House members in the Georgia legislature cast a total of 63 votes on Tuesday during Crossover Day – the day by which bills hopeful to pass during this legislative session must be approved by the House and sent to the Senate.
Salary & Retirement Allowance Increase for Lawmakers
HB 824 – Rep. Wes Cantrell – increases the lawmaker contribution rate from 8.5% of the monthly salary to $165/month.
- Monthly benefit is increased to $50/year for each year of creditable service for any individual contribution as of 1/1/22 + plus $200/year extra for each year of creditable service.
- The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts assessed the bill and determined “there is no cost to enact this legislation.”
- Passed 151-17
HR 842 – Rep. Wes Cantrell – Constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow GA members to earn 60% of the median income of Georgians
Also sponsored by Reps. Heath Clark, Al Williams, Randy Nix, Billy Mitchell, & Shelly Hutchinson
Passed 136-33 – the vote
Taxation: Fines, Fees, and Other Revenue
HB 202 – Rep. Bill Hitchens – Increases the add-on penalty for traffic offenses under Joshua’s Law from 1.5% to 3% of the original fine amount. This measure used to have to be renewed every few years but the new provision makes it permanent.
Tax Credits & Exemptions
HB 424 – Rep. Bruce Williamson – Creates a tax credit for donations to “foster care support organizations” (TCSG aging-out programs, Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget, USG Foundation aging out program, or 501(c)3 corps that primarily focus on aging out programs. Capped at $20 million annually with single filer cap at $2,500 credit, $5,000 for household/married filers, and up to 10% of income tax liability for corporations.
HB 931 – Rep. Wes Cantrell – excludes enhancements/upgrades for wheelchair use from FMV of vehicle ad valorem
HB 997 – Rep. Sam Watson – adds ‘timber equipment’ under a lease purchase agreement to the items excluded from ad valorem taxation. Also places a related question on the ballot for November 2022.
HB 1035 – Rep. Marcus Wiedower – expands the sales tax exemption for sales of admissions to non-recurring major sporting events to include any match of a FIFA World Cup. Also changes the sunset of exemption from 2022 to 2031.
HB 1041 – Rep. Clay Pirkle – Increases the aggregate tax credit cap for rural hospital donations from $60 million annually to $75 million
HB 1053 – Rep. Ron Stephens – Extends the ‘Georgia Entertainment Industry Postproduction Investment Act,’ by extending the tax credit through December 31, 2027. Also lowers the carry forward time of the tax credits earned from 5 years to 3 years. Additionally, a company that claims the post-production tax credit/film tax credit must be subject to Georgia income tax for income derived from residual payments due to employment, trade, business, profession, or other activity performed within Georgia with respect to a state-certified production.
HB 1187 – Rep. Noel Williams – extends the sales & use tax exemption for high-technology data center equipment from December 31, 2028, to December 31, 2033.
HB 1291 – Rep. Vance Smith – extends the sunset on the exemption for sales or leases of computer equipment to high technology companies from June 30, 2023, to December 31, 2033
HB 1330 – Rep. Calvin Smyre – Creates the Georgia Music and Theater Jobs Recovery Act
Addresses tax credits for musical or theatrical performances, first changing definitions, then:
- Increasing the credit from 15% to 30% of the production expenditures
- establishing an annual aggregate cap on the tax credit of $5 million for 2023, $10 million for 2024 and 2025, and $15 million for 2026 and 2027.
- eliminating the requirements like series of live performances, and the option to have prepared and rehearsed a minimum of seven days in Georgia with its United States debut in Georgia.
- “spending threshold” during a taxable year is reduced for all musical or theatrical performances from $500,000 to $100,000; for recorded musical performances incorporated into a movie, television, or interactive entertainment production from $250,000 to $50,000; and for all other recorded musical performances from $100,000 to $50,000. Production companies are also allowed to aggregate qualified expenditures from one or more performances to meet or exceed the spending thresholds
HB 830 – Rep. Chris Erwin – allows a sheriff to be compensated by a supplement for official services by up to two courts.
HB 1421 – Rep. Debbie Buckner – Requires Hazardous Waste Trust Fund fees to be collected and then appropriated directly to the Fund.
