2024 Legislative Updates - Week 8

Posted By: Stephen Davis 2024 Legislative Updates,

2024 Legislative Session

Legislative Days 26-28                                                                                                                                                                    March 1, 2024


Trading One Chaotic Environment for Another

February 29 was Crossover Day, the deadline for bills to be adopted by their authoring chamber.  The House and Senate worked late into the evening to pass as much legislation as possible.  Upon adjournment, the number of active bills dropped significantly, narrowing the field during the final twelve days of the session.  The focus now shifts back to committees, which must vet legislation from the opposite chamber over the next four weeks.


While Crossover can be a chaotic environment, next week is sure to be even more of a circus.  All 236 members of the Georgia General Assembly stand for election later this year.  The qualifying period opens March 4, and hundreds of candidates will descend on the second floor of the Capitol to pay their fees and register with party officials, pitting challengers against incumbents.  Full analysis will be included in the next report.



Squatter Reform Act (HB 1017)                                                                              

Rep. Devan Seabaugh, R-Marietta

Adopted by the House on Feb-29

HB 1017 addresses the issue of squatters through the criminal trespass code.  This allows police to take action directly under certain conditions.  It was one of the first bills adopted by the House on Crossover Day.


Off-Duty Officers for Set Outs (HB 1203)                                                                       

Rep. Trey Kelly, R-Cedartown

Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Cmte on Feb-26

HB 1203 authorizes landlords to use off-duty sheriffs, constables, marshals, and other POST-certified law enforcement officers to execute writs of possession if the marshal, sheriff, or constable does not execute within 14 days of the application.  Local law enforcement must maintain a list of authorized off-duty personnel and provide that information to the landlord upon request.  The landlord must provide written notice of the execution of the writ. 


Safe at Home Act (HB 404)                                                                                       

Rep. Kasey Carpenter, D-Dalton

Pending in the Senate Rules Cmte

Introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in 2023, the Safe at Home Act makes several changes throughout the landlord-tenant act including:

    • Requiring leases to state explicitly that the dwelling is fit for human habitation,
    • Adding “cooling” to the list of utilities that the landlord must make available,
    • Limiting security deposits to no more than two months’ rent, and
    • Creating a three-business day right to cure, posted on the door, and sent by terms agreed to in the lease.


Tenant advocates stood down on their effort to amend the bill with additional pro-tenant measures in the Feb-12 meeting but signaled their ongoing efforts to reform Georgia’s landlord-tenant statute.  The Committee updated the effective date of the bill, a technical move that will require the House to agree to the change after it is adopted by the Senate.

Legal Reform       

Premises Liability Reform (HB 1371)                                                                      

Rep. James Burchett, R-Millwood

Adopted by the House on Feb-29

On Feb-27, over the objections of the entire business community, the House Judiciary Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to HB 1371.  As introduced, the bill codified current case law resulting from the Georgia Supreme Court’s June 2023 decision in CVS v. Carmichael, which expanded liability to property owners related to third-party crime.


Within twenty-four hours of the hearing, the author indicated he would remove the provisions most objectional to the business community.  This change reduced the threat of the troubling and onerous provisions of the original version.  The amended bill was approved by the House in the evening hours on Crossover. 


The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association holds significant sway.  A Senate version of premises liability reform (SB 186) did not have the support to pass and therefore was not called for a vote before Crossover Day.  The business community continues to insist that meaningful reform must limit landowner liability regarding invitees, licensees, and trespassers.


Data Analysis for Tort Reform (HB 1114)                                                                     

Rep. Will Wade, R-Dawsonville

Pending in the Senate Insurance and Labor Cmte

HB 1114 is the Governor’s data request bill to support future tort reform.  It authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to request data from insurers, licensed rating organizations, and state agencies regarding the impact of tort lawsuits and the assessment of tort-related risks.  Data is not subject to open record laws.


Property Management and Property Rights

Elevator and Boiler Updates (SB 417)                                                                             

Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell

Adopted by the Senate on Feb-27

SB 417 deals with accidents involving elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, manlifts, and moving sidewalks.  It requires the owner or lessee to report the accident by the end of the next business day.  It allows the Commissioner of Insurance to approve deputies to inspect boilers and pressure vessels.  It increases the frequency of pressure vessel inspections to once every two years.  It updates state law dealing with hazardous chemical protection and allows material safety data sheets to be provided to employees in a written or electronic format.


Property Taxation and Valuation

Floating Homestead Exemption (HB 1185)                                                                     

Rep. Beth Camp, R-Concord

Adopted by the House on Feb-27

HB 1185 allows local governments to choose to implement a floating homestead exemption without additional action by the General Assembly.  It allows for an annual inflationary increase in the base year-assessed value of the property.  Implementation of HB 1185 requires a constitutional amendment (found in HR 1022), which would appear on the November 2024 ballot if adopted by the General Assembly.  Similar provisions are also active in SB 349.


Mandatory Reappraisal and Roll-Back Information (HB 1031)                                     

Rep. Dale Washburn, R-Macon

Adopted by the House on Feb-29

As introduced, HB 1031 requires the chief appraiser to reappraise every parcel in 2025 and every three years thereafter.  It requires estimated roll-back rate information to be included in the annual assessment notice.  During a subcommittee hearing on Feb-7, it was amended to include language that only grants a post-appeal value freeze when the value is actually reduced as a result of the appeal.  


Revise Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (HB 1182)                                                       

Rep. Clint Crowe, R-Jackson

Adopted by the House on Feb-27

Introduced as part of the larger tax credit reform package, HB 1182 rebrands the low-income housing tax credit to the Georgia affordable housing tax credit.  It allows credits to be leveraged for the development of affordable housing for seniors, veterans, and “targeted” areas, including rural locations.  It reduces the amount of credits for certain projects.


