(The Center Square) — Proposed legislation would help reduce frivolous lawsuits, a Georgia business group says.
Senate Bill 191 would disallow naming a transportation company and its insurance companies in the same lawsuit. Senate Bill 196 would allow juries to weigh an occupant’s decision not to use a safety belt when determining fault and damages.
“This legislation won’t completely stop lawsuit abuse in Georgia, but SB 191 and SB 196 will definitely help reduce insurance rates and reduce the cost of doing business in Georgia,” NFIB State Director Hunter Loggins said in a statement. “…The cost of defending itself against just one frivolous claim could be enough to put a small business out of business, even if the claim is without merit and is eventually thrown out of court.”
Georgia hotels should generate more tax revenue in 2023
Georgia hotels should generate nearly $898.5 million in state and local tax revenue in 2023.
According to numbers released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Oxford Economics, that would be a 14.9% increase over 2019.
Additionally, the analysis revealed that hotels in the Peach State are expected to directly employ 52,089 people, a 10.3% decrease over 2019. Hotel occupancy in the state is expected to reach 62.4% in 2023, down slightly from the 65% occupancy rate in 2019, according to an AHLA news release.
MARTA spent $400,000 on streetcar repairs
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority could return the first of its four streetcars in Atlanta to service on Thursday, March 2.
MARTA removed the streetcars from service on Nov. 29, 2022, after engineers discovered “wheel degradation,” which they said could pose a safety risk. The wheels on the first streetcar have been replaced, and MARTA said the wheels on the other three vehicles would be replaced in the coming weeks.
Replacing the wheels cost roughly $400,000, and MARTA is covering the cost using its capital budget. The transit agency said additional streetcars would return to service as they are repaired.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor