The Georgia General Assembly completed legislative days 21 through 23 last week. The General Assembly returns to session this Monday, February 27, for legislative day 24 and will work through Thursday, March 2, for legislative day 27. Monday, March 6, is Crossover day, the last Legislative day for legislation to pass out of one chamber to be considered by the other chamber.
On Thursday, February 23, the Senate passed their version of HB 18, the amended FY23 budget, which included $2M for the current expansion of the Savannah Convention Center. This budget will soon head to a conference committee to negotiate the differences between the House & Senate versions.
HB 514, the Housing Regulation Transparency Act, was introduced by Rep. Washburn (Macon) and has been referred to the House Governmental Affairs Committee for consideration. HB 514 does align with the Savannah Chamber’s position on assisting endeavors to construct, renovate, and acquire affordable housing by waiving fees for affordable housing development. HB 514 allows 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.
Also last week, State Representative Jesse Petrea (Savannah) announced that the State of Georgia has secured a $3M grant from the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act program for the Green Island Nature Reserve project in Chatham County. In addition to funds provided by Chatham County for green spaces, this state grant funding would help preserve and protect Green Island. Involved parties will continue to work with the current owners, the Lewis family, to determine a plan to purchase the island entirely.