2023 Georgia General Assembly Recap
On Wednesday, March 29, the Georgia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die. This completes the 2023 state legislative session and marks the start of the 40 days Governor Brian Kemp has to either sign or veto all passed legislation. Legislation that didn’t pass will be carried over to the second half of the biennial General Assembly starting January 8, 2024. Read more for an update on several pieces of legislation that pertain to the Macon Chamber’s 2023 legislative agenda.
- HB 18 is the state’s midyear budget. It passed the House and the Senate. Gov. Kemp signed the bill on March 10. Each Georgia public school will receive a $50,000 safety grant. HB 18 also provides that homeowners receive an extra one-time exemption on the value of their homes which, on average, will save each Georgia homeowner $500.
- HB 19: The state’s $32.4 billion budget for FY 2024 passed the House and Senate on the 40th and last day of the legislative session. Gov. Kemp will sign the bill at a later date. The $2,000 raise in teacher salaries will bring the average teacher salary in Georgia to $61,000 a year, the highest in the Southeast.
- HB 514, the Housing Regulation Transparency Act: The House and Senate could not agree on HB 514. 2023 is the first year of the two-year biennial session. So, HB 514, not receiving final passage this year, will remain eligible for consideration next year. HB 514 does align with the HUB Council’s position, which the Macon Chamber is a part of, on assisting endeavors to construct, renovate and acquire affordable housing by waiving fees for affordable housing development. HB 514 allows local governments to waive regulatory costs of developing and building single-family housing of less than 2,500 sq feet. HB 514 also states that if a city or county intends to adopt a moratorium on residential development, it will be limited to 180 days in length and may not be extended or renewed until 180 days have passed.
- SB 112, The Workforce Acceleration Act, stalled in the House Rules Committee and never made it to the House floor for a vote. 2023 is the first year of the two-year biennial session. So, SB 112, not receiving final passage this year, will remain eligible for consideration next year. SB 112 would establish a pilot program for individuals who have previously dropped out of school and will provide the needed resources to further their education. This bill creates a pathway for non-traditional students to gain the skills and training necessary to enter the workforce in hopes of helping to address our statewide labor challenges. The program is for individuals at least 21 years of age who would become eligible to receive a Georgia high school diploma upon completion. Additionally, this program would alleviate traditional burdens for adult learners, such as childcare, transportation and financial challenges. This legislation falls in line with the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development mission.
- SB 195 The Freedom to Work Act, The House and Senate could not agree on SB 195. 2023 is the first year of the two-year biennial session. So, SB 195 not receiving final passage this year will remain eligible for consideration next year. SB 195 creates an expedited licensing process of 30 days (from the previous 90 days) for military personnel and spouses. SB 195, passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee, aligns explicitly with the Greater Macon Chamber’s long-held position to support proactive military legislation.