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 12 (March 25 – 28)
The Georgia General Assembly wrapped up Day 40 of it’s 40-day legislative session on Thursday, March 28th. This week saw legislative activity on Tuesday (Day 39) and Thursday (Day 40).  The session concluded on Thursday, March 28th, marking Sine Die, the final deadline for bills to pass onto the Governor’s desk.
Here are some notable bills that saw passage to the Governor’s Desk this week:
HB 1267: Bill to create a Tax Court from the current Tax Tribunal structure.  The reason for the shift from Tribunal to Tax Court is simple.  The Tribunal has a fixed location and must hear cases in their court in Fulton County.  When the tribunal shifts to a court, they will be able to function in more locations around the state.  Thereby being more taxpayer friendly.  The shift from tribunal to court is the only change.  The language around CPAs and Accountants being able to “accompany” their clients remains 100% intact from the way it currently sits in the tribunal legislation.
HB 1023 (Corporate Tax Rate Bill): This Bill passed out of the Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk for signing.  This is the bill that aligns corporate tax rates with individual rates and extends the state corporate tax deadline by 30 days.
SB 433 (Donor Intent Protection Act): This Senate Bill relates to general provisions for nonprofit corporations, and enacts the "Donor Intent Protection Act".  It acts as a safety net for those donating funds and prohibits charitable organizations from violating the terms of charitable contributions made with donor imposed restrictions.
HB 916 (Fiscal Year 2025 Budget): Starting July 1, public school teachers in Georgia would receive a $2,500 raise, elevating the average annual teacher pay to over $65,000, as proposed by Governor Kemp in January. This raise comes in addition to the $1,000 bonus distributed by the Governor in December. Pre-K teachers are also slated to receive a $2,500 raise. State and university employees are set to receive a 4% pay increase, capped at $70,000 in salary, with the typical state employee earning $50,400. Certain employees, such as state law enforcement officers and child welfare workers, would receive additional raises, with law enforcement officers getting a $3,000 bump on top of a $6,000 special boost from the previous year. However, judges will only receive the same 4% raise as other state employees. Notably, Georgia’s public prekindergarten program stands to benefit significantly from an additional $48 million in lottery funds, directed towards the state’s Department of Early Care and Learning. The budget also allocates funds for increased payments to various healthcare providers, although some rate increases were reduced in the final budget. Additionally, lawmakers have agreed to allocate nearly $19 million more for domestic violence shelters and sexual assault response to counteract federal funding cuts faced by some agencies. Furthermore, the budget includes provisions to raise the amount that local school boards must pay for health insurance for non-certified employees, while also shifting $60 million into new construction projects, reflecting a cautious approach to ongoing spending in case of revenue fluctuations. The state plans to finance new buildings and equipment in the upcoming budget with surplus cash, foregoing borrowing, reflecting Georgia's substantial surplus in recent years.

Legislative Week 11 (March 18 – 22)
The Georgia General Assembly wrapped up Day 38 of its 40-day legislative session on Thursday, March 21st. This week saw legislative activity on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with March 19th designated as a Committee Workday, and legislators taking March 22nd (Friday) off. The session concludes on Thursday, March 28th, marking Sine Die, the final deadline for bills to pass onto the Governor’s desk.
Here are a few notable bills:
Fiscal Year 2025 Budget (HB 916): The amended fiscal year 2024 budget, previously approved and signed by the Governor, is in effect. The budget for fiscal year 2025 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, and will be presented to the full Senate next Tuesday. Any differences between the House and Senate versions will be reconciled, with final passage expected on Thursday (Day 40). The budget will then undergo gubernatorial approval, with the Governor possessing line-item veto authority.
Premises Liability (HB 1371): The Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 1371 concerning premises liability for property owners in cases of third-party crimes. However, concerns persist that the current version of the legislation does not adequately protect property owners. Without significant revisions, this proposal could potentially increase liability and lead to rising insurance costs or coverage limitations.
HOPE Scholarship Eligibility (HB 1231): The Senate Higher Education Committee is reviewing HB 1231, which addresses eligibility requirements and award amounts for the HOPE scholarship. This bill aims to allow academically successful students pursuing both a baccalaureate and first professional degree to utilize the full extent of their HOPE scholarship eligibility. It also seeks to enable students commencing a graduate program within 18 months of earning a baccalaureate degree to fully utilize their HOPE scholarship eligibility.
State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (HB 1182): HB 1182, currently under consideration in the Senate, proposes changes to provisions related to the state low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). This includes reducing the state credit percentage of a federal credit. Under HB 1182, the state credit would be limited to 80% of the federal LIHTC award, unless it pertains to a targeted community project, in which case it would be eligible for 100% of the federal award.

