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. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not receive action.
Bank Data Match – State Tax Delinquencies
HB 452 by Rep. Steven Sainz (R-Woodbine) would allow the Department of Revenue access to the child support data match registry to search, levy and seize deposits found of delinquent tax payers. The bill passed the House and assigned to the Senate Committee on Assignments but no further action was taken.
HR 875 by Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) would create the House Study Committee on Financing Options for Cannabis-based Businesses. The House Special Rules Committee held a hearing on the bill but took no further action.
Checks for Payroll
by Rep. Tom Kirby
(R-Loganville) would give employers the discretion to issue payroll for wages in the manner chosen by the employer. The bill was reported from the House Industry and Labor Committee but did not move further.
Criminal History Record Restriction
by Sen. Tonya Anderson
(D-Lithonia) would restrict certain criminal history record information of arrests when there has been a final disposition other than a conviction or a certain time period and conditions are met since a conviction. Exemptions are included for financial institutions requiring such information for hiring decisions under federal statutes. The bill passed both the Senate and House.
Cyberbreach Safe Harbor
by Sen. Bruce Thompson
(R- White). The bill establishes a legal safe harbor which may be pled as an affirmative defense to a cause of action sounding in tort that alleges or relates to the failure to implement reasonable cybersecurity controls, resulting in a data breach of private information covering entities that implement a cybersecurity program that substantially complies with requirements outlined in the bill or that implement a cybersecurity program through the use of an appropriately credentialed independent security professional. The bill passed the Senate and was the subject of several hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. However, the bill did not move forward.
Cybersecurity Study Committee
by Rep. Don Parsons
(R-Marietta) creates a committee to better understand whether additional security requirements for privacy protection and increased investments in better internet-of-things related security measures should be considered. The resolution was reported out of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee but did not move further.
Cybersecurity Task Force
by Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick
(D-Lithonia) creates a cybersecurity task force to study and make recommendations in eight areas related to the security of connected computing devices. The bill was assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, but the bill did not move.
Dedicated Taxes and Fees
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. The bill passed the House and regretfully, Rep. Powell died unexpectedly following the Session. Sen. William Ligon
(R-Brunswick) took up the cause and shepherded the bill through the Senate. The bill was eventually passed by both the House and Senate.
by Rep. Sharon Cooper
(R-Marietta) revises procedures for the initiation of dispossessory actions to require a demand by the owner and a tenant's opportunity to cure. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but the bill did not move.
by Rep. Sam Park
(D-Lawrenceville) provides for certain notices to tenants for dispossessory proceedings and includes language related to the sufficiency of notices for termination of tenancies, responses to dispossessory proceedings and stays of writs of possession under certain circumstances. The bill was introduced after Crossover Day so did not move.
Elder Abuse Reporting
by Rep. Chuck Efstration
(R-Dacula) increases the penalty for willfully failing to report cases of elder financial exploitation to a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The bill was amended by the House Governmental Affairs Committee at Rep. Efstration's request to address concerns GBA raised and reported, but the bill did not receive further action.
by Rep. Bee Nguyen
(D-Atlanta) amends the current statute related to mandated reporters including employees of financial institutions to prohibit retaliation against a person relating to a report that a disabled adult or elder person is in need of protective services or has been the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The bill was amended to remove private right of action language and merged with HB 987
by Rep. Sharon Cooper
(R-Marietta) which is a comprehensive bill that increases the oversight of elder care facilities. HB 987 passed both the House and Senate.
Elder Financial Exploitation
by Rep. Calvin Smyre
(D-Columbus) would create the Elder Financial Exploitation Task Force to assess the current status of elder and vulnerable adults as related to financial exploitation, examine the existing services and resources available to elder and vulnerable adults and any barriers to such services and resources; and develop recommendations to address problems associated with the financial exploitation of elder and vulnerable adults. The bill was assigned to the House Human Relations and Aging Committee but the bill did not move.
Electronic Filing – Courts / Abolishing County Police Departments
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. The bill passed the Senate and was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee during the 2019 session but did not move further. In the waning days of the 2020 session, the Committee deleted all the previous language and substituted language establishing a procedure for a county police department to be disbanded. The amended bill passed the House and was agreed to by the Senate which gave the bill final passage.
Factory Built Buildings and Residential Units
by Rep. Joe Campbell
(R-Camilla) removes the requirement that factory-built buildings be permanently attached to a metal chassis. The bill passed the House and Senate.
Fair Housing Discrimination
by Sen. Tonya Anderson
(D-Lithonia) and HB 1010
by Rep. Kim Schofield
(D-Atlanta) are identical bills that among other things, prohibits lenders from discriminating in the making of loans secured by residential real property on the basis of hairstyles historically associated with race. SB 286 was assigned to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee and HB 1010 was assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee. Neither bill received action.
