Yesterday in the Georgia Legislature – Feb. 28 & Mar. 1, 2022

House Votes

HB 389 – Rep. Todd Jones

This bill codifies existing case law to determine whether work classifies a person as an employee or an independent contractor. Further, the bill provides for an enforcement mechanism, which adds a civil penalty paid to the Department of Labor when an employer misclassifies its employees. Fines for companies with less than 100 employees are capped at $2,500 for each misclassified employee, while fines for companies with 100 or more employees are capped at $7,500 for each misclassified employee.

The bill states that employment does not include services performed by or facilitated through a network company, so long as the network company has a written contract with the individual that expressly states that the network company shall not unilaterally prescribe specific dates, times, or a minimum number of hours that an individual is required to be logged onto the network company’s application. To apply, the contract must not be terminated by the network company if a person does not: accept a specific delivery or transportation request; restrict an individual from performing transportation or delivery services through other network companies; and contractually restrict an individual from working in any other lawful occupation or business. The bill defines “ride share network service” and “network company.”

Passed 162-6

HB 961 – Rep. Chuck Efstration
This bill amends Code Section 51-12-33 to authorize apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits rather than solely in multi-defendant lawsuits. In lawsuits against one or more defendants, following a reduction of damages attributed to the plaintiff’s percentage of fault, the damages shall be apportioned to the liable person or persons according to each person’s percentage of fault.
Passed 168-0

HB 974 – Rep. Joseph Gullett
House Bill 974 requires recorded instruments, such as deeds, mortgages, liens, maps/plats, and state tax executions, to be filed electronically or delivered in person to the clerk of the superior court. The clerk shall make available a public computer terminal for electronic filing access. In addition, when filing, an incorrect or missing tax parcel identification number on a recorded instrument shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the instrument. Finally, a deed to secure debt must include the following items on the first page: date, names of signatories, mailing address, map/parcel identification information, original loan amount/outstanding principal amount, initial debt maturity date, and amount of intangible recording tax or citation for a tax exemption.
Passed 164-3

HB 1009 – Rep. Todd Jones
House Bill 1009 provides definitions and operation guidelines for personal delivery devices. The bill prohibits local authorities from enacting ordinances regarding personal delivery devices under specified conditions. 
Passed 112-53

HB 1056 –  Rep. Dewayne Hill
This bill allows the Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund to invest up to 15% of the fund’s total assets in alternative investments. The current limit is 10%. Bill has certification from Georgia Dept. of Audits and Accounts with no fiscal impact.
Passed 163-0

HB 1064 – Rep. Jesse Petrea
This bill added an income tax exemption of up to $17,500 of military retirement income for individuals less than 62 years old and another $17,500 in exemptions for individuals less than 62 years of age who have at least $17,500 in earned income. 
Passed 161-0

HB 1182 – Rep. Darlene Taylor
This bill outlines that provisions of disposition do not apply to the county sale of property that contains any portion of a lake that was constructed. 
Passed 152-10

HB 1188 – Rep. Jodi Lott
This bill revises the crimes of “child molestation” and “sexual exploitation of children” to specify that each individual violation of the crimes can be charged as its own count in a charging document. Currently, law enforcement and prosecutors have discretion in charging. This eliminates that discretion.
Passed 163-0

HB 1271 – Rep. James Burchett
Prohibits a Homeowner’s Association from enacting covenants after July 1, 2022 that forbid a lot owner from displaying the official flag of the United States of America through use of an attachment to a structure of a building. This applies to flags that are four and one-half feet by six feet or smaller. 
Passed 160-0

HB 1219 – Rep. Penny Houston
This bill increases the number of members of the Georgia Board of Dentistry from 11 to 17. The number of members who are dentists increases from 9 to 13 and the number of dental hygienists increases from 1 to 2. Also adds a member who has direct knowledge of the dental education environment and that appointment comes from the Board of Regents.
Passed 162-0

HB 1274 – Rep. John Carson
The bill uses the definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – “the harassment of a person of actual or perceived Jewish origin, ancestry, ethnicity, or faith.
State departments and agencies shall consider anti-Semitism as evidence of discriminatory intent for any law that prohibits discriminations or under any hate crimes provision. 
The bill’s sponsor said it does not wade into any First Amendment issues. 
Passed 141-19

HB 1288 – Rep. Darlene Taylor
This applies to group life insurance and the assignment of certain benefits to pay for funeral services if the deceased individual was a member of the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia, Georgia Legislative Retirement System, or the Georgia Judicial Retirement System. 
Passed 159-0