Legislative Week 10 (March 11th – March 15th)
This week saw significant legislative activity in Georgia, marked by the progression of several bills across various committees and chambers. Notably, House Bill 1114, known as the Data Analysis for Tort Reform Act, successfully advanced out of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee, signaling potential changes in tort laws. Additionally, House Bill 1192, which temporarily suspends a state sales tax exemption to incentivize data centers to establish operations in Georgia, navigated through the General Assembly, reflecting efforts to study this area of tech investment. Senate Bill 233, named the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, faced some challenges but ultimately passed through the House, underscoring debates surrounding education funding. SB 426, a direct-action bill concerning trucking litigation, garnered approval from the House Judiciary Committee, indicating potential reforms in legal proceedings. Furthermore, Senate Bill 464, which establishes the School Supplies for Educators Program and revises the Georgia Early Literacy Act, progressed through the House Education Committee, highlighting initiatives in education reform. Lastly, Senate Bill 386, addressing sports betting, underwent deliberations in the House Higher Education Committee, while Senate Resolution 579, pertaining to a sports betting constitutional amendment, awaits consideration in the upcoming week, indicating ongoing discussions on gambling regulations.

In election news, Representative-Elect Gary Richardson was elected on Tuesday in a Special Election run-off to replace Representative Barry Fleming. Representative Fleming retired after being appointed as Superior Court Judge. A special election has been called for April 9th to fill the seat of the late House Rules Chairman Richard Smith.

Legislative Week 9 (March 4 – March 8)
This week encompassed days 29 through 32 of Georgia’s legislative session. Among the bills that saw movement are HB 1162, known as the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) update bill, which integrates certain federal law provisions into Georgia law, aligning changes in tax law federally with Georgia Tax Law. Notably impacting the 2023 tax year due to date adjustments, the bill currently awaits scheduling for a Senate floor vote, residing in the Senate Rules Committee. Additionally, HB 1180, passing the House by a margin of 131-34, aims to implement tax incentives within the film industry. The proposed legislation seeks to revise the criteria for companies to qualify for Georgia's film and television tax credits. It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee after its reading. Another bill, HB 1371, addressing torts liability concerning third-party criminal activity, garnered 168 votes in favor and 12 against in the House, though it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate after being read and referred. Looking ahead, the forthcoming week will see only three legislative days, with a committee work day scheduled for Tuesday, prompting anticipation for further developments in the legislative process.

Legislative Week 8 (February 26 – March 1)
With crossover day behind us, the legislative session now enters its final phase with 11 days remaining. Among the bills that successfully advanced to the Senate are several significant pieces of legislation. In the realm of licensing, HB 1096 mandates licensees to report continuing education for renewal, affecting various boards under the Secretary of State. Additionally, HB 1190 requires licenses to be issued within 60 days for boards under the Professional Licensing Board Division. On the tax front, HB 1023 aligns corporate tax rates with individual rates and extends the state corporate tax deadline by 30 days, while HB 1180 modifies income tax credits, especially for film production, and imposes limits on credit sales/transfers. In tort reform, HB 1371 limits premises liability lawsuits for certain situations, and HB 1409 raises liability thresholds for mental health professionals to curb frivolous lawsuits. Lastly, HB 1231 expands HOPE scholarship eligibility for graduate-level education. As these bills move to the Senate, they will undergo further scrutiny and debate.  To read my full crossover day update, click here.To read the full crossover day update, click here.

Legislative Week 7 (February 19 – 23)
The upcoming week in the Georgia Legislature will be busy with extensive legislative work and long hours. The session will adjourn next Friday after a committee workday on Wednesday and three legislative days. When they return to Atlanta the following Monday, it will mark the 29th legislative day, nearing the end of the 2024 Session. The amended 2024 budget is progressing toward a Conference Committee, with revenue projections looking favorable for the coming year. This budget allows for spending state dollars, particularly on one-time expenditure projects. Additionally, Tim Bearden, a former member of the Georgia House and now a member of the Georgia Senate representing District 30, has been elected to replace Senator Mike Dugan. Dugan is running for Georgia Congressional District 3. Furthermore, a runoff special election is scheduled for March 12th to replace Representative Barry Fleming in House District 125, who was appointed as a Superior Court Judge in the Columbia Judicial Circuit.

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 or reach out to Don Cook, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, at 404-504-2935 or