Feb. 9, 2024  

General Assembly Humming Along During 2024 Session

State legislators were in session Tuesday through Friday this week, completing Day 18 of their 40-day session. They will return on Monday and be in session each day through Friday of next week. The General Assembly is on track to adjourn this year’s session on March 28.

GBA Supported Bill Passes House Unanimously This Week

HB 876 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) is the annual update to the language within Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia related to all the entities regulated by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Of interest to bankers are the provisions in this year’s bill related to bank formation, filings with the Secretary of State, the definition of subsidiaries, and updates to the Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank charter. The bill passed the House unanimously this week and is pending in the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee chaired by Sen. Carden Summers (R-Cordele). Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) is the Senate sponsor. GBA supports the bill as one of our priorities for the session.
Rep. Bruce Williamson
Sen. Carden Summers
Sen. John Kennedy

Action on Other Legislation GBA is Tracking

A number of bills we’re monitoring this session were considered this week. Below is more information about the bills and what happened.
Trigger Leads. HB 1040 by Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) prohibits unfair or deceptive practices in consumer transactions related to mortgage trigger leads sold by credit reporting agencies. These leads contain contact details of individuals applying for credit, gathered when their credit reports are pulled. A hearing was held by the House Banks & Banking Committee, but no further action was taken.
Virtual Currency Mining. HB 1043 by Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) provides protections relating to the generation and use of virtual currency. A hearing was held on the bill in the House Banks & Banking Committee, but no further action was taken.
Georgia Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act. HB 1018 by Rep. Jason Ridley (R-Chatsworth) prohibits financial institutions from requiring the use of a firearms code for purchases that distinguishes firearms retailers from other retailers, prohibits discrimination against firearms retailers by financial institutions through the use of a firearms code, prohibits the disclosure of certain financial records by financial institutions, provides for petitions to the Attorney General to investigate alleged violations and prohibits persons or government entities from keeping registries of firearms or owners of firearms. GBA worked with the author who accepted some helpful amendments to clarify certain provisions in the bill. A hearing was held by the House Banks and Banking Committee. The amended version was reported and is pending in the House Rules Committee. GBA is monitoring with concern.
Development Authorities. SB 26 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) authorizes meetings and public hearings of development authorities and community improvement districts to be held by teleconference. The House and Senate took final action on the bill, clearing it for Gov. Kemp’s consideration. The House sponsor was Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth).
SB 171 by Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania) relates to development authorities to limit the length of a director's hold-over period following expiration of term of office, requires directors to do yearly continuing education, and relates to mechanics and materialmen liens to provide that such liens may attach to the usufruct interest of properties owned by or titled in a development authority or downtown development authority. The Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee amended and reported the bill which is now pending in the Senate Rules Committee.
C-PACE. HB 206 by Rep. Steven Sainz (R-St. Marys) provides for the creation of Commercial Property Assessed Conservation, Energy, and Resiliency Development Authorities in counties and municipalities that have adopted implementing ordinances. The Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee amended and reported the bill, and it is pending in the Senate Rules Committee. The Senate sponsor is Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville).
Ad Valorem Tax. SB 349 by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) revises provisions related to the setting of millage rates. The bill was reported by the Senate Finance Committee and is pending in the Senate Rules Committee.
Clearing Title to Coastal Marshlands. HB 370 by Rep. Matt Reeves (R-Bremen) provides a procedure for clearing title to coastal marshlands. The bill was reported by the House Judiciary Committee by substitute but has been sent back to committee by the House Rules Committee.
Tort - Motor Vehicles. SB 426 by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia) revises the circumstances in which a motor carrier and insurance carrier can be joined in the same lawsuit action following an accident. The bill was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is pending in the Senate Rules Committee.
Covid Liability. SB 430 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) is a repeal of Covid liability warnings for businesses. The bill was reported by the Senate Economic Development & Tourism Committee and is pending in the Senate Rules Committee.
Peach Save Plan. SB 463 by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler(R-Rome) provides for the creation of the Peach Save plan, a public/private defined contribution retirement plan. The bill was withdrawn from Senate consideration. Sen. Hufstetler introduced SB 477 as a replacement bill and is listed below.
Cash Acceptance. HB 940 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth) requires retail stores and restaurants to accept cash for purchases. The bill was reported by the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee and is pending in the House Rules Committee.
Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation. HB 985 by Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) would abolish the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation. The bill passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Higher Education Committee.
Farmland Sales. HB 1093 by Rep. David Clark (R-Buford) prohibits certain nonresident aliens from buying agricultural land within 10 miles of a military base. A hearing was held by the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, but no further action was taken.
Tax Code. HB 1162 by Rep. David Knight (R-Griffin) is the annual bill incorporating various new provisions in the federal tax code into the Georgia tax code. The bill was reported by the House Ways & Means Committee and is pending in the House Rules Committee.
Rep. Scott Hilton
Rep. Jason Ridley
Sen. Greg Dolezal
Sen. Max Burns
Rep. Steven Sainz
Sen. Chuck Hufstetler
Rep. Matt Reeves
Sen. Blake Tillery
Rep. Todd Jones
Rep. Chuck Martin
Rep. David Clark
Rep. David Knight

New Bills Being Tracked

Be sure and set a web browser bookmark for the State Issues page on the GBA website to track details about specific bills during the session. This week, we added the following:
Code Revision. SB 448 by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R-Cornelia) is the Georgia Code Revision Commission's annual bill, which makes recommendations for non-substantive changes to the Georgia code. There are a number of non-substantive changes to Title 7, which deals with banking and finance. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Title Pawn. SB 452 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) provides for regulations of motor vehicle title pawn transactions. It would require the Department of Banking and Finance to license and regulate title pawnbrokers. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Peach Save Plan. SB 477 by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) provides for the creation of the Peach Save plan, a public/private defined contribution retirement plan. The bill is pending in the Senate Retirement Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Online Marketplace. SB 472 by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) revises certain definitions related to third-party sellers that utilize online marketplaces. The bill is pending in the Senate Public Safety Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Personal Privacy. SB 473 by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) is intended to protect the privacy of consumers’ personal data. The bill is pending in the Senate Science and Technology Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Deeds. SB 474 by Sen. Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell) requires certain unlicensed and unregulated individuals to use electronic filing for deeds and other instruments. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Ad Valorum Tax. HB 808 by Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus) increases the statewide ad valorem tax exemption for tangible personal property from $7,500 to $50,000. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Foreclosure. HB 854 by Rep. Eric Bell (D-Jonesboro) prohibits nonjudicial foreclosures on mortgages on real estate when the mortgagor is 65 years of age or older or an adult for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed. The bill is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Ad Valorem Tax. HR 1021 by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) proposes an amendment to the Constitution providing local governments the option to offer a state-wide homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes in an amount equal to any amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year value of such homestead. The enabling legislation is HB 1177. The resolution and bill have been assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
HR 1022 by Rep. Beth Camp (R-Concord) proposes an amendment to the Constitution providing local governments the option to offer a state-wide homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes in an amount equal to any amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the inflation rate from the adjusted base year value of such homestead. The enabling legislation is HB 1185. The resolution and bill have been assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Appraisals. HR 1041 by Rep. Dale Washburn (R-Macon) proposes an amendment to the Constitution providing that the governing authority of any county or consolidated government shall be authorized to adopt an alternative method of appraisal and assessment of real property located within such county for taxation. The resolution is pending in the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Personal Privacy. HB 1113 by Rep. Matt Reeves (R-Duluth) prohibits nonprofit organizations from releasing personal information to public agencies. The bill was assigned to the House Governmental Affairs Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Elder Abuse. HB 1123 by Rep. Carter Barrett (R-Cumming) requires the establishment of an Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Multidisciplinary Team in each judicial circuit of the state. The bill also creates an elder justice coalition for the State of Georgia, which will include a representative of the Georgia Bankers Association. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee where a subcommittee hearing is scheduled for next week. GBA is monitoring.
Hemp. HB 1127 by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn) relates to offenses against public health and morals to prohibit the purchase of, sale of, and the offering of samples of hemp products by or to any individual under the age of 21. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Squatters. HB 1153 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth) allows any person who owns property to file a written affidavit with the clerk of the superior court of the county where such property resides stating the intention to not subject such property to rental agreement. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. GBA is monitoring.
SB 470 by Sen. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) creates a notice of vacancy, filed as a written affidavit, stating the owner's intention for the land or tenement to remain vacant for a set amount of time and assigning enforcement of the notice to law enforcement. The bill is pending in the Senate Public Safety Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Rent Control. HB 1156 by Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone) would repeal any restrictions on rent control by local governments. The bill has been assigned to the House Governmental Affairs Committee. GBA is monitoring.
HB 1157 by Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone) provides that a violation of the statute limiting certain rent increases is an unlawful business practice. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Tax Credit – Carry Forward. HB 1181 by Rep. Chuck Martin(R-Alpharetta) limits the carry-forward periods of certain income tax credits. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Tax Credit – Low Income Housing. HB 1182 by Rep. Clint Crowe (R-Jackson) provides that low income housing tax credits shall be called Georgia affordable housing tax credits, reduces the amount of these credits available for certain projects and authorizes the credits in an amount equal to the federal credit for certain projects. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Tax Credit – Historic Structures. HB 1197 by Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville) expands revitalization zone tax credits to include rehabilitation of historic residential structures. The bill is pending in the House Ways & Means Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Access to Services. HB 1205 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth) requires certain financial institutions, card networks, processors and others to produce requested statements of specific reasons for the denial, restriction, or termination of services. The bill has been assigned to the House Banks & Banking Committee. GBA is monitoring with concern.
Electronic Signatures. HB 1206 by Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) provides that failure of a business or entity to provide or offer to provide a written copy of any form which a consumer or client executes via electronic signature is declared to be unlawful as an unfair or deceptive practice. The bill is pending in the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Hairstyles. HB 1208 by Rep. Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) prohibits housing discrimination based on natural, protective, or cultural hairstyles. The bill is pending in the House Industry and Labor Committee. GBA is monitoring.
Sen. Bo Hatchett
Sen. John Albers
Sen. Russ Goodman
Rep. Mike Cheokas
Rep. Eric Bell
Rep. Ron Stephens
Rep. Beth Camp
Rep. Dale Washburn
Rep. Carter Barrett
Rep. Clay Pirkle
Sen. Ed Setzler
Rep. Derrick Jackson
Rep. Clint Crowe
Rep. Penny Houston
Rep. Eddie Lumsden
Rep. Kim Schofield

GBA Represented at the Capitol

The association’s advocacy team is hard at work representing the interests of banking at the State Capitol. Reach out to any of them if you need information about a bill, contact information for your representatives, or tips on where to park if you’re coming for a visit. Here’s their contact information:
We will publish future editions of the Legislative Update after the General Assembly adjourns each week. Please let us know if you have questions or comments on issues of interest to you.