HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
Gold Dome Report - Legislative Day 29
Monday, March 4, 2024

While legislators and lobbyists continued to nurse the hangover of Crossover Day, the most unlikely of events unfolded in the Georgia State Senate on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) awarded the majority caucus’s Golden Elephant, a token honoring a legislator’s commitment to conservative values, to a Democrat. In a cheeky demonstration of the sometimes-surprising camaraderie in the Upper Chamber, Leader Gooch awarded the gilded pachyderm to Senator Josh McLaurin (D-Atlanta) in appreciation for McLaurin’s efforts to end debate on SB 180, the “Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (presumably to allow the Senate to move on to other business on a polarizing issue where votes were unlikely to change) and amend SB 507, creating an “America First” license plate, to instead honor a certain former President of the United States (presumably for the entertainment of everyone watching in the halls). Senator McLaurin accepted the award with amusement, and Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones observed that if you “get one far enough to the left and one far enough to the right, they're gonna meet one another at some point in time.”

Monday also kicked off the week of friends and future friends, also known as qualifying week. Incumbents and hopefuls alike crowded the second floor of the State Capitol to put their names in the hat for this year’s state and federal elections. While several legislators have already announced their retirement over the last several weeks, we will be watching to see who qualifies — and who does not — in the #GoldDomeReport.

In this Report:

  • Committee Reports
  • New Legislation
  • What’s Next

Committee Reports

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee, chaired by Senator Ben Watson (R-Savannah), met to consider two measures on Monday:

  • HB 1078, authored by Representative Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah), amends Title 49 to establish and implement the Georgia Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The program is intended to identify additional opportunities within Georgia's Medicaid program to provide comprehensive, integrated acute and long-term healthcare services to qualifying individuals who require skilled nursing care so that such individuals can continue living in the community.

Petrea presented the bill to the committee, noting that a number of other states have similar programs. The committee recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

  • HB 1083, authored by Representative Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), amends Title 37 to extend grace periods applicable to the Department of Community Health for creation and promulgation of rules and regulations relating to residential mental health programs. The bill also extends the grace period for adult residential mental health programs to obtain licensure.

 Williamson presented the bill to the committee, which recommended the bill DO PASS and be sent to the Rules Committee.

Senate Finance Committee

Chairman Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) called the Senate Finance Committee to order Monday afternoon to discuss the following measures:

  • HB 946, authored by Representative Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), amends Title 48. The measure is similar to Senator Shelly Echols (R-Gainesville) measure but has one significant difference. Currently, TSPLOST requires 100% participation from cities. If a city chooses not to agree, the referendum can continue. The other difference is that this is a six-year tax versus a ten-year in the Senate versions. The measure received a DO PASS recommendation.
  • Kyle Wingfield, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, provided a presentation on taxes. He explained our neighbor state and who Georgia often competes with. Just because the state is doing well from a tax rate standpoint does not mean there should be complacency. Economists are in agreement that certain taxes create harm or benefit. Wingfield highlighted four scenarios. The first is accelerating the income tax cut. Second is eliminating the corporate income tax over five years. Third is cutting tax expenditures across the board. Fourth is lowering the income tax credit by $500 million.

New Legislation

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

H.B.1431 Income tax credit; film; certain qualified productions that are shot in certain rural counties; provide additional credit Rep. Gerald Greene (R-54) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67541
H.B.1434 Income tax; certain expenses by certain educators and first responders; create tax credit Rep. Farooq Mughal (D-105) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67544
H.B.1435 Education; sports equity coordinators appointed by local school systems; establish data base Rep. Shelly Hutchinson (D-106) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67565
H.B.1437 Insurance; require coverage for diagnosis and treatment of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders; provisions Rep. Mitchell Scoggins (R-014) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67567
H.B.1440 Richard H. Smith Georgia CHIPS Advancement in Research and Economic Development Act; enact Rep. Vance Smith (R-138) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67584


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

S.B.568 Sentencing and Imposition of Punishment; making determinations with respect to probation and suspension of sentences; provide Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-031) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67586
S.B.569 Criminal Procedure; requirements for bail hearings for illegal aliens and removable or inadmissible aliens charged with a felony; provide Sen. Brian Strickland (R-017) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67592
S.R.721 General Assembly; prohibit parole for illegal aliens or to prescribe the terms and conditions of parole; authorize -CA Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-031) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/67589

What’s Next

The General Assembly will reconvene for Legislative Day 30 on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 10 a.m.

The House Rules Committee has not set a Rules Calendar for Legislative Day 30.

The Senate Rules Committee has not set a Rules Calendar for Legislative Day 30.

See our coverage of Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15Day 16Day 17Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, Day 25, Day 26, Day 27, Day 28, the Committee Work Day, and the Crossover Day.

HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot
HB Ad Slot
HB Mobile Ad Slot

NLR Logo

We collaborate with the world's leading lawyers to deliver news tailored for you. Sign Up to receive our free e-Newsbulletins


Sign Up for e-NewsBulletins