Yesterday in the Georgia Legislature – 02/07/24

This is an informal rundown of what happened in the Georgia legislature on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

HOUSE

HB 385 – Rep. Brad Thomas
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64343 
WHAT IT DOES:

  • Adds Marine Corps Reserve, Space Force and Space Force reserve to the list of Armed Services to the Georgia code section as it pertains to veterans and retirement so as to treat all branches ‘the same.’
  • This also includes creditable service for the retirement system.

CONCERN: None.
Passed 160-0

HB 456 – Rep. Stan Gunter
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64529 
WHAT IT DOES:

  • Changes how Municipal Court Judges are contracted to require that they not be ‘at-employees’
  • Changes current law to add code to require that:
    • Requires cities to contract with municipal judges for 2 years instead of one
    • if a city wants to end a contract with a judge, they must provide 30 days notice
    • Bars a city from telling a municipal judge where they can serve as a judge elsewhere

CONCERN: Why are we protecting contracted at-will judges who aren’t even city employees? This may be a good idea for larger cities but it’s a terrible idea for small municipalities which are often subject to political games. What happens when this overlaps terms of office for new administrations? Then it removes their authority to appoint the city officials it wishes to appoint. This actually incentivizes cities NOT to put these types of agreements in writing.
Passed 161-2

HB 876 – Rep. Bruce Williamson
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65947 
WHAT IT DOES:

  • This is the annual banks & banking update to bring state law into compliance with any federal changes which may have been made over the last year.
  • Changes OCGA 7-1-4(37(A) to alter the definition of a Subsidiary and when a financial institution is considered a corporation or a company.
    • More specifically, changes are made to outline when a company has voting power in the financial institutions decisions
  • Defines ‘executive officer’ for financial institutions, by outline duties like managerial, supervisory, and policy-making functions.
  • Requires credit unions to keep meeting minutes for members, board of directors, and committees of directors.
  • Amends the unsecured obligations limits from $50,000 aggregated to $150,000 or less.

CONCERN: None of which can be handled at the state level, but #EndtheFed.
Passed 164-0

HB 992 – Rep. Shaw Blackmon
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/66210 
WHAT IT DOES:

  • Adds a 4th judge to the Houston County Judicial Circuit 

CONCERN: None.
Passed 161-0


SENATE

SB 189 – Sen. Max Burns
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/64471
This bill would provide for the text portions of ballots to be counted for vote tabulation and recounts instead of any machine coding.
Passed 31-22

SB 332 –
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65920
Would remove the requirement that the Georgia Supreme Court must review and adopt the rules of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Qualification Commission. This is a mirror bill to a bill carried by Rep. Joseph Gullett in the House.
Passed 29-22

SB 344 – Sen. Jason Anavitarte
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65980
Would provide a sales tax exemption for firearms, ammunition, gun safes, trigger locks, and related accessories sold for 5 days beginning on the 2nd Friday of October each year.
Passed 30-22

SB 373 – Sen. Larry Walker
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/66201
This bill would provide for the issuance of expedited licenses by endorsement for marriage and family therapists. This would be available to anyone who 1) completes the application, 2) pays the fees, 3) holds a license in another state and is in good standing, 4) does not a criminal record, 5) is lawfully in the US. Expedited means 30 days from receipt of the application.
Passed 52-0

SB 405 – Sen. Clint Dixon
LINK: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/66379
This bill would lower the age of eligibility from 18 to 16 for certain students to be enrolled in a completion special school.
Passed 45-8

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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