HB 937 – Rep. Sharon Henderson – requires the DCH to provide Medicaid coverage for mammograms at no cost to the patient so long as the screening is recommended & based on patient health
HB 1404 – Rep. Robert Pruitt – makes mental disease a reimbursable expense under Medicaid
HB 1484 – Rep. Lee Hawkins – creates a pilot program in the State Health Benefit Plan for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection (PANDAS) and pediatric acute onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS). Includes a maximum of 100 individuals annually.
HB 1520 – Rep. Lee Hawkins – creates the Georgia Council on Addressing Health Care Workforce Challenges to “to provide strategic thought leadership and recommendations on the future of the healthcare workforce in Georgia.” All 27 members were appointed by politicians.
HB 1184 – Rep. Al Williams – allows public schools/charter schools to provide for up to 3 college entrance exams to students enrolled in grade 11 who choose to participate. Must take place during normal hours and has to be school or system-wide.
HB 1283 – Rep. Demetrius Douglas – the k-5 recess bill to ensure it is not withheld for disciplinary or academic reasons.
HB 1435 – Rep. Chuck Martin – expands needs based financial aid program for undergrads to include eligibility for students with a financial aid gap
HB 1482 – Rep. Chris Erwin – addresses eligibility of project-specific capital outlay grants for ‘low wealth school systems’
- a local school system must be currently, or was in the most recent 3 years, ranked in the bottom 25% of school systems in sales tax revenue per full-time equivalent (FTE) student count & value of property per FTE student count.
- school systems with SPLOST revenues in bottom 25% can also ask for consideration
- either plan – system must commit 5 years of such revenues to the project.
HB 1515 – Rep. Patty Bentley – re: tuition equalization grants at private colleges and universities. This changes list to include schools that were previously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and who are now accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools if they meet all other requirements to be considered an approved school.
HB 918 – Rep. Mike Cheokas – Creates the Georgia Rare Disease Advisory Council under DPH. Will meet quarterly to discuss needs of those with rare diseases. Must allow public comments and feedback, and produce an annual report.
HB 1297 – Rep. Matthew Gambill – creates an insurance premium discount or reduction for a property that is built to fortified standards to better resist catastrophic wind events
HB 1335 – Rep. Calvin Smyre – aligns Code w/ the fed 13 holiday list & designates Public Safety Week in Sept
HB 1464 – Rep. James Burchett – more elections changes, including an elections investigations task force.
HB 1522 – Rep. Jason Ridley – requires entrants of a beauty pageant to be provided with: internet website of the operator; email address of the organization conducting the pageant; and email address of the individual authorized to accept service of process.
More Regulations to Address Regulatory Issues
HB 972 – Rep. Dave Belton – updates the ‘Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists Licensing Law’ and replaces current regulations with different regulations. Also increases fines and prison penalties.
HB 1424 – Rep. Alan Powell – allows gift cards to be a ‘cash out’ option for coin operated lottery machines
HB 1425 – Rep. Bill Werkheiser – addresses the number of cannabis licenses issued in the state by canceling the previous RFP and award.
HB 1443 – Rep. Houston Gaines – allows vendors who apply for food truck permits to apply one time and use the permit everywhere by creating a statewide streamline process
HB 1479 – Rep. John Corbett – removes the State Board of Registration for Foresters from SOS and adds it to the State Forestry Commission. Also requires individuals nominated to the board by the governor to be confirmed by the Senate. Gives board the authority to issue cease & desist orders & impose fines up to $500.
HB 1481 – Rep. Rick Jasperse – changes the provisions of issuing dealer tags for motor vehicles
HB 1516 – Rep. Houston Gaines – address Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority to change rules, standards, and membership for authority board
HB 923 – Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver – caps the per diem allowance paid to development authority directors. Also gives Georgia Gov’t Transparency & Campaign Finance concurrent jurisdiction with local ethics boards re: ethics violations of development authority members.
HB 1180 – Rep. Sam Watson – changes the language of what is permitted for regional commission membership
HB 1382 – Rep. Ron Stephens – requires directors or members of development authority to complete continuing training on development and redevelopment programs each year. If they don’t, state funding is withheld from the authority.
