2022 Legislative Briefing
New and Carryover Issues
- Legal Reform: Apportionment of Damages. A recent decision by the Georgia Supreme Court has stricken apportionment of damages. Reinstatement is a priority for the legal reform coalition and the industry.
- Crime and Safety Notices to Tenants (HB 138). As originally introduced, HB 138 required landlords to provide crime reports to existing and prospective tenants every six months. The Association and others voiced concerns regarding the availability of specific crime data and the potential for violations of the state’s fair housing laws. In response, the legislation was amended to place the onus of compiling crime information on law enforcement. While the measure did not pass in 2021, the author is expected to press for passage this year.
- Landlord-Tenant Measures. There are several carryover measures specific to the landlord-tenant statute. Other possible introductions include a proposal in the City of Atlanta’s legislative package to seal eviction filings if the tenant prevailed and satisfied the terms of the consent agreement during the pandemic.
- Study Committees. The Association monitored two study committees in the interim. One focused on childhood lead exposure, the other on annexation reform. Recommendations from final reports may be incorporated into legislation.
2022 is a critical election year in Georgia. It’s been uncommon for an incumbent Governor to face a serious primary challenger in recent years, but that has not stopped former US Senator David Perdue from attempting to outflank Governor Brian Kemp this cycle. The victor will face Stacey Abrams, a formidable Democrat with a national profile.
Down ballot, two sitting Republican state Senators (Butch Miller and Burt Jones) are vying for the open Lt. Governor’s seat, as are several House Democrats. All other constitutional officers face reelection as well, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Georgia’s federal races will be critical in determining which party controls both the US House and Senate during the mid-term race.
Each member of the state House and Senate also faces reelection. The General Assembly finished a redistricting session before Thanksgiving. While the new maps appear to gird the Republican majority for the next several cycles, doing so required pairing several incumbents. Others have been drawn into new districts altogether.
Qualifying for office lasts March 7-11 and the Primary Election is May 24. Incumbents are prohibited from fundraising while the General Assembly is active, providing ample incentive to complete the 2022 session in an efficient and expedient manner.