Code Enforcement, Land Use and Development

Development Impact Fees (SB 208 / SR 189)                                                             

Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Alpharetta

Adopted by the Senate on Feb-29

These measures authorize a local board of education in a high-growth county to impose, levy, and collect development impact fees and use the proceeds to pay for additional educational facilities.  It is currently drafted to apply only to Forsyth County.  The Association opposes expanding impact fees for education and granting school boards the authority to impose such fees.


Rezoning Moratorium (HB 514)                                                                                  

Rep. Dale Washburn, R-Macon

Needs Agreement in the House and Senate

As introduced, HB 514 limits zoning moratoriums to no more than 180 days.  In 2023, the Association worked to amend the measure to protect all residential property from zoning moratoriums, not just single-family.  The bill was sent to a conference committee in the final days of the 2023 session; protections for apartments were removed.  On Feb-20, conferees met, and the Association was again able to amend the measure to include multifamily residential over the objection of others in the real estate industry.  The bill no longer contains language that authorizes a local government to waive impact fees for affordable housing without having to make up the difference as in current law.  Conferees adopted the committee report and now both chambers must agree to the provisions for final passage. 


Taxation and General Business Legislation

Consumer Privacy Protection Act (SB 473)                                                                     

Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell

Adopted by the Senate on Feb-27

SB 473 protects the privacy of consumer personal data, defined as information that is linked or reasonably linkable to an identified or identifiable individual.  A broad coalition of business interests have lined up against the bill after the Senate Science and Technology Committee heavily amended it prior to passage on Feb-27.  The bill now impacts businesses that control, process, or sell the personal information of more than 175,000 people.  Critically, the bill’s definition of “sale” is not restricted to monetary value.  The business community is actively engaged in efforts to improve the measure in the House.


Remote Online Notary (SB 425)                                                                                      

Sen. Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia

Adopted by the Senate on Feb-29

SB 425 allows for the electronic execution of certain legal, notarial, and court services.  It allows electronic real estate closings in certain situations.  This issue was last debated in 2022 as HB 334.


Reduce the Income Tax Rate (HB 1015)                                                              

Rep. Lauren McDonald, R-Cumming

Pending in the Senate Finance Cmte

HB 1015 reduces the rate of state income tax from 5.49% to 5.39%.  This is one of the priorities of the Governor.  Separately, HB 1023 clarifies that the tax rate imposed on corporations tracks with the rate set for individuals.


Lost Measures

Legislation that fails to meet the Crossover Day deadline is lost as a standalone measure this year.  Those appear here in abbreviated form and will be removed from future reports.  Rest assured your Government Affairs Team will continue to monitor these, as lost legislation can be revived at a moment’s notice.



  • Create an eviction diversion program for disabled and low-income renters (HB 1059)
  • Enact the Unlawful Squatting Act (HB 1227)
  • Establish a duty of habitability in rental agreements (HB 1416)
  • Limit rent increases (HB 938 / HB 1157)
  • Permit rent control (SB 125, HB 534, HB 627, HB 719, HB 852, HB 1156, HB 1353)
  • Remove squatters as intruders (SB 470)
  • Remove squatters via affidavit (HB 1153)
  • Require a 60-day rent increase notice (HB 965)
  • Require a comprehensive list of existing damage and itemized fees (HB 1405)
  • Restrict pandemic-era eviction records (HB 1055)

Legal Reform

  • Increase liability for landowners who prohibit lawful weapons carry (HB 1364)
  • Limit landowner liability regarding invitees, licensees, and trespassers (SB 186)
  • Repeal signage requirements regarding COVID-19 liability claims (SB 430)
  • Revise the Apex Doctrine (SB 431)

Property Management and Property Rights

  • Deem housing authorities as political subdivisions with sovereign immunity (HB 1108)
  • Enact the “End Monopolies in Housing Act” (SB 541, HB 630)
  • Establish the Georgia Interagency Council for the Homeless (SB 498)
  • Examine the quality of utilities to low-income customers (HB 1178)
  • Mandate crime responses at apartment properties (SB 540)
  • Prohibit housing discrimination based on natural hairstyles (HB 1208)
  • Prohibit local governments from prohibiting short term rentals (HB 1121)
  • Prohibit misuse of consumer credit reports in housing determinations (HB 1132)

Property Taxation and Valuation

  • Allow senior citizens to “buy down” homesteaded property tax bills (HB 98)
  • Allow Value Freezes Only on Homesteaded Property (HB 1120)
  • Amend the Constitution regarding taxation of LIHTC projects (HR 1115)
  • Create a database on multifamily housing complexes (HB 1210)
  • Create an alternative method for assessing property (HR 1041)
  • Proposes a new property assessment system (HR 1041)
  • Revise language required in the notices of current assessment (SB 403)
  • Revises language required in the notices of current assessment (HB 1300)

Code Enforcement, Land Use, and Development

  • Allow PSC to regulate private water company rates (HB 1220)
  • Allow voters to approve Infrastructure and Community Development Districts (SB 435 / SR 533)
  • Codify the cityhood creation process (HB 813)
  • Create the Office of Urban Affairs (HB 1418)
  • Extend sunset on historic structure rehabilitation tax credit (HB 1134)
  • Grant priority status for affordable housing funds (HB 1266)
  • Impose indoor air quality standards (HB 26)

Taxation and General Business

  • Require copies of forms signed electronically (HB 1206)