|Support/Oppose Chamber Position
|HB 1134: Crimes and offenses; prosecute offenses involving criminal gang activity; provide for concurrent authority
House Bill 1134 allows the Office of the Attorney General to concurrently investigate and prosecute gang-related crimes with local district attorneys.
|HB 1150: Freedom to Farm Act; enact
House Bill 1150, also known as the “Freedom to Farm Act”, aims to protect farmers from nuisance litigation from neighboring property owners that encroach on existing agricultural areas. The bill addresses vagueness and ambiguity in the law that Georgia shares with other states whose farmers have fallen victim to this type of litigation.
|HB 1520: Georgia Council on Addressing Health Care Workforce Challenges; create
House Bill 1520 would create the Georgia Council on Addressing Health Care Workforce Challenges. The council would include 26 members from a variety of industries: the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, private colleges, K-12, members of the House and Senate, providers including nurses, physicians, rural health systems and state health entities like the Department of Community Health. The Governor’s Office will appoint a chair to lead the council in its efforts and it will remain functional until June 2025.
|SB 379: State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia; establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in the state; provide
Senate Bill 379 would create the Office of Workforce Development. This entity will establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in the state, with the goal of creating more programs to support the demands of our growing economy and current workforce challenges. Businesses that train up to five students will be eligible to receive compensation of up to $10,000 per student upon completion of the apprenticeship course.
|HB 961: Torts; authorize apportionment of damages in single-defendant lawsuits; provide for evidence of fault of nonparties
House Bill 961 cleans up statutory language in Georgia’s apportionment statute addressing damages in civil litigation originally passed in 2005. In a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling, Hatcher v. Alston & Bird, inconsistencies in the statute were at issue. Under the guidance of the ruling in that case, HB 961 clarifies the legislative intent of the statute and reinstates the apportionment of damages aligned with the apportionment of fault in single-defendant cases.
|HB 588: Georgia Freight Railroad Program
House Bill 588 would enable the Georgia Department of Transportation to make investments in private freight and logistics infrastructure provided that the projects serve a “public benefit” including, but not limited to, enhanced public safety, enhanced mobility of people or goods, congestion mitigation, and enhanced trade and economic development. HB 588 passed unanimously out of the House and the Senate before the House agreed to the Senate substitute.
|HB 307: Georgia Telehealth Act
HB 307 would authorize healthcare professionals to provide telemedicine services from home. HB 307 would also make it possible for patients to receive telemedicine services from home, work, or school without first requiring an in-person visit. HB 307 prohibits separate deductibles, allows the prescribing of medicine post-visit, and requires virtual visits to be as thorough and as consistent as an in-person visit. The Chamber has been supportive of voluntary investments and incentives to encourage the use of telemedicine, as well as technology advancements and infrastructure necessary to expand healthcare services.
|HB 265: Internal Revenue Code Update
HB 265 is the annual legislation matching our state tax code to the federal tax code. By doing this, HB 265 provides the simplicity and predictability needed for a business-friendly tax environment. This update included matches to all federal laws regarding the taxation of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds as well as other federal pandemic recovery programs. The uniformity of state and federal tax rules assists in fiscal planning for businesses of all sizes across Georgia.
|SB 185: Taxpayer Fairness Act
SB 185 is designed to level the playing field for taxpayers in disputes with the Department of Revenue. SB 185 allows the Tax Tribunal Judge more flexibility in taxpayer dispute cases and frees them from an administrative rule requiring them to defer to the Department of Revenue’s interpretation of ambiguous laws.
|HB 539: Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia
HB 539 allows for the bifurcation of liability and damage proceedings in civil medical malpractice cases. HB 539 would allow any party to motion for separate proceedings for the liability and damages portions of the trial. By bifurcating the liability and damages portions, prejudicial evidence relating to the amount of compensatory damages would be prohibited from the liability phase of the trial. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee offered the current language to HB 539 and that language did not receive a vote in the House.
|HB 112: COVID Liability Immunity Extension
HB 112 protects businesses from frivolous lawsuits regarding the transmission of COVID-19 and extends the liability protection from such lawsuits for one year. To support economic recovery, businesses need the assurance that when giving their best efforts to protect employees and the general public, they in turn will be protected from frivolous lawsuits. HB 112 provides a consistent and predictable legal environment for Georgia businesses and is narrowly tailored to provide targeted relief against frivolous lawsuits regarding the transmission of COVID-19. Two amendments offered by Senators Jordan and Cowsert, respectively, failed.