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2017 Public Policy Update #8

Wednesday, March 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jim Finch
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MARCH 14, 2017
2017 Public Policy Update: #8

The Georgia General Assembly was in session Monday, March 6; Day 29 of the session; recessed Tuesday and Wednesday; and reconvened on Thursday, March 9; Day 30 and Friday March 10; Day 31. The General Assembly will be in session Monday, March 13; Day 32 through Thursday, March 16; Day 35. The House and Senate will be in recess on Friday, March 17, 2017. The week of March 20 the General Assembly will be in session Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The final week the General Assembly will be in session on Tuesday and Thursday, March 30; Day 40 of the 2017 session.

Listed below are the bills and resolutions that GEDA is continuing to track. HB61, 325, 329, 428, and SR 392 have been added to this report.

House Bills

HB1SRepresentative Spencer of the 180th

The bill provides that a ‘space flight entity’ will not be civilly liable to or criminally responsible for any person for a space flight participant injury arising out of inherent risks associated with any space flight activities, has signed a warning and agreement required in state law, and given written informed consent as may be required by federal law. A ‘Space flight participant’ is defined as not a crew member; is carried aboard a spacecraft, launch, or reentry vehicle; who pays a required deposit or fee; and participates in any training program or orientation session.

Referred to the Senate Science and Technology Committee. Received afavorable reportin committee 3/10/2017.


HB59Representative Stephens of the 164th

Provides tax credits against state income taxes for the rehabilitation of historic structures, and provide for preapproval of additional tax credits for current recipients of tax credits. The taxpayer will be allowed a tax credit against the tax imposed at such time as the certified rehabilitation is completed. An applicant seeking to claim a tax credit will submit an application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for preapproval of the tax credit.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/6/2017.


HB61Representative Powell of the 171st

Would require ‘delivery retailers’ that have gross revenue in excess of $250,000 or conducts 200 or more retail sales in the State to collect and remit sales and use taxes. The bill also provides procedures for remission, and penalties for non-compliance. The bill proposes to level the playing field for local retailers and on-line retailers.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/16/2017


HB73Representative Houston of the 170th

Provides for exemptions from state income taxes. Provides tax credit incentives to promote the revitalization of vacant rural Georgia downtowns by encouraging investment, job creation, and economic growth in long-established business districts. Incentives for revitalization of rural downtowns include $2,000 job tax credits for each full time equivalent job created in approved Rural Revitalization Zones; investment credits of 25% of the purchase price; and rehabilitation credits equivalent to 50% of the qualified rehabilitation. The Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will jointly administer the process.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/17/2017


HB118Representative Kelley of the 16th

Provides for the licensing, registration, regulation, and taxation of fantasy contest operators. The bill creates the Registered Fantasy Contest Operators Act. Fantasy contest operators must register with the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue. A fantasy contest operator must pay an annual registration renewal fee and 6% percent of the fantasy contest operator’s gross fantasy contest revenues for the preceding 12 months. The registration application is exempt from public disclosure unless challenged in the courts.

Referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


HB134Representative Epps of the 144th

Authorizes imposition of a special district transportation special purpose local option sales and use tax within a special district for a limited period of time; the proceeds of which must be used only for transportation purposes. The bill adds “roads” to the definition of ‘transportation purposes.’ More than one tax will be authorized to be imposed concurrently within a special district as long as the combined rate of the taxes does not exceed 1 percent.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/24/2017.


HB155Representative Carter of the 175th

Creates an income tax credit for certain expenditures by a production company related to certain state certified musical or theatrical productions or recorded musical performances that originate in this state, or that prepares and rehearses within this state and has its U.S. debut within this state. To qualify for the income tax credit a musical or theatrical performance must invest at least $500,000 during a taxable year. A recorded musical performance, which is incorporated into or synchronized with a movie, television, or interactive entertainment production must invest $250,000 during a taxable year, and any other recorded musical performances must invest $100,000 during a taxable year. The Department of Economic Development must approve ‘state certified productions.’ A production company will be allowed a tax credit equal to 15 percent of a production company’s qualified production expenditures; and a production company will be allowed an additional tax credit equal to 10 percent for the production company’s qualified production expenditures incurred in a county designated as tier 1 or tier 2 by the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