FDIC Insurance Premium Deductibility
HB 762 by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) would restore the deduction of FDIC insurance premiums from state income tax liability for banks that lost the deduction when legislation was adopted to conform with recent federal tax reform legislation. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but did not move.
FinTech Regulatory Sandbox
HB 763 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming) empowers the Attorney General to designate a developing financial product or service as innovative and in so doing, that would allow a person, without being licensed or registered as would otherwise be required, to test the products or services for a limited time and on a limited basis. The bill was assigned to the House Banks and Banking Committee but did not move.
HB 776 by Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) would provide protections for military service members in the event of foreclosures or other proceedings to enforce secured obligations. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
by Rep. Dale Washburn
(R-Macon) would provide that it shall be unlawful for a person with intent to hinder, delay, impair, or defraud a creditor's rights to deed or otherwise transfer title to real property to another person without the knowledge or consent of such other person. The bill passed the House in the 2019 session but did not receive further consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
HB 715 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) removes certain references to gross receipts in the tax code. The bill was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee but recommitted by the Rules Committee and no further action was taken.
HB 847 by Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park) builds off legislation passed in 2019 setting up a regulatory structure for growing and processing hemp in order for the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s policies and procedures will be in compliance with federal law and regulations. The bill passed the House and Senate.
Homeowner Association Fees
HB 1123 by Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming) provides that an owner's obligation for the payment of HOA assessments shall include reasonable attorney's fees actually incurred, the collection costs of an attorney, court costs and, in certain cases, the costs of a completed judicial foreclosure. The bill also removes an owner's obligation to pay the fair rental value of the property from the initiation of a judicial action until foreclosure or the judgment is otherwise satisfied. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
Homeowner Association Declarant
HB 904 by Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah) changes “lot owner” to “declarant” as a party that may request exemption from assessments. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
Homeowner Association Study Committee
HR 933 by Rep. William Bodie (D-East Point) creates a committee to study how homeowners’, condominium owners’ and similar community associations could be better organized to implement requirements and procedures for turnover and transition from declarants, developers or management companies. The House Special Rules Committee held a hearing on the bill, but it did not move further.
Homeowner/Property Owner Association Statement of Accounts
by Rep. P.K. Martin, IV
(R-Lawrenceville) would establish a statutory statement of accounts to be used by authorized parties representing homeowner or property owner associations to respond to requests for information needed by mortgage lenders to consider a loan request, including outstanding fees owed by property owners. The bill was reported out of the Senate Special Judiciary Committee, amended on the floor, but recommitted to the Committee where no further action was taken.
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. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
SR 793 by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) that creates a joint House-Senate Study Committee on private financing of infrastructure projects. The bill passed the Senate and was reported out of the House Government Affairs Committee but no further action was taken on the bill.
Installment Land Contracts
HB 729 by Rep. Debra Bazemore (D-South Fulton) creates a filing process with the Clerk of Superior Court of a new type of document related to the sale of land over a period of five or more years. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
SB 315 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) intends to address Court of Appeals decisions involving waivers of liens and notices of nonpayment in contractor-subcontractor relationships. As background, the Courts reversed the customary belief that not perfecting a lien waiver waived a contractor’s lien rights, but did not affect the contractor’s right to bring a subsequent breach of contract action. The proposed bill reverses the Court of Appeals decisions and codifies the industry’s prior understanding. If passed, contractors may bring a breach of contract action (usually for non-payment) even if they do not perfect their lien rights. The bill also adds an additional 30 days for the contractor to perfect their lien to bring the time to 90 days. The bill passed the House and Senate.
Peer-to-peer Vehicle Sharing
by Rep. Shaw Blackmon
(R-Bonaire) would establish a regulatory structure for peer-to-peer vehicle sharing services. The bill passed the House and Senate.
HB 865 by Rep. Mitchell Scoggins (R-Cartersville) is a substantial rewrite of the Probate Code that was last revised in 1999. The bill passed the House and Senate.
Property Tax Bills
HB 411 by Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) would preclude tax commissioners from including on property tax bills nontax related fees or assessments, including, but not limited to, storm-water service fees or solid waste service fees. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but did not move.
HB 528 by Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) allows the convictions of certain crimes to be concealed. The bill was assigned to the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee but did not move.
Regional Development Authorities
HB 1073 by Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) creates regional development authorities, authorizes the One Georgia Authority to establish a grant program subject to available funding and authorize the new regional development authorities to apply for grants to support primary care health facilities. The bill passed the House but did not move out of the Senate Committee on Assignments.
Rental Property Owner Protection
SB 442 by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) balances the needs of Property Owners Associations with the needs of rental property owners. If an owner purchases a property and rents it to a long-term tenant in accordance with Property Owners Association rules, such property can remain a grandfathered rental property though the POA may change the rules in the future. The bill passed both the Senate and House.
