Published on: Feb. 28, 2022
Legislative Update: Week of February 21

Last week, the Georgia General Assembly returned to the State Capitol for Legislative Day 19 on Tuesday, February 22, with multiple measures up for consideration in each Chamber.

On February 22, Governor Kemp announced more than $422M in awards to reinforce water and sewer infrastructure in communities across the state, which will help ensure communities in high-need areas have reliable and safe drinking water and wastewater systems. These funds were part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awarded to the state by the federal government.

Representative Ron Stephen’s HB 1053 had its first of two subcommittee hearings in the Ways and Means Committee on February 22. House Bill 1053 extends the film post-production tax credit set to expire on January 1, 2023, through 2027. Since its inception, the tax credit has been fully subscribed and has successfully supported an extending post-production industry in Georgia. The Chamber’s 2022 State Legislative Agenda supports film and post-production tax credits while advocating for the continued protection of these credits. We will continue to monitor HB 1053 as it makes its way to crossover day.

Senate Bill 379 would create the Office of Workforce Development under the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia. SB 379 would allow TCSG to establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in Georgia. It provides incentives for small and medium-sized businesses that serve as sponsors of this program. This apprenticeship expansion program will train Georgians in jobs that are in high demand and critical to the workforce. Companies that train up to five students will be eligible to receive compensation of up to $10,000 per student upon completing the apprenticeship course. SB 379 had a committee hearing in Senate Economic Development and Tourism on February 16. The Chamber has supported programs like apprenticeships, dual enrollment, and Georgia College & Career Academies. Our pro-business position advocates for programs designed to prepare students with the skills needed to meet the demands of our region’s growing workforce. We will keep our members informed as SB 379 nears crossover day.

Senate Bill 231 would provide a pilot program for individuals who have dropped out of school to further their education by enrolling in an adult charter school. SB 231 creates a way for nontraditional students (ages 21-35) to gain the skills and education necessary to enter the workforce. This program will allow individuals to become eligible to receive a Georgia high school diploma upon completion. Additionally, this program would alleviate some burdens for adult learners by providing childcare, transportation, and helping with some financial needs. This proposal would serve Georgians who would like to continue their education to achieve a postsecondary degree or enter the workforce. On Thursday, February 10, SB 231 passed out of the senate with a 51-3 vote and has assigned to the House Higher Education Committee. The Chamber’s State Legislative Agenda supports creating programs for adults, ages 21-35, to obtain high school diplomas as a priority for 2022. We will continue to monitor SB 231 as it moves towards crossover day.

Senate Bill 331, “Protecting Georgia Businesses and Workers Act,” is designed to prevent local governments from enacting ordinances dictating employee hours, scheduling, or regulating employee output during work hours. SB 331 was passed out of the Senate on February 17 and assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee.

The General Assembly reconvened on Monday, 2/28/22 for Legislative Day 21, Tuesday, for Legislative Day 22, and Friday for Legislative Day 23. Wednesday, March 2, will serve as a committee workday. Crossover Day is scheduled for March 15. Crossover Day is the day a bill generally must pass out of its legislative Chamber of origin to be considered by the other Chamber for this legislative session.

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