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2017 Public Policy Update #10

Monday, April 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelly McLendon
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March 27, 2017


2017 Public Policy Update #10



The General Assembly will be in session Tuesday, March 28; Day 39. The General Assembly will declare ‘Sine Die’ on Thursday, March 30; Day 40 of the legislative session calendar.

Listed below are the bills and resolutions that received action during the week of March 20 through March 24, 2017.

House Bills

HB1CS Representative 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. Passed House and Senate

HB44 Representative Ralston of the 7th

2018 Budget.

Passed House and Senate. Agreed to in conference committee. Transmitted the Governor for signature.

HB59S Representative 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 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.

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017.

HB118CS Representative 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. Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017 – bill language added to SB156

HB134S Representative 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.

Passed House and Senate

HB155 Representative 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 qualif ied 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. Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

HB183 Representative 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 and Senate

HB199CS Representative Rhodes of the 120th

Changes certain provisions regarding the income tax credit for interactive entertainment companies, and removes the sunset on 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.

Passed House and Senate

HB205CSFA Representative 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”.

Passed House and Senate

HB 225 Representative 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

HB237S Representative 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017

HB265CS Representative 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 from 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.

Passed House and Senate

HB329 Representative 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

HB342S Representative 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

HB428 Representative 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017

Senate Bills

SB3S Senator 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017 – Postponed until 3/28

SB6CS Senator 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/16/2017

SB14S Senator 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017

SB85CS Senator 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.

Passed Senate and House

SB117S Senator 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.

Passed House and Senate

SB133S Senator 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 Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

SB191S Senator 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. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/24/2017

Senate Resolutions

SR152 Senator Ginn of the 47th

Creates the Joint Study Committee on stream Buffers in Georgia.

Passed Senate and House

SR392 Senator Lucas of the 26th

Creates the Senate Rural Study Committee.

Referred to the Senate Rules Committee. Received Favorable Report in Committee 3/22/2017

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 makers click here.

To view the GEDA Public Policy Agenda for 2017 click here.




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