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Published on: Feb. 9, 2015
Georgia Chamber Legislative Update – Feb. 6

As of February 6, 2015 …
Legislative Calendar
The Georgia General Assembly completed legislative Day 11 of 40 Thursday, Feb. 5. They will be in session Monday through Thursday this week.

Action on Key Business Legislation
The Georgia General Assembly took action on the following Georgia Chamber priorities important to the business community last week:

SB 2: Career Education Dual Enrollment
Chamber Position: Support; Scorecard
SB 2 sponsored by Senator Lindsey Tippins (Marietta) passed the Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 56-0.  The bill would allow a high school student who has completed ninth and tenth grade requirements for coursework and assessments to enroll in a post-secondary institution (USG or TCSG) and work towards an associate degree, technical diploma or industry certification, while counting that coursework towards high school graduation requirements. SB 2 will create a new tool to address our workforce needs.  By further aligning our K-12 education system with our university and technical college systems and allowing students to simultaneously access both, Georgia will be in a better position to remain economically competitive. Click here to view the bill.

HB 153: To Provide Civil Action Damages for the Unlicensed Practice of Law
Chamber Position: Oppose
Representative Tom Weldon (Ringgold) introduced HB 153 on Tuesday and the bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. HB 153 is attempting to address “witness only” closings where an attorney not licensed to practice in Georgia prepares and submits real estate closing documents to a Georgia licensed attorney who acts as a “witness only” during the closing of a real estate transaction.  This legislation will allow for civil action for a party who claims the documents were not properly executed. Our concern is that the courts would apply this language to realtors, auto salesman, or anyone else who prepares or drafts contracts in their daily course of business and subject them to a new cause of action for plaintiffs to file civil lawsuits against these individuals or companies for the unlicensed practice of law.  Click here to view the bill.

HB 170: Transportation Funding Act of 2015
On Monday, the House is expected to consider a substitute for HB 170 sponsored by Representative Jay Roberts (Ocilla).  The bill would fund nearly $1 billion a year in statewide transportation projects.  Georgia’s economic success has long relied upon our position as a transportation and logistics hub and our ability to safely and reliably move both people and goods.  The Georgia Chamber applauds Speaker Ralston and Chairman Roberts for ensuring that transportation funding remains a high priority, and we look forward to supporting their collective efforts throughout this legislative session to ensure that the General Assembly approves legislation that provides the transportation funding we need both today and in the future.

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