GGRA and GhFA are celebrating the conclusion of another session where significant progress was made in strengthening Georgia’s retail industry, with eight GRA-supported bills passing. I am excited to report that we advocated successfully on your behalf on a number of diverse issues important to the growth and continued success of your business and our industry.

The following is a list of bills of interest. I want to thank you for your membership and support of our efforts to protect your business and its continued growth. We look forward to continuing our efforts in ensuring the Georgia retail industry remains robust.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday & Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday Unfortunately, we were unable to revive this bill due to the Ways & Means Chairman being against it.
Result: Failed.

SB 201 | Paid Sick Leave
Sponsored by:
Senator Butch Miller and Representative Brian Strickland
Summary: Relating to general provisions relative to labor and industrial relations, so as to allow employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members.
Result: Passed, unfortunately. This bill is on the way to the Governor for his signature. We have discussed with the Governor’s leadership team about the possibility of a veto, but it seems unlikely at this time. There was a provision added to sunset the bill on July 1, 2020.

HB 405 | Emergency Reentry
Sponsored by: Representative Bill Hitchens and Senator Ben Watson
Summary: Relating to the emergency powers of the Governor, so as to require the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to establish a state-wide system to facilitate the transport and distribution of essentials in commerce during a state of emergency declared by the Governor. This bill will allow for permits to be issued to businesses in advance of a disaster to allow for easier re-entry. This is on par with South Carolina and Florida’s laws as well.
Result: Passed!

HB 243 | Scheduling Preemption
Sponsored by: Representative Bill Werkheiser and Senator Marty Harbin
Summary: Relating to minimum wage law, so as to preempt local government mandates requiring additional pay to employees based on schedule changes.
Result: Passed! Georgia will now be one of the few states to pass this important business-friendly legislation.

HB 342 | Enterprise Zones
Sponsored by: Senator Butch Miller and Representative Chuck Efstration
Summary: Relating to enterprise zones, so as to provide that certain urban redevelopment zones may be designated as enterprise zones; to provide for a sales tax exemption in such enterprise zones.
Result: Passed!

HB 481 | Drone Preemption
Sponsored by: Senator Brandon Beach and Representative Kevin Tanner
Summary: Relating to general provisions regarding aviation, so as to provide for preemption for unmanned aircraft systems.
Result: Passed!