Published on: Mar. 20, 2023
Legislative Update

The Georgia General Assembly convened on Monday, March 13, for legislative day 32, and the legislature worked through Thursday, March 16, marking legislative day 35 out of 40. This week, the Georgia General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, March 20, for legislative day 36 and work through Thursday, March 23, for legislative day 39. Wednesday, March 22, will serve as a committee workday.

Last week the Senate passed HB 162, which provides for a special state income tax refund of $1 billion for Georgians from the record surplus funds in Georgia. Governor Kemp promptly signed HB 162 into law. HB 162 provides Georgians who filed tax returns for the 2021 and 2022 tax years up to $250 rebates if single filing. Head of household filers will get up to $375 and couples filing jointly up to $500.

There was some movement on legislation specific to items on the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda. Among those include:

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, where it passed out of that committee and is now in the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.

SB 195:  Freedom to Work Act Passed out of Senate on Crossover. HB 195 creates an expedited licensing process of 30 days (from 90 days) for military personnel and spouses. SB 195 was assigned to pass out of the House Regulated Industries Committee last week. SB 195 is now in the House Rules Committee for consideration.

Several pieces of local legislation passed out of the House last week and were referred to the Senate. 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. Also, HB 718 was dropped in the House last week. HB 718 will raise the Hotel/Motel lodging tax in Savannah from 6% per dollar to 8% per dollar. HB 718 was referred to the House Intergovernmental Coordination Committee.

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