April 5, 2017

The final day of the 2017 General Assembly gaveled in around 10:00 last Thursday morning and adjourned sine die at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning.  Many of the bills that had been widely covered by the news were passed, but not all were able to achieve passage, and Conference Committee reports on several big issues passed within the last few minutes of the session.

Some high profile bills that achieved final passage on Day 40 include the bill expanding medical diagnoses for which low THC oil (medical marijuana) can be prescribed, the bill allowing guns in certain areas of public university campuses, changes in calculating the ad valorem taxes for leased vehicles, insurance coverage for hearing aids for children, recommendations from the Criminal Justice Reform Council, an increase in the Governor’s salary, increases in the state’s boating fees and hunting and fishing licenses, petroleum pipeline regulation, creation of a statewide 9-1-1 Authority to modernize and maintain a 9-1-1 system, regulations for autonomous vehicles, changes to tax credits for rural hospitals, and a bill to help turn around  low-performing schools.

High profile bills that did not pass include legislation allowing casinos in Georgia, major revisions to the state’s adoption laws, a bill requiring e-filing of civil court cases, changes to individual income tax rates, and a requirement for on-line retailers to charge and remit sales taxes.

Georgia has two-term sessions and 2017 was the first term, so any legislation that did not pass this session will be available for passage next year.

The Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate are still working to get final versions of all bills posted on the state’s legislative web site. The website should be updated by next week, but if you have questions or need information on any legislative issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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