The Georgia General Assembly convened on Monday, March 6, for legislative day 28, “Crossover Day.” Day 28 is the last day for a bill to pass out of its chamber of origin to be considered by the other body during the 2023 Legislative Session. The legislature convened on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday last week for legislative days 29 through 31. This week, the Georgia General assembly will reconvene on Monday, March 13, for legislative day 32 and work through Thursday, legislative day 35.
Last week, the House and the Senate agreed on HB 18, the FY 2023 Supplemental budget, and on Friday, March 10, Governor Kemp signed HB 18 into law. HB 18 is the $32.5M midyear budget. It includes $2M for the current expansion of the Savannah Convention Center, an additional $18M in intermodal aid to the airports in the state, taking the funding from $26M to $44M. Each Georgia public school will receive a $50,000 safety grant. HB 18 also provides that homeowners receive an extra one-time exemption on the value of their homes which, on average, will save each Georgia homeowner $500.
HB 19: The state’s budget for FY 2024 has passed the House and was sent to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee. HB 19 includes $1.690M added by the House for renovations at the Armstrong Center and Health Professional Building for a new medical campus of the Medical College of Georgia at the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus. HB 19 also keeps Governor Kemps’s recommendation of $8M for the completion of the Savannah Convention Center.
HB 514: The Housing Regulation Transparency Act will allow local governments to waive regulatory costs of developing and building single-family housing of less than 2,500 sq feet. HB 514 also states that if a city or county intends to adopt a moratorium on residential development, it will be limited to 180 days in length and may not be extended or renewed until 180 days have passed. HB 514 passed out of the House on Crossover and was sent to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
SB 195: Freedom to Work Act Passed out of Senate on Crossover. HB 195 creates an expedited licensing process of 30 day (from 90 days) for military personnel and spouses. SB 195 has been assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
SB 112: The Workforce EXCELeration Act passed out of the Senate and is awaiting consideration in the House Higher Education Committee. SB 112 would enact a workforce development pilot project to create Goodwill Excel Center schools for persons over the age of 21 to obtain their high school diplomas.
There were also a couple of pieces of local legislation that were also dropped in the House. HB 702 would increase the compensation of the Savannah Chatham County School Board to $25,000 a year for each member, and it would increase the compensation of the Savannah Chatham County School Board Chair to $35,000. HB 703 would limit the Alderman of the City of Savannah to three consecutive four-year terms of office in the same district or the same at-large post Any term to which an alderman was elected before July 1, 2023, will not count toward these limits.