HB 828 by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) would require retail establishments to allow access to employee restrooms if public restrooms are not available for customers that have written documentation from health professionals of certain illnesses. Exemptions are included for locations where sensitive or federally protected information is stored. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
Right to Farm
HB 545 by Rep. Tom McCall (R-Elberton) seeks to strengthen and protect farmers from loopholes in the existing right to farm statute. The bill passed the House and was reported out of the Senate Agriculture Committee. On the Senate floor, Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) successfully offered an amendment essentially removing the farmer protections. The Senate passed the amended bill, but no further action was taken.
Rural Capital Investment
HB 930 by Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park) amends the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act to add $100 million of additional credits to be available for eligible capital investment purposes in counties having population less than 75,000. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but did not move.
Self-settled Spendthrift Trust
SB 186 by Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) creates a new trust in Georgia that allows the creator of the trust to also be the beneficiary of the trust. The bill was amended and passed by the Senate in the 2019 session, but no further action was taken by the House Judiciary Committee.
Stored Value Cards
HB 488 by Rep. Martin Momtahan (R-Dallas) would establish a process intended to prevent the use of stored value cards to commit organized retail crime. The bill passed the House but did not move out of the Senate Committee on Assignments.
Student Loan Defaults – Professional Licenses
HB 42 by Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holy Springs). The bill would prohibit the state’s professional licensing boards from refusing to issue a license or suspending or revoking the license of a person who is a borrower in default under an educational loan issued through the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation or through a federal agency. Among other licensees, those for money transmitters, check cashers and mortgage brokers are included. The bill was reported from the House Higher Education Committee in the 2019 session, but no further action was taken.
SB 92 by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) would prohibit a professional licensing board from revoking licenses due solely to a student loan default. The bill passed the Senate, but no further action was taken by the House Appropriations Committee.
HB 641 by Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) authorizes subpoena powers for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, upon the approval of the Attorney General, to investigate alleged violations of the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act. Ransomware attacks would be the most likely type of crimes covered by the new subpoena powers. The bill was reported by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, but no further action was taken.
Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions
SB 302 by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) creates a process to review various state tax credits, deductions and exemptions. GBA has provided Sen. Albers an analysis of the Bank Tax Credit developed by GBA’s Tax Advisory Committee explaining the background of the credit and that it is neither an incentive nor transferable credit. HB 1035 by Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) originally focused on certain tax exemptions for food banks and other credits. The Senate Finance Committee used that bill to substitute a range of tax credits for possible elimination, but neither bill received final action.
HB 897 by Rep. James Burchett (R-Waycross) requires the State Forestry Commission to develop a website to provide a state-wide notification platform for persons or firms harvesting standing timber to utilize as a uniform system of notification to local governing authorities. The bill passed the House and Senate.
Timber Loss Tax Deduction
HB 919 by Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) provides for a deduction from Georgia taxable income for casualty losses of timber in an amount based on the diminution of value. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but did not move.
SB 329 by Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) provides for the regulation of the title pawn industry and places oversight in the Department of Banking and Finance. The lenders are being authorized to make loans up to $3,000 for three years or less with an APR not to exceed 36%. The Department is authorized to charge fees to cover the cost of supervision. Banks are specifically exempted. The bill was reported from the Senate Finance Committee, but no further action was taken.
HB 968 by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) and SB 451 by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) are identical bills that would overturn Court of Appeals decisions that ensure existing warranties in contracts would remain in effect. HB 968 bill passed the House but received no further action in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 451 passed both the Senate and House.
Wills, Trusts and Estates
HB 1124 By Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming) would require written disclosure and the consent of the heirs or beneficiaries before a personal representative of an estate may enter into certain contracts or referral arrangements of which the personal representative has an interest. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not move.
HB 532 by Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) would require the collection of a defined fee to be remitted to the state for sending certain wire transfers. The bill was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee but did not move.
HR 826 by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) recognizes Margaret Ayers of Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, for 75 years of service at the bank.
HR 912 by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) recognizes former GBA Chairman Jimmy Burnsed for his leadership to the State of Georgia and especially Bryan County. The resolution also calls for an interchange on I-95 to be named in his honor.
HR 913 by Rep. Ron Stevens, (R-Savannah) recognizes Jimmy Burnsed and another local leader, Harold Fowler, and calls for a bridge to be named in their honor. Congratulations, Jimmy!
by Sen. Butch Miller
(R-Gainesville) recognizes Ron Quinn
, president and CEO of Peach State Bank, Gainesville, for his years of community service and recently being recognized with the prestigious 2020 Gainesville Rotary W. Lee Arrendale Vocational Excellence Award.