HB160Representative Tanner of the 9th

Creates the Georgia Commission on Transit Governance and Funding. Members are appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation will serve as an ex-officio member. The Chairpersons of the House and Senate Transportation Committees will serve as Co-chairpersons of the Commission. The Commission will be investigative and advisory only. It will study and assess the needs for; potential methods of funding of; and means of providing a system of mass transportation and mass transportation facilities for any one or more metropolitan areas in the state as determined by the Commission. The study will also include consideration of federal programs relating to mass transportation and mass transportation facilities. The Commission will provide a report and detailed proposal to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/17/2017.


HB183Representative Dickey of the 140th

Moves the Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council from the Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, to the Department of Community Affairs. The Council will identify, develop, and prioritize areas whereby data can be used far more effectively to promote more efficient decision-making by governments in Georgia

Passed House. Passed Senate.


HB189Representative Nelson of the 125th

Creates the ‘Contract Cancellation Act’.Requires counties, municipal corporations, and other governmental entities to include specific performance and cost parameters in service contracts. The bill also requires contractors to submit quarterly reports showing the contractor’s compliance with performance criteria and the actual costs for which the political subdivision is obligated. Service contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2017 must include a provision that the political subdivision may cancel the contract at any time if the contractor fails to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Referred to the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/6/2017.


HB199Representative Rhodes of the 120th

Changes certain provisions regarding the income tax credit for interactive entertainment companies, and removes the sunset on such exemptions. The bill adds an exemption for certain pre-released products, and provides for a new state income tax credit for qualified postproduction expenditures of postproduction companies.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/27/2017.


HB205Representative Meadows of the 5th

Provides for regulation of the exploration and extraction of gas and oil; provides the authority to create an Oil and Gas Board; requires development of rules and regulations related to drilling and extraction; amends provisions relating to drilling permits; increases the amount of bond security for drilling operations; provides for the authority of local governments; and to impose a severance tax on the extraction of oil and gas. The bill also defines “hydraulic fracturing”.

Referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/14/2017.


HB 225Representative Powell of the 171st

Repeals an inoperable sales tax exemption related to ride share networks and imposes collection and remittance of sales taxes on certain persons that facilitate or broker and accept or process payment for certain sales. Individuals that utilize ride sharing networks would be required to pay a 4% sales tax for each trip taken.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/6/2017.


HB237Representative Coleman of the 97th

Authorizes the creation of the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools, and to provide for an income tax credit for qualified education donations. The Foundation is authorized to receive donations from taxpayers for the purpose of awarding grants to public schools for the implementation of academic and organizational innovations to improve student achievement, with preference given to schools earning unacceptable ratings.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/27/2017.


HB247Representative LaRiccia of the 169th

Provides for a state sales and use tax exemption for machinery used to mix or transport concrete.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/23/2017.


HB257Representative Tankersley of the 160th

Requires local government authorities to register with the Department of Community Affairs in order to be eligible for state funds; to change the deadline for local government authorities to register with DCA; and to prohibit authorities from incurring debt or credit obligation prior to submitting a report to DCA. Currently all authorities have to submit an annual authority registration and a report of registered authority finance to DCA. The bill authorizes the submission of both reports on the same date. Failure to submit the reports will prevent authorities from incurring debt or credit obligations, and receiving state appropriated funds from
DCA.

Referred to the Senate State Local Government Operations Committee. Read for the 1sttime 2/22/2017.


HB265SRepresentative Efstration of the 104th

Amends the OCGA relating to exemptions from state income tax, so as to revise the provisions relating to the credit for establishing or relocating quality jobs. The bill also amends the OCGA relating to exemptions form state sales and use taxes, so as to provide a state and local sales tax exemptions from state sales and use taxes, so as to provide a state and local sales tax exemption for sales of tangible personal property used for or in the renovation or expansion of certain theaters.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Received afavorable reportin committee 3/9/2017.


