GSCPA Legislative Update

Welcome to GSCPA’s Legislative Update page, your source for the latest developments and insights into Georgia’s 2024 legislative session. As each week of the session passes, we bring you comprehensive updates on key legislative activities and noteworthy events shaping the state’s political landscape. Stay informed and engaged with the dynamic world of Georgia politics by visiting this page regularly.

 

  

 

Legislative Week 6 (February 12 – 16)

The Georgia General Assembly has completed Day 22 of its 40-day legislative session, with a break on Monday for President's Day. They will reconvene on Tuesday, February 20th for Legislative Day 23, with sessions scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday of the following week. As Crossover Day approaches, legislators are busy with committee meetings. Any bill that doesn't pass through committee and out of its chamber of origin by February 29th will be considered dead for the session.

 Several of the noteworthy bills include the following. HB 1162 is the state’s annual conformity bill that conforms state tax law with any changes made federally.  This year’s conformity bill is not significant and just updates to conform with previous years, it Has currently passed out of the house and is under review in the Senate Finance Committee.  SB 426 and HB 1114 address tort reform. SB 426, introduced by Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery, limits individuals injured in accidents with big trucks from suing insurance companies directly. It passed the Senate floor after a favorable report by the Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 1114, the Data Analysis for Tort Reform Act introduced by Representative Will Wade, mandates the Insurance Commissioner to request data from insurers to assess the impact of tort-related risks. It passed House Insurance. SB 431, introduced by Senator Blake Tillery, was heard in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. It concerns depositions of high-ranking company officers and discovery under the Civil Practice Act, primarily removing certain factors from consideration in determining who can be deposed.

Legislative Week 5 (February 5 – 9)
Tort reform continues to move forward. Senate Bill 426 which would restrict direct action lawsuits passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. We continue to monitor other tort related bills such as Senate Bill 427 (legal services and drug advertisement disclosures), Senate Bill 428 (caps damages recoverable against foster parents involved in car accidents with foster children) & Senate Bill 431 (repeal of APEX doctrine).

Other notable bill action during the week include, the Georgia General Assembly made significant strides in fiscal policy and economic development. HB 915, the amendment FY 2024 budget, successfully navigated through the House, reflecting the state's commitment to prudent financial management. Additionally, HB 1162, the Conformity Bill, received approval from the Ways and Means Committee, showcasing efforts to align state tax regulations with federal standards. Furthermore, the passage of HB 1020 by the Ways and Means Committee underscores the Assembly's dedication to fostering business growth in underserved regions through targeted tax incentives. These bill actions mark pivotal steps in bolstering Georgia's economy and ensuring equitable opportunities for all communities.

The State of the Judiciary was delivered by Justice Michael P. Boggs on Wednesday, February 7th. He shared the successes and challenges of the judicial system to deliver justice for Georgians.

Legislative Week 4 (January 29 – February 2)
This week there were several important updates. First, GSCPA was saddened to report during the week about the passing of Chairman Richard Smith. His leadership and dedication to the House of Representatives leave an indelible mark, and his presence will be sorely missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family during this difficult time. The funeral service is scheduled for Monday.

On the legislative front, we continue to await news on tort reform. Updates will be shared as soon as they become available.  The Senate passed SB 386, the sports betting bill.

Looking ahead, we want to remind everyone of the State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, February 7th. This event offers valuable insights into the legal landscape of our state and is essential for staying informed about potential changes and challenges ahead.

Legislative Week 3 (January 22 – 26)
This week at the General Assembly, Georgia Republican lawmakers unveiled plans for income and property tax cuts, aiming to ease financial burdens and provide tax relief for parents by raising the state income tax deduction for children. Additionally, the introduction of SB 386 marked the beginning of discussions to legalize sports betting in the state. The House Rules Committee commenced its meetings to set the House floor calendar for the session. Georgia’s Future Caucus, consisting of legislators under 45, outlined its focus on AI, housing, and criminal justice reform. Furthermore, the House and Senate passed a significant antisemitism bill, while the Senate Health Committee rejected HB 343, which aimed to mandate changes in small business healthcare plans. The Lt. Governor expressed strong support for a school voucher bill, and the Senate initiated discussions on tort reform, starting with legislation to prevent direct actions against insurance companies in tort cases

Legislative Week 2 (January 15 – 19)
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees met jointly this week for three straight days (Tuesday-Thursday) on the budget. One of the highlights this week was Governor Kemp’s presentation on Tuesday, January 16th, to the Appropriations Committee on his budget requests.
The Governor's speech to the Joint Appropriations Committee can be found HERE; we have also included the speech below. Office directories for the Senate can be found HERE, and for the House HERE.

Legislative Week 1 (January 8 – 12)
As a reminder, this is the 2nd year of the two-year term with legislation carried over for 2023.

On Wednesday, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce held its annual Eggs and Issues breakfast. This year's event was held at the Mercedes Benz Stadium with about 2,500 people seated at the tables on the playing field. GSCPA had a table at this event and had time to mingle with some political celebrities that were in the crowd.

On Thursday morning, Governor Kemp delivered his State of the State message to a Joint session of the Legislature. Highlights included successful economic development, a balanced budget, healthy reserves, pay raise for state employees, and an income tax cut. A link to his speech can be found HERE, or you can watch below. A link to the AFY 2024 budget and the FY 2025 budget can be found HERE and HERE.

Both houses have adopted the adjournment resolution (HR 779) which sets meeting days and committee days. Crossover day this year is February 29th with adjournment set for March 28th.

 


 

Thank you for staying connected with GSCPA’s Legislative Updates. We value your commitment to staying informed and engaged in the legislative process. As we progress through the session, we remain dedicated to providing you with timely updates and essential information. Remember, knowledge is power, and your engagement makes a difference. For further inquiries or to explore more about legislation and representation, visit www.gscpa.org or reach out to Don Cook, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, at 404-504-2935 or dcook@gscpa.org