March 5 marked the 25th legislative day of the Georgia General Assembly’s 2020 legislative session. Legislators have until Thursday, March 12, “Crossover Day,” to pass their bills out of their chamber and move them to the other chamber for consideration. We are continuing to monitor several important pieces of legislation that are directly related to the Chamber’s 2020 Legislative Agenda. Below is a list of bills that were recently dropped or have had some recent movement through the legislative process that have a direct correlation to the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda.
- HB 1011: Provides for income tax credits for up to 25% of the cost to restore a historic structure. This bill has been assigned to the Natural Resource and Environment Committee.
- HB 1037: Requires film productions to undergo mandatory audits of expenditures to make sure they are eligible for tax credits. This bill has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee.
- HB 1004: To provide income tax credits for higher education for the Ft. Gordon Cyber Security and Information Technology innovation corridor and the Savannah Logistics Technology Corridor. This bill has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee.
- HR 1247: Designates the Savannah Logistics Technology Corridor as an official technology innovation corridor in Georgia and calls for the corridor to be composed of all of Chatham County, Bryan County, Effingham County, Bulloch County and Liberty County. This bill has been assigned to the Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
- SB 316: This bill expands on prior legislation allowing military spouses who have licenses to practice certain professions in other states to obtain that same license by endorsement to practice in Georgia (known as reciprocal licensing). This bill passed out of the Senate on February 24 and moved to the House for consideration.
As for other items on the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda, we are currently working with the appropriate members and committees to help identify and support the proper legislation to address the issues.
Because of the unpredictability of the legislative process, not every issue that comes up during the legislative session is included in the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda, but they are still important to creating and maintaining a positive environment in which to do business in Georgia and Savannah. Below are several bills that we are currently tracking:
- HB 448: Requires hotel/motel lodging tax and fees to be collected by the online platform rather than the owner or operator when the reservation is made on a third-party platform such as VRBO.com or Airbnb.com. Favorable reported out of Committee.
- HB 523: Limits the local government regulation of properties used as short-term or long-term rentals to regulations that apply to all residential properties. There are current discussions with the bill’s author to allow some local control aspects to be added to the legislation. This bill has passed out of committee.
- HB 730: Creates sales and use tax exemptions and tangible personal property exemptions for a local host committee for major sporting events and to extend an exemption for sales of admissions to certain nonrecurring major sporting event. This bill is moving through the House Ways and Means committee.
- HB 740: Creates the Sports Marketing Fund to provide a funding mechanism to attract sporting events to the State of Georgia, which would provide an economic benefit to the state. This bill is moving through the House Economic Develop and Tourism Committee.
- HR 935: Continues the work of the 2019 Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics task of developing a comprehensive, strategic business plan to promote state-wide freight and logistics infrastructure in order for this state to remain economically competitive. This resolution recently passed the House and is currently in the Senate.
- SB 110: Establishment of a state-wide Business Court. Currently the statute requires both parties to consent to the transfer of a case from superior court to the Business Court. This legislation would allow one party to petition to transfer the case to business court, which is the national standard. This bill is still moving through the committee process.
- SB 415: Addresses many of the recommendations made by the Senate Study Committee of Reducing Georgia’s Cost of Doing Business. It is a comprehensive pro-business bill tackling several issues important to Georgia’s legal climate. This bill addresses many areas of concern including premises liability, trucking lawsuits, seat belt admissibility in civil cases, asbestos litigation, truth in medical damages, among others. SB 415 passed out of committee Tuesday.
Feel free to reach out to the Chamber’s director of governmental affairs Jared Downs with questions about the Chamber’s legislative priorities.