HB 1294 – Rep. John Corbett
This bill gives landowners 3 days to send notices to all responsible parties upon determination by a local government agent that an abandoned mobile home is derelict. This is an increase in time from the current requirement of ‘same-day notice.’
Passed 159-0

HB 1292 – Rep. Rick Jasperse
The measure prohibits students who participate in 4-H sponsored activities or programs from being counted as absent from school. The school principal or their designee may request documentation, as proof, from a 4-H representative.
Passed 162-0

HB 1302 -Rep. Josh Bonner
House Bill 1302 creates a new code section – OCGA 48-7-20.1, relating to income taxes, which provides a one-time income tax refund equal to the lesser of the taxpayer’s 2020 income tax liability or $250 for a taxpayer filing as single, $375 for a taxpayer filing as head of household, or $500 for a married couple filing a joint return. 

The refund is not available for non-resident alien individuals, individuals who were claimed as a dependent for the 2020 or 2021 tax years, nor estates or trusts. The refund is automatically credited once a taxpayer files an individual income tax return for 2021, and any refunds due shall be credited against outstanding income tax liability prior to being either electronically transmitted or sent by check to the taxpayer.
Passed 148-18

HB 1303 – Rep. Robert Dickey 
This bill revises O.C.G.A. 20-2-154.3 relating to a pilot program for agricultural education in elementary schools to transition the pilot to an ongoing program. The Department of Education will provide a program evaluation to the House and Senate related committees by December 31, 2022
Passed 162-0

HB 1308 – Rep. Noel Williams 
This allows the sponsor of a health benefit plan to consent on behalf of an enrollee to the electronic delivery of all communications and identification cards related to the plan. Enrollees can opt out of electronic communications if they so wish.
Passed 161-0

HB 1346 – Rep. Mandi Ballinger
This bill permits superior court clerks (who are otherwise barred from the practice) to serve as a judge advocate or any other role in an active duty or reserve component in the armed forces.

Passed 162-0

Senate Votes

SB 259 – Sen. Jeff Mullis
This bill would expand the current ban on the creation of multijurisdictional databases of weapons carry license holders to include those who have applied for a license. The bill would also prohibit local governments from prohibiting the discharge of firearms on certain property and impose penalties when a  local government fails to auction unclaimed firearms. 
Passed 33-20

SB 319 – Sen. Jason Anavitarte
This is the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act
This bill would allow for any lawful weapons carrier to possess a firearm in all places in Georgia where you would currently need a Georgia weapons carry license. 
Passed 34-22

SB 337 – Sen. Larry Walker
This bill would prevent a public official who has been suspended as a result of a felony indictment from receiving their compensation until they have been reinstated.
Passed 45-5.

SB 456 – Sen. Bruce Thompson
The bill would prohibit delivery of the abortion pill through telemedicine, mail, or courier service and will require an in-person examination and ultrasound. 
Passed 31-22

SB 479 – Sen. Bo Hatchett
The bill would specify that each firearm possessed by a convicted felon, or a first offender probation sentenced to a felony, would count as a separate offense.
Passed 43-9

SB 496 – Sen. Dean Burke
This would require coroners or county medical examiners to perform death investigations of pregnant females. SB 496 would also clarify circumstances in which an individual is deemed to have died unattended by a physician.
Passed 44-0

SB 500 – Sen. Brian Strickland
This bill would create a definition for statewide opioid settlements between the Attorney General and other entities related to the use oor prescription of opioid products. Also under SB 500, statewide opioid agreements will bar any and all past, present, or future claims on behalf of any government entity to recover against any entity under the terms of the settlement agreement.
Passed 52-0.

SB 511 – Sen. Lee Anderson 
SB 511 would revise timelines and procedures from appeals from an assessment by the county board of tax assessors. 
Passed 53-0.

SB 514 – Sen. Clint Dixon
The bill would prohibit any local school personnel from establishing a policy that would require a student to wear a face covering on school property, unless the rule allows a parent to exempt their child from the policy for any reason. 
Passed 32-19. 

HB 1361 – Rep. Rob Leverett
This bill requires that if a General Assembly Act is alleged to be unconstitutional or invalid in action, the attorney general shall be served with a copy and shall be entitled to be heard in defense of the act, including appearing as a party if deemed appropriate by the attorney general.
Passed 49-0

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:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Lawmakers Propose Having Board of Education Sign Off on Developments That “Choke Out” School Systems

Next Story

Bulloch Co. Jail Booking & Incident Report – 03/02/22

Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Click Me