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|Legislative Report #3|
2015 GEDA Legislative Monitor Report #3
The 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly reconvened Monday, February 2, 2015 for Day 9 of the session. The House and Senate completed Day 11 on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 and adjourned until Monday, February 9, 2015; Day 12.
HB 8 - Representatives Brooks of the 55th, McClain of the 100th, Dawkins-Haigler of the 91st, and Thomas of the 56th
The bill proposes to raise the minimum wage from the current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour to $6.20 per hour. Upon the effective date of this Code section, the minimum shall be not less than $15.00 per hour. Beginning January 1, 2016, and each successive January thereafter the minimum wage will be adjusted for increases in the cost of living. The bill also provides that employees that work for tips can receive a credit toward satisfaction of up to 50 percent of the minimum wage requirements. The bill list certain employers and individuals that the minimum wage requirements do not apply.
HB 57 - Representatives Dudgeon of the 25th, Drenner of the 85th, Brockway of the 102nd, Geisinger of the 48th, Setzler of the 35th, and others.
The bill proposes to create the ‘Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015’ to allow individuals and certain commercial applications to utilize solar energy procurement agreements to finance the upfront costs of construction and installation of solar technologies. ‘Solar technology’ is defined as a system that: (1) generates electric energy that is fueled solely by ambient sunlight; (2) is installed upon property owned or occupied by a retail electric customer; and (3) is connected to the service provider’s distribution system on either side of the electric services provider’s meter. The capacity limit for a residential application is ten kilowatts, and one hundred and twenty-five percent of the actual or expected maximum annual peak demand of the premises the solar technology serves for a commercial application.
HB 60 - Representative Setzler of the 35th
The bill proposes an annual incremental reduction of the state income tax to a rate of 5.5 percent for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022. The bill proposes to impose an excise tax on distributors who sell or use motor fuel within the state. The excise tax would increase incrementally to a rate of 221/2 cents per gallon by 2022.
HB 75 - Representatives Ralston of the 47th, O’Neal of the 146th, and England of the 116th
HB - 97 Representatives Turner of the 21st, Caldwell of the 20th, and Cantrell of the 22nd
The bill would create the ‘Open Agreements Act”. It proposes to prohibit any agency from entering into a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits two or more parties from disclosing any communications, terms, conditions, interactions, or agreements between or among the parties to such contract or instrument. Unless exempted from this article, all agencies would have to fully disclose without delay any communications regarding and any terms and conditions of any agreement, incentive, or offer made or entered into by the agency. Any individual who, on behalf of an agency, enters into a nondisclosure agreement would be subject to sanctions. The Attorney General is designated to enforce the provisions of the bill. Any citizen of this state would be authorized to initiate civil action to enforce and compel the disclosure of those matters covered under a nondisclosure agreement entered into in violation of this code section.
HB 120 - Representatives Rutledge of the 109th, Welch of the 110th, Powell of the 171st, Knight of the 130th, Strickland of the 111th, and others
The bill proposes to add ‘a capital outlay project or projects that are owned, operated, or administered by the state and located, in part or in whole, within the special district’ to the list of authorized SPLOST projects.
HB 122 - Representatives Martin of the 49th, Ramsey of the 72nd, Hamilton of the 24th, England of the 116th, Jones of the 47th, and others
The bill proposes to remove the tax credit for the purchase of a new low-emission or new zero emission vehicle purchased on or after July 1, 2015. The bill states that the amount of the credit shall be $0.00.
HB 170 - Representatives Roberts of the 155th, Burns of the 159th, Hamilton of the 24th, England of the 116th, Stover of the 71st, and others.
The bill proposes to create the Transportation Funding Act of 2015. The bill states that all revenue obtained from fees assessed on alternative fueled vehicles shall be dedicated to funding public transit in this state. Any sales and use tax levied by a county, municipality, consolidated government, or other political subdivision of this state on the sales of motor fuels would be discontinued when the most recent authorization expires. When current sales and use tax authorizations expire, a county, municipality,consolidated government, or other political subdivision of this state may each levy an excise tax of up to 3 cents per gallon on motor fuels by adoption of an ordinance. A county, municipality, consolidated government, or other political subdivision of this state may increase the excise tax up to an additional 3 cents per gallon if the increase is authorized by passage of a local referendum. 6 cents per gallon is the maximum excise tax authorized. The bill would also prohibit current joint county and municipal sales and use tax on the sale of motor fuels.
SB 16 - Senators Butler of the 55th, Tate of the 38th, Henson of the 41st, Fort of the 39th, Sims of the 12th and others.
The bill proposes to create the ‘Job Creation Standards of 2015’. The Act would require recipient corporations that receive a development subsidy to comply with the following standards in order to qualify for development subsidy:
SB 52 – Senators Fort of the 39th, Henson of the 41st, Jones II of the 22nd, Tate of the 38th, Seay of the 34th and others.
The bill would also require the Department of Economic Development to post on its website, no later than five business days after securing a binding commitment that includes the commitment of One Georgia Authority or REBA funds, a notice that a binding commitment has been reached. DEcD would have to post the Department’s records documenting the bidding commitment made in connection with the project and the negotiation relating thereto and by publishing notice of the project and participating parties in the legal organ of each county in which an economic development project located. ‘Economic Development Project’ is defined as a project that involves an expenditure of more than $25 million by the business or the hiring of more than 50 employees.