GBAN Legislative Update – January 26, 2018

Walt Farrell

Published January 26, 2018


Legislative Calendar

This week, the Georgia General Assembly convened Monday through Thursday completing the 10th legislative day of 40. Next week, the General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, January 29, and work through Thursday.  Also this week, the House and Senate adopted an adjournment resolution setting the calendar for the remainder of the Session.  Currently, the legislature is set to complete its work on Thursday, March 29.  Click HERE to view the adjournment resolution in its entirety.

Legislation of Interest

This week, the Chamber's Government Affairs Council (GAC) convened several committee meetings to vet and take positions on several bills impacting the state's business community.

House Bill 681: Corporations; three-year waiver of annual registration fees for certain corporations, partnerships and companies; provide

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

- Bill Author: Representative Brad Raffensperger (R- Johns Creek)

- HB 681 provides a three-year waiver of annual registration fees for certain veteran-affiliated businesses. The proposal would apply to corporations, nonprofit corporations, foreign limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies.

- Under the proposal, companies with at least one officer residing in GA who served on active duty in the armed forces or any state’s national Guard would be eligible for a waiver for annual registration fees for the first three years that such annual registration fee becomes due.

House Bill 696: Sales and use tax; certain computer equipment sold or leased to certain entities for use in high-technology data centers; create exemption

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

-Bill Author: Representative  Trey Kelley (R- Cedartown)

-HB 696 allows for state sales and use tax exemptions for certain computer equipment sold or leased for use in high-technology data centers.  This is a modernization of existing tax law relative to data centers.  The new proposal incentivizes large investments by data centers in the state that will ultimately serve businesses across various industry sectors among other entities.

Senate Bill 330: "Green Agricultural Education Act"; three-component model; provide

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

- Bill Author: Senator John Wilkinson (R - Toccoa)

-SB 330 creates a pilot program introducing agricultural education in elementary schools throughout the state. This program will be based on the nationally recognized three-component model of school based agricultural education. By supporting the "Green Agricultural Education Act," the Chamber remains committed to developing a qualified future workforce for Georgia's top industry.

Political Affairs Update

On Monday, January 22, the Georgia Chamber announced its endorsement of John LaHood in the State House District 175 Special Election (Valdosta). Early voting for House District 175 began Monday, January 22, and will end February 9. The last day to vote will be February 13. Visit the Secretary of State's website  to locate your polling place.

Join sponsors and guests at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on Monday, January 29, from 8 -9 A.M. for a fundraiser supporting Georgia Public Service Commission candidate, Tricia Pridmore. Please RSVP to Alexandra Coffey at by the close of business on Friday, January 26.

The Georgia Chamber Political Affairs Council, Inc. (PAC) is continuing to support candidates for office who will champion business-friendly, job-creating initiatives. Your support of the PAC is essential as we work to keep Georgia the number one state in which to do business. To make a donation to the PAC, click here. For additional information regarding the Chamber’s Political Affairs Council, Inc., contact Chelsey Ruppersburg at

State of Tourism 2018

The Georgia Travel Association held its annual State of Tourism Breakfast on Tuesday, January 23, at the College Football Hall of Fame. With over 400 guests in attendance, attendees heard from hospitality and tourism industry leaders and stakeholders. Gubernatorial candidates were provided the opportunity to discuss their vision for Georgia’s long-term economic future. Upon the conclusion of the event, guests attended Tourism, Hospitality, and Arts Day at the State Capitol, where professionals from the tourism industry were recognized for their $60.8 billion contribution to Georgia’s thriving economy.

State of Transportation 2018

On Wednesday, January 24, over 300 guests gathered to celebrate Georgia’s strong leadership and investment in transportation at the Georgia Transportation Alliance’s State of Transportation Breakfast. This year’s breakfast featured a discussion panel led by Senator Brandon Beach (Alpharetta), and Representatives Kevin Tanner (Dawsonville) and Calvin Smyre (Columbus).  Governor Deal served as the keynote speaker at the first event of the year dedicated solely to transportation. Following the breakfast, gubernatorial candidates discussed the investments needed to improve transportation across the state, and addressed their vison around issues including infrastructure and mass transit.

View all previous GBAN Legislative Updates here.