Published on: Mar. 7, 2022
Legislative Update: Week of March 8

This week, the Georgia General Assembly will meet on Tuesday, March 8 for legislative day 25, Wednesday, March 9 for legislative day 26, and Friday, March 11 for legislative day 27. Thursday, March 10 will be 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. Also, this week all candidates for legislative and statewide races must register and qualify for their election at the state capital.

HB 1053 (sponsored by State Representative Ron Stephens) 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 bill had its second hearing before the House Ways and Means Tax Subcommittee on March 2, HB 1053 and was considered in the full House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, March 3. The bill was tabled and will be voted on by the full committee at a later date. HB 1053 is in line with the Chamber’s efforts to support the film and post-production tax credits and advocate for the continued protection of these credits.

Last week, House Bill 1064 (sponsored by State Representative Jesse Petrea) unanimously passed out of the House on February 28th and it has been transmitted to the Senate and referred the Senate Finance Committee. This legislation will exempt up to $17,500 in military retirement income from state income tax for those under 62 in Georgia. If they work and earn up to $17,500, they can exempt another $17,500 from state income tax for a total of $35,000. This issue has been a priority for the Savannah Area Chamber for several years and we look forward to the bill’s passage.

On March 1 the House passed HB 1302. HB 1302 would refund $1.6 Billion of surplus state funds to Georgians who filed income tax returns for both 2020 and 2021 taxable years. HB 1302 would provide A $250 refund to single filers, $375 to head of household filers and $500 to joint filers. HB 1302 is headed to the Senate.

SB 379 passed out of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism on March 2nd and is headed to the Rules Committee. 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 passed out of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism on March 2nd and is headed to the Rules Committee. The Chamber has consistently supported programs like apprenticeships, dual enrollment, and Georgia College & Career Academies. SB 379 is headed to the House Rules Committee.

In early February, the House passed HB 910, the FY 2022 Supplemental Appropriations bill. On March 3 the Senate passed their version of HB 910. HB 910 includes several funding projects that are also included in the Savannah Chamber’s Legislative agenda including funding for Savannah Technical College and Georgia Southern. There are some minor differences between the House and the Senate versions of HB910. The two legislative bodies will have to work out a final agreement on HB 910 before the end of the legislative session in April.

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 will allow private businesses in Georgia to make the decisions that are best for them and their employees. SB 331 was passed out of the Senate on February 17. On March 3 the House Insurance and Labor Committee passed SB 331 sending it to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

Lastly, On March 1, The University System of Georgia, Board of Regents named former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as chancellor of the University System of Georgia.

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