caps the per diem allowance for development authority board members at no more than the per diem allowed for the General Assembly members and adds the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission to those who may enforce an existing prohibition against a director of a development authority providing legal services to the authority. GBA is monitoring.
Eminent Domain. A House Government Affairs Subcommittee held a hearing but took no further action on SB 227 by Sen. Harold Jones (D-Augusta). The bill provides an; alternative process for a county, municipality, or consolidated government to condemn certain blighted properties. GBA is monitoring.
Smith
Oliver
Jones

New Bills Added to GBA’s Tracking List

The only bill we added to our tracking list this week was a nice resolution, HR 1077 by Rep. Edna Jackson (D-Savannah), recognizing our member Carver State Bank’s 95th anniversary and honoring CEO Robert E. “Bob” James for more than 50 years in banking. All the bills we’re monitoring can be found on the State Issues page of the GBA website.
Jackson
James
Carver State Bank logo

GBA’s Advocacy Team at the Capitol

Led by GBA’s Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, GBA is at the Capitol advocating on behalf of our members. Also, on the advocacy team are GBA’s government relations consultant Steve Bridges and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen. With questions about GBA legislation, other issues of interest, or anything related to the legislative process, contact Elizabeth at 404.420.2027, Steve at 404.420.2037 or Joe at 404.420.2026.