May 7 marked the last day for Governor Deal to sign legislation into law passed from the 2013 General Assembly.
Below is a list of bills that Governor Deal signed that the Chamber either deemed “Scorecard” issues for 2013 or were Chamber-backed legislation.
Scorecard Legislation Signed into Law
HB 154: Workers’ Compensation Reform – includes changes to the current worker’s compensation system that will manage employer costs while ensuring compensation for injured workers. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
HB 188: Aid to Military Families Seeking Employment Certification – designed to help qualified military veterans and their spouses certified or trained in certain skilled trades to obtain an expedited Georgia license or certification, expediting employment opportunities for trained veterans. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
HB 244: Improvements to Georgia’s Teacher Evaluation System – ties state teacher evaluations more directly to student achievement and builds a more transparent and uniform system to determine the effectiveness of teachers in Georgia’s classrooms beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. Law becomes effective July 1, 2014.
HB 318: Georgia Tourism Development Act (includes Angel Investor Tax Credit and Invest Georgia) – updates the current process for granting tax exemptions for certain tourism projects. It also addresses a top Chamber priority – identifying new sources of venture capital funding for high-tech and start-up companies by extending the current angel investor tax credit and creating a new public-private mechanism for funding called Invest Georgia. Law is effective as of governor’s signature.
HB 336: Changes to Offers of Settlement – clarifies the amount of time an insurer has to respond to an offer of settlement for certain claims and allows the defendant to make inquiries regarding the terms of the offer without that action being considered a counteroffer or rejection. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
HB: 361: State Labor Reforms – Paycheck Protection for Union Dues – allows employees to choose whether or not to be part of a union by requiring that authorization for union dues be renewed and allowing the revocation of that authorization at any time. The bill exempts any contract or collective bargaining agreement currently in place as well as any professional association composed exclusively of educators, firefighters or law enforcement officers. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
HB 372: HOPE Grant Eligibility – adjusts the academic qualifications for the state’s HOPE Grant – which provides tuition funding for technical college – in order to provide workforce training to more students. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
SB 24: Medicaid Funding Plan – allows the Georgia Department of Community Health to fill a shortfall in the state Medicaid program, protecting hospitals from having to cut important services, and helping many rural hospitals across the state avoid closure. Law was effective as of governor’s signature on 2/13/2013
SB 113: Clarifying Laws for Issuing Summons to a Corporate Entity – amends Georgia law by codifying a more direct official process as to how a claimant can serve a corporate entity with a legal summons. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
Chamber-Supported bills Signed into Law
HB 164: Sales Tax Exemption for Use of Certain Equipment/Property in Aircraft Maintenance – supports Georgia’s growing aviation industry by continuing the sales tax exemption for engines, parts, and property used in the maintenance and repair of aircraft. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
HB 475: Reciprocal Drivers’ Licenses – authorizes the Commissioner of Department of Driver Services (DDS) to establish a reciprocal driver’s license program in Georgia with foreign nations. Individuals could only qualify for the reciprocal license program if their home country offers similar opportunities for Georgians and has similar driving rules and regulations. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.
SB 179: Public Contracts – SB 179 clarifies bonding requirements for state and local government public works projects, and allows government to provide contract incentives for early project completion and damages for late project completion. Law is effective as of governor’s signature.