HB325Representative Stephens of the 164th

Amends the definition of ‘fair market value of property’ related to the income approach for determining the fair market value of income-producing property. The bill requires that the income approach should be utilized in determining fair market value of income-producing property. Income and expense data provided voluntarily by the property owner shall also be considered in such determination.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Received afavorable reportin committee 3/10/2017.


HB329Representative Powell of the 171st

Modifies the rate of tax imposed on the Georgia taxable net income of individuals; provide for an inflationary index rate; adjust the amounts of the personal exemptions and standard deductions based on the inflationary index rate; and provide for a nonrefundable earned income tax credit. The current Georgia taxable net income rate of one to 6% of taxable income will be removed from Georgia Code and replaced with one rate of 5.4%.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


HB342Representative Efstration of the 104th

Provides that certain urban redevelopment zones may be designated as enterprise zones; provide for certain tax exemptions in such enterprise zones; and provide for the issuance of revenue bonds. Enterprise zones created pursuant to this code section must be included in an urban redevelopment area, and contain within its borders the site for a redevelopment project having a minimum of $400 million in capital investment for the redevelopment of an area certified by the commissioner to have been chronically underdeveloped for a period of 20 years or more. Any redevelopment project used to qualify an area for designation as an enterprise zone shall, upon approval of the designation, qualify for an exemption of any sales and use tax levied within the boundaries of the project.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/6/2017.


HB354Representative Stephens of the 164th

Reconstitutes the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority to be located in Chatham County. Appointments to the Authority will be made by members of the Chatham delegation of the Georgia General Assembly. Other ex officio members are designated based on their current job or position in the community. The Department of Economic Development and the Authority are authorized to contract with one another for completion of a project to be known as the ‘Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center.

Referred to the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


HB428Representative Martin of the 49th

Amends the OCGA relating to downtown development authorities so as to authorize assessments and liens regarding assessments for downtown development authorities.

Referred to the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


HB470Representative Blackmon of the 146th

Authorizes the Department of Economic Development to administer a grant program to be called the Defense Community Economic Development Fund for the purposes of providing assistance to military communities with grant goals. Each military community has to match grant funds awarded by the Department.

Referred to the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/3/2017.


House Resolutions

HR158Representative Powell of the 171st

Proposes to amend the Constitution to allow for the dedication of revenues derived from fees and taxes.

Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Received afavorable reportin committee 2/22/2017.


HR389Representative Watson of the 172nd

Creates the House Rural Development Council.

Passed House3/10/2017.


Senate Bills

SB2Senator Dugan of the 30th

Creates the ‘Fast Act – Fairness, Accountability, Simplification, and Transparency- Empowering Our Small Businesses to Succeed’. Provides that each county or municipality which imposes regulatory fees or regulatory requirements within its jurisdiction shall establish a schedule of regulatory fees and regulatory requirements within its jurisdiction which shall include timelines necessary for processing completed applications and a list of all documentation related to regulatory requirements. If counties and municipalities do not meet established deadlines regulatory fees will be reduced by 10% of the original fee. Similar penalties apply to state agencies. Each state agency that imposes regulatory requirements will be required to establish an expedited licensing and permitting process, and required to annually review its activities which require the collection of personal information. Counties and municipalities can receive designation by the Department of Community Affairs as Ready for Partnership Georgia. DCA will also establish a voluntary certification program for each county and municipality. The bill also mandates that a council should be created to establish metrics for certifying counties and municipalities. The Commissioner of DCA will chair the council.

Referred to the House Small Business Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 2/22/2017.


SB3Senator Tippins of the 37th

Creates the ‘Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act’. Requires the State Board of Education to prescribe a minimum course of study in career education for students in grades six through twelve. The course of study should include career exploration, and career oriented learning experiences that include participation in work based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships cooperative education, or employability skill development; and rigorous industry credentialing.

Referred to the House Education Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 2/22/2017.


SB6Senator Gooch of the 51st

Creates the Georgia Regional Transit Council that will be attached to the Department of Transportation for administrative purposes. The Council is created to develop a state-wide strategic transit plan with the guidance of a recognized industry leader in delivering transit strategy for multijurisdictional entities which emphasizes first-mile and last-mile services, the development of a seamless transportation network with dependable trip times for commuters, the enhancement of limited access highways, road congestion relief, safety enhancements, and plans for a future of transportation innovations.

