Published on: Mar. 4, 2024
Legislative Update Week 8

Last week, the House and Senate gave final passage to HB 915, the 2024 midyear supplemental budget and Gov. Kemp signed it into law on February 29. The 2024 midyear budget increases state spending by $5 billion in the current fiscal year. It includes $178M for the design, construction, and equipment of the dental school at Georgia Southern University on the Savannah Armstrong campus (in partnership with Augusta University), $15.5M for the construction of the Gateway child and adolescent crisis stabilization unit in Savannah, $8M for the Savannah Convention center Riverwalk expansion and $3M for the Live Oak Libraries for the replacement of Oglethorpe Mall Library. There were also historic new investments in transportation, water/sewer infrastructure, and educational facilities, which we anticipate our region will benefit substantially from. We also closely follow the Fiscal Year 2025 budget (the “Big Budget”) and will have reports on it in the coming weeks as it works through the Senate and the conference committee.

Also, last week, Thursday, February 29, was “Crossover Day,” which is the last day a bill can pass its chamber of origin to be considered by the other body. Below are a few of the bills that were monitoring and working that passed out of their originating chambers on “crossover day” and are headed to the other chamber for consideration:

HB 1116: Rehabilitation of historic structures.
The bill would extend a tax credit for rehabilitating and preserving properties listed in the National or Georgia Register of Historic Places, provided the buildings meet a few additional criteria. It also doubles the total credits available, raising the ceiling to $60 million.

HB 880: To streamline occupational licensure of military spouses.
The bill will help military spouses maintain professional and financial stability by allowing them to use their existing professional licenses and certificates when they relocate due to military orders.

SB 360: Pre-k Capital Outlay Funds
This bill would allow counties the ability to utilize capital outlay funds towards Pre-K educational facilities and include projected student headcounts in consideration of funding.

SB 429: Small Business Protection Act of 2024.
This bill would allow for the Governor, President of the Senate, or any member of the Georgia General Assembly to request that the Office of Planning and Budget and the Department of Audits and Accounts prepare a small business impact analysis on any bill introduced during a legislative session. This analysis would estimate the economic costs and benefits that such bill may have on small businesses in the state.

HB 1180 : Changes to the Film Tax Credit
After years of discussions about the explosive growth in the film tax credit, the legislature appears ready to act and trim the state’s yearly exposure. The revisions include changing the minimum spend requirement threshold for productions to be eligible to receive the film tax credit, adding new requirements for productions to receive the additional 10 percent uplift on top of the base 20 percent credit, and capping the number of tax credits earned per year to 2.5 percent of the state budget for the corresponding fiscal year.

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