State Banking Issues

Georgia General Assembly in Session

The 2019 Session of the Georgia General Assembly began January 14. GBA is represented throughout the session by our Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, President and CEO, Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, and our Government Relations Consultant Steve Bridges, 404.420.2037. Contact any of them with questions about legislation, information about your legislator's stance on a particular issue or to request any other information related to the Georgia General Assembly.

This will be the first session of a 2-year legislative cycle, which means essentially that legislation not completed in the 2018 session will need to be reintroduced in a subsequent session if the author chooses to move forward.

Preliminary GBA State Legislative Issues List

GBA's Georgia General Assembly Legislation Tracker

Below are the banking and financial services bills we are tracking during the 2019 session. We'll update these as the session progresses: 

GBA Priority / Supporting

Department of Banking and Finance Housekeeping Bill
HB 185 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) includes provisions to eliminate barriers to forming de novo banks, eliminates appropriated retained earnings references since that no longer impacts legal lending limits, authorizes background checks for trust company directors and officers, among other provisions affecting other entities the Department regulates. GBA’s Bank Counsel Board of Directors reviewed the draft last year

Boat Titling
HB 314
by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) creates a process by which boats and other watercraft will be titled.

Business Court
HB 239 by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) is the legislation to implement the statewide Business Court authorized by a constitutional amendment passed in 2018.

Income Tax - Hurricane Michael Relief
HB 105 by Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) would exempt federal disaster relief payments to victims of Hurricane Michael  from state income taxes.

Prized Linked Savings Accounts
HB 193 by Rep. Emory Dunahoo (R-Gainesville) would authorize banks and credit unions to offer a deposit account with a raffle component to encourage savings. 

Rural Development Council
HR 214 by Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) would reauthorize the Rural Development Council for an additional two years. Recommendations from the Council’s first two years of work are being enacted into law. These next two years will all the legislators to continue looking for ways to support economic development and jobs for rural Georgia.

Rural Development - Broadband
HB 22 by Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville) would allow telephone cooperatives and their affiliates to provide broadband services. 

Rural Development - Broadband
SB 17 by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) would allow telephone cooperatives and their affiliates to provide broadband services.

Rural Development - Broadband
HB 23 by Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville)  would allow Electric Membership Corporations and their affiliates to provide broadband services.

Rural Development - Broadband
SB 2 by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) would allow  Electric Membership Corporations and their affiliates to provide broadband services.

Rural Development - Freight and Logistics
HR 37 by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville) would create the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics to make recommendations for a comprehensive strategic business plan to develop state-wide freight and logistics infrastructure with the intent of ensuring the state remains economically competitive.

Rural Development - Freight and Logistics
SR 19 by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) would create the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics to make recommendations for a comprehensive strategic business plan to develop state-wide freight and logistics infrastructure with the intent of ensuring the state remains economically competitive.

Statute of Frauds 
SB 37 by Rep. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) would restore the proper method of releasing or rescinding a written guaranty. A 2018 Georgia Court of Appeals case, Crop Production Services, Inc. v T. E. Moye, reversed two cases going back nearly three decades which held that the Statute of Frauds barred oral evidence that a written guaranty had been released or rescinded. In Moye, the court held that a written guaranty may be rescinded by a mutual oral agreement, even though the guaranty itself is subject to the Statue of Frauds and contains a provision requiring that notice of revocation must be in writing. Because the creditor technically “won” this case because the summary judgment granted to the guarantor was reversed and remanded to the trial court to determine a question of fact, an appeal is unlikely. Therefore, legislation is needed to correct this decision that could have a profound impact on lending in Georgia.

Bills We're Monitoring

Abandoned Motor Vehicles.
HB 307 by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) replaces the current process for disposing of abandoning motor vehicles in public rights of way with a new process that is intended to take into account any existing liens when the vehicles are sold and the proceeds escheated to the Revenue Department.

HB 19 by Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) would create a comprehensive state civil rights law protecting individuals from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment. 

Appraisal Management Companies
HB 192 by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) is a substantial revision to the code relating to the operation of Appraisal Management Companies.  

Banking Improvement Zone
SB 20 by Sen. Michael Rhett (D-Marietta) would provide an incentive for financial institutions to operate in underserved areas designated as Banking Improvement Zones by the Department of Community Affairs by allowing the local governmental entity to place deposits with a financial institution as long as the fixed rate of interest is at or below the institution’s posted two-year certificate of deposit rate.

Checks for Payroll
HB 110 by Rep. Tom Kirby (R-Loganville) would give employers the discretion to issue payroll for wages in the manner chosen by the employer. 

Dedicated Taxes and Fees
HR 164 by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) would amend the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by general law for the dedication of revenues derived from fees or taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or taxes were imposed. 

Electronic Filing – Courts
SB 38 by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) would exclude certain filings such as those related to the enforcement of child support orders to be entered into the clerk of court’s electronic filing registry.

HB 70 by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) would revise a number of areas within the code affecting guardianship of minors and adults. The changes mostly relate to appointment issues and court administration rather than bank operations.

Hemp Farming
HB 213 by Rep. John Corbitt (R-Lake Park) would establish the framework for research, development, growing, licensing and regulating hemp production in Georgia.

Information Security Officer – Covenants
HB 81 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming) would prohibit restrictive covenants from being included in information technology employee contract agreements.

Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry
HB 212 by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn) would exempt certain retailers of mobile homes and employees of residential contractors from registration under the state and national mortgage registration system.

Recording Fees
HB 288 by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), among other things, would create a flat filing fee for recording certain real estate and personal property with the clerk of superior court by raising the current base fee and eliminating the per page fee. 

Student Loan Defaults – Professional Licenses
SB 92, by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) would prohibit a professional licensing board from revoking licenses due solely to a student loan default.