Referred to the House Transportation Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 2/24/2017.


SB14Senator Burke of the 11th

Proposes to amend the OCGA relating to imposition, rate, computation, and exemptions from state income taxes relating to tax credits for contributions to rural hospital organizations. Income tax credits of up to 70% of the actual amount expended in a tax year for individuals, heads of household, married couples filing a joint return, and individuals who are members of a limited liability company, a shareholder in a Subchapter ‘S’ corporation, or a partner in a partnership.

Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 2/9/2017.


SB46Senator Ligon, Jr. of the 3rd

Similar bill to HB1; provides for the facilitation of space flight activities. Limits the liability of space flight entities related to injuries sustained by participants who have agree in writing to such a limitation after being provided with certain warnings.

Referred to House Judiciary Committee. Received a favorable report in committee 3/10/2017.


SB85SSenator Jeffares of the 17th

Provides for the limited sale of distilled spirits and malt beverages to the public by manufacturers of such products, remittance of local excise taxes by distillers and brewers, and to clarify that sales at retail by brewpubs for consumption off the premises are governed by the local jurisdiction. The bill also provides for a limited exception related to the three-tier system for the distribution and sale of distilled spirits exist to the extent that the license to manufacture distilled spirits in this state will include the right to sell up to 500 barrels of distilled spirits per year produced at the distiller’s licensed premises to individuals that meet certain criteria.

Referred to the House Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Received afavorablereportin committee 2/14/2017.


SB89Senator Shafer of the 48th

Provides for state investment in railways and railroad facilities and equipment. Authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to administer a Georgia Freight Railroad Program. The program will be composed of three subprograms – the Rail Enhancement Plan; the Rail Preservation Plan; and the Rail Industrial Plan. The Commissioner of DOT is required to submit an annual report on the activities of the Georgia Freight Railroad Program.

Referred to the House Transportation Committee. Received afavorable reportin committee 2/17/2017.


SB117Senator Martin IV of the 9th

Amends the OCGA relating to the Georgia Technology Authority so as to change the definition of the term ‘agency’; provide for the establishment of certain policies and standards to be used by all agencies; and to provide for waivers under certain circumstances.

Referred to the House Governmental Affairs Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 2/22/2017.


SB133Senator Walker III of the 20th

Proposes to make the corporate net worth tax inapplicable to corporations worth less than a certain amount. Corporations having a net worth, including capital stock, paid-in surplus, and earned surplus, of no more than $100,000 are added to the list of organizations that are exempt from payment of the tax.

Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Received afavorablereportin committee 3/3/2017.


SB183Senator Beach of the 21st

Amends the OCGA relating to general provisions relative to the State Road and Tollway Authority. Provides for a definition, powers of the authority, and the indefinite collection of tolls in certain instances.

Referred to the House Transportation Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 3/3/2017.


SB191Senator Jeffares of the 17th

Requires that on or after July 1, 2017, any construction of a new petroleum pipeline or an extension in this state requires a permit from the Director of EPD regardless of whether the petroleum pipeline company intends to exercise any power of eminent domain. The Director will conduct hearings to determine whether the location and construction of the portion of the petroleum pipeline for which the permit is sought are consistent with, and not an undue hazard, to the environment and natural resources of this state.

Referred to the House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee. Read for the 2ndtime 3/9/2017.


Senate Resolutions

 

SR152Senator of the 47th

Creates the Joint Study Committee on stream Buffers in Georgia.

Referred to the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.Passed SenateReceivedfavorable reportin committee 3/9/2017.

SR392Senator Lucas of the 26th

Creates the Senate Rural Study Committee.

Referred to the Senate Rules Committee. Read for the 1sttime 3/9/2017.


Bills must be‘read’three times to qualify for a vote in the chamber of origin.

Bills that receive a‘favorable report’in committee are eligible for selection by the House or Senate Rules Committee for inclusion on their respective Rules Calendar.

Bills that appear on a chamber’s Rules Calendar receive a vote by the House or Senate respectively.


To find your law makersclick here.
To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2017click here.

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