As of July 1, 2016, several bills of interest to the business community went into effect. This group of new laws covers a variety of topics ranging from tax breaks to highway regulations. The information below includes a brief summary of some of the laws that are important to you and the Chamber.

House Bill 767: Move Over Law
Sponsored by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), HB 767 expands the list of protected vehicles under Georgia’s “Move Over Law” to include utility service vehicles. Intended to ensure the safety of utility workers and emergency personnel, there is a $500 fee for individuals who fail to comply.

House Bill 831: Protecting Guardsmen’s Employment Act
Sponsored by Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), HB 831 expands to all armed forces reservists the existing reemployment protections of the Georgia National Guard. This legislation assists in civilian reemployment for all servicemen and women after being discharged from active service.

House Bill 920: Restrict Civil Action Against Health Institutions
Sponsored by Rep. Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown), HB 920 protects passive investors in nursing homes from undue liability and litigation costs. This legislation, modeled from a statute in Florida, is a reaction to out of state plaintiff’s firms targeting Georgia nursing homes.

House Bill 937: Projects of Regional Significance
Sponsored by Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville), HB 937 extends the sales and use tax exemption for construction of competitive projects of regional significance through June 2019.

Senate Bill 277: Protecting Georgia Small Business Act
Sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell), SB 277 protects the independence and integrity of franchisees and franchisors within our state. This bill states that neither a franchisee nor franchisees’ employees will be considered employees of the franchisor and is intended to provide small businesses with the ability to maintain control of their operations without excessive and onerous federal overreach after a contentious National Labor Relations Board ruling.

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