HB 1390 – Rep. Teri Anulewicz – creates a cause of action for individuals working for a local government if that local govt takes a work-related adverse reaction against the individual because that individual has opposed sexual harassment, filed a complaint related to sexual harassment, or participated or planned to participate in an action or proceeding related to sexual harassment.
HB 1405 – Rep. Shea Roberts – changes the ‘Zoning Procedures Law’ requiring zoning hearings in front of quasi-judicial officers, boards, or agencies. Also requires local govts to provide hearings when a zoning decision is granted or denied.
HB 1441 – Rep. Victor Anderson – requires a municipality to notify the school system of any proposed annexation if the school system will be impacted.
HB 1496 – Rep. Joseph Gullett – Gives a Sheriff’s Office in possession of “impounded and unclaimed livestock” the ability to donate to rescue or a private individual, in addition to auction and euthanization.
LEGAL + CORRECTIONS
HB 1068 – Rep. Rob Leverett – tort service revisions
HB 1350 – Rep. Will Wade – addresses will beneficiaries
HB 1354 – Rep. Scott Holcomb – Wrongful Conviction Compensation Act
HB 1387 – Rep. J Collins – new code section that states that non-payment of penalties from overtaking a school bus or speeding in a school zone will result in the suspension of motor vehicle registration.
HB 1528 – Rep. Martin Momtahan – prohibits the possession, transport, or sale of used, detached catalytic converters by unauthorized individuals. Authorizes forfeiture and each unlawfully possessed item is considered a separate offense.
HB 1553 – Rep. Clint Crowe – “Bishop’s Law” based on this incident brought to attention by a Georgia Sheriff. Bill does the following:
- requires that any inmate convicted of the murder of a peace officer killed in the line of duty be assigned to max level facility
- prohibits the transfer of any such prisoner to a lower security facility without written documentation of the justification of the transfer and notice to the peace officer’s family.
- Requires board of corrections to assess performance outcomes relevant to the level and type of treatment given to an inmate and the outcome on his or her recidivism
HB 733 – Rep. Tyler Paul Smith
HB 1478 – Rep. Jason Ridley – allows for the option to submit certificate of title applications electronically
HB 1483 – Rep. Matt Barton – reduces the number of required supervised hours for social work from three years (3,000 hours) to 2,000 hours. Also allows licensed clinical social work (LCSW) applicants enrolled in a master’s degree accredited social work program to sit for the social work licensing examination in their final semester. Allows state to issue “licenses by endorsement” in social work from other jurisdictions or states if license requirements are equivalent to Georgia
HB 1533 – Rep. Mark Newton – outlines that no individual must tell a licensing board if they’re participating in a professional program that addresses issues related to career fatigue and wellness in healthcare professionals unless the person is determined to be experiencing a reasonable probability of incompetency/is danger to themselves/patients/public.
Special License Plates
Tybee Island Historical Society
HR 593 – Rep. Scott Holcomb – awards compensation of Don Hogan for wrongful conviction in the amount of $1,230,000 – only awarded if legislature appropriates funds in FY budget
HR 626 – Rep. Scott Holcomb – awards compensation of Kerry Robinson for wrongful conviction in amount of $480,000 – only awarded if legislature appropriates funds in FY budget
HR 686 – Rep. Sam Watson – Constitutional amendment to alter taxation of timber by reducing the rate from two and one half times the rate of other real property to the same rate as other real property. Further requires;
- State funding to counties, cities, and school districts if they experience a reduction in revenue from the revised tax rate in the amount equal to 50% of the revenue of the revenue reduction for the jurisdiction’s first 3% of ad valorem tax revenue and 100% of revenue loss that exceeds 3% of the jurisdiction’s ad valorem revenue.
HR 732 – Rep. Chuck Martin – Constitutional amendment to change when local governments are able to pay back temporary loans (from end of fiscal year to 12 months after initial funding)
HR 820 – Rep. Terry England – annual road dedication resolutions
HR 822 – Rep Ron Stephens – announcing the state’s opposition to shark fin trading
HR 842 – Rep. Wes Cantrell – Constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow GA members to earn 60% of the median income of Georgians