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.
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.
SB 200 | MedSync
Sponsored by: Senator Chuck Hufstetler and Representative Darlene Taylor
Summary: Relating to insurance generally, so as to provide for synchronizing all patients' chronic medications. This bill was originally focused on chronic medications but GRA worked hard to expand it to ALL medications.
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.
SB 242 | Pharmacy Clinics Protocol
Sponsored by: Senator Renee Unterman and Representative Sharon Cooper
Summary: This is a clarification in the law relating to delegation of certain medical acts to advanced practice registered nurses, so as to provide an exception to the number of advanced practice registered nurses with which a delegating physician can enter into a protocol agreement at any one time for nurses in certain locations under certain conditions.
SB 121| Nalaxone Standing Order & Dispensing
Sponsored by: Senator Butch Miller and Representative Trey Rhodes
Summary: Relating to pharmacies, so as to provide that the state health officer may issue a standing order permitting certain persons and entities to obtain opioid antagonists under the conditions the state health officer may impose.
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.
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.
HB 206| Pharmacy Bill of Rights
Sponsored by: Senator Hunter Hill and Representative Trey Kelley
Summary: "The Pharmacy Audit Bill of Rights," so as to remove an exception relating to certain audits conducted by the Department of Community Health; to amend Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to medical assistance generally, so as to provide that clerical or other errors do not constitute a basis to recoup payments made by providers of medical assistance.