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Gold Dome Report – Legislative Day 1 (2024)
Monday, January 8, 2024

As the day dawned on this second Monday of January, the Georgia State Capitol felt strangely fresh and new. Perhaps it was the updated paint and lighting throughout the building, the result of a months-long refurbishment of the People’s House during the offseason. Or maybe it was the refreshed and pressed wardrobes sported by lawmakers and lobbyists, many of whom showed off their favorite new socks, ties, and suits collected in holiday gift exchanges. Or it could have been the fact that the Gold Dome was tidier than usual following the enactment of a new “no bag left unattended” policy that resulted in a number of lobbyists losing their overcoats and briefcases to a state patrol sweep. While one of your authors scrambled to find his confiscated coat, there was no question that the day marked the beginning of a new session under the Gold Dome, and we’re back with your beloved #GoldDomeReport to cover it all.

Legislative Day 1 had all the trappings of a first day of school, filled with perfunctory tasks and not much else. Although lawmakers and lobbyists hoped that one of the day’s orders would be adoption of a full session schedule, we were sorely disappointed. No adjournment resolution was to be seen in the halls, but we will watch closely in the hopes that one appears before the end of the week. The General Assembly reconvenes on Tuesday for Legislative Day 2. All will be looking ahead to the annual Eggs & Issues breakfast on Wednesday and the Governor’s State of the State Address on Thursday for more on what’s on the state’s leaders' minds for the 2024 legislative session.

In this Report:

  • Floor Notes
  • Committee Action
  • New Legislation
  • What’s Next

Floor Notes

No substantial action was taken on the House floor on Monday.

In the Senate, action was taken to address legislation rolling over from the 2023 Legislative Session in addition to the perfunctory recommitment of legislation to their original committees. These special actions included:

  • Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) moved that SB 324, authored by Senator Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain), be moved from the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate Committee on Children & Families. The Senate agreed to the senator’s motion. This legislation is in Title 50 and seeks to provide, in part, for a victim-centered address confidentiality program.
  • Additionally, Senator Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro) moved to withdraw SB 126 relating to the Title 10 proposal to enact the “Consumer Inflation Reduction & Tax Fairness Act.” His motion was granted.
  • With the resignation of Senator Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), a void was left on the Conference Committee for HB 514. Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) requested that the President appoint another conferee to that committee. The President appointed Senator Matt Brass (R-Newnan). Conferees for HB 514, proposing the Housing Regulation Transparency Act in Title 36, are now Senator Brass, Senator Beach, and Senator Clint Dixon (R-Buford).

Committee Action

House Regulated Industries Committee

Chairman Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) called the House Regulated Industries Committee to order with an invocation by Representative Al Williams (D-Midway) on Monday afternoon. Danny Bates, the new representative from the Department of Revenue, was introduced. Chairman Powell summarized the bills sent back to the committee after Sine Die 2023. The held-over bills include legislation on coin-operated amusement machines (“COAM”), THC and marijuana, third-party ticketing, and occupational licensing. He explained that gambling would be up for discussion along with sports betting. The chair then opened the floor to the committee members to discuss their policy interests. Many had interests in streamlining occupational licensing, COAM gift cards, third-party ticketing, marijuana and THC, mandatory kindergarten, and physical therapy dry-needling. A THC company came forward to offer any information at the chair's discretion. The chair adjourned the committee upon introducing the committee staff.

New Legislation

The following new legislation of interest has been introduced in the House:

H.B.842 Georgia Shoot First Act; enact Rep. Marvin Lim (D-098) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65782
H.B.844 Practice of Nutrition and Dietetics Act; enact Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R-036) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65784
H.B.847 Physical therapists; granting licenses and disciplining licenses; revise provisions Rep. Patty Bentley (D-150) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65824
H.B.849 Crimes and offenses; regulation of bona fide coin operated amusement machines; change certain provisions Rep. James Beverly (D-143) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65838
H.B.855 Safe Storage Tax Credit Act; enact Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65862
H.B.856 Urgent Insulin Safety Net Program Act; enact Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65863
H.B.857 Continuing Insulin Safety Net Act; enact Rep. Michelle Au (D-050) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65864
H.B.858 Motor vehicles; issuance of an alternative state identification card by the Department of Driver Services; provide Rep. Eric Bell (D-075) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65875
H.B.859 Revenue and taxation; repeal income tax Rep. Eric Bell (D-075) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65876
H.B.860 Insurance; consumers requiring insulin; reduce out-of-pocket costs Rep. Kim Schofield (D-063) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65893
H.B.861 Menstrual products; require certain labeling on packages Rep. Kim Schofield (D-063) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65894

The following new legislation of interest has been introduced in the Senate:

S.B.332 Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission; promulgate standards of conduct and rules for the commission's governance; provide (PF) Sen. Randy Robertson (R-029) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/65920

What’s Next

The Senate will reconvene for Legislative Day 2 on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. and the House will convene at 1 p.m

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