Chamber Legislative Agenda Update: Today marks the 24th legislative day of the 2017 session. Friday, March 3 will be the 28th legislative day, also known as Crossover Day, which is the last day a bill can go from one house to the other. Legislative day 40 is set for Thursday, March 30.
Specific Legislative Priorities:
Defend against legislative measures that would negatively impact Savannah’s business climate, appear discriminatory in nature, or would harm the ability to create, attract, retain and expand jobs.
- SB 233 “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”: This Bill incorporates by reference the federal version known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. We will continue to monitor the progress and impact of this Bill.
Support enhancement of Georgia’s historic preservation incentives to encourage investment of historic landmarks.
- HB 59, introduced by Rep. Ron Stephens, passed through the Ways and Means Committee on February 23. Changes include extending the sunset, allowing for carry-over of credits and increasing the overall cap.
Support the passage of legislation to assure there is a level playing field regarding the taxation of parts installed on large watercraft registered in other states. Making Georgia competitive for this work will directly lead to increased maritime repair and service jobs throughout the Georgia coast.
- HB 125, introduced by Rep. Ron Stephens, passed the House 152 to 14 on February 16. This legislation would provide a tax exemption for repair of boats valued at $500,000 or more. The Bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
Support initiatives to limit the unanticipated, large percentage swings of annual commercial property tax incentives.
- HB 325, sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, has been voted unanimously out of the full committee of Ways and Means. The Bill seeks to provide more predictability and transparency to the assessing of commercial properties by amending the language pertaining to the income approach to allow the property owner to supply actual income and expense data for consideration in the assessment.
Update laws governing the Georgia International Maritime and Trade Center to modernize governance and improve their marketability.
- HB 354, introduced by Rep. Ron Stephens and co-sponsored by Rep. Jesse Petrea and Rep. Carl Gilliard, was voted favorably out of the Committee for Economic Development and Tourism on February 22. This legislation would reconstitute the Georgia International Maritime Trade Center as a State Authority created by general law.
Reform transparency by requiring more thorough notifications and communication to allow local communities to have significantly greater knowledge and input when offenders are being considered for pardons and/or paroles.
- HB 34, introduced by Rep. Jesse Petrea, has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. This legislation seeks to impose increased transparency on the Parole and Pardons Board by making reports, files, records and information relative to the supervision of parolees subject to the provisions of the Georgia Open Records Act, and requiring public hearings.