Monday, 16 April 2018 18:28

Georgia Retailers Legislative Update – Sine Die!

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Legislative Days 39-40

The 2018 Georgia General Assembly has run its course. Many factors including an election year with more offices up for grabs than the state has seen in over a decade, a former and well respected Governor lying in state, and fatigue on legislators of three-months of continual and hard work proved to make this final week one for the ages and the Georgia Retailers have been in the thick of it all working to protect our industry.

Two particular pharmacy issues to note is that our push for a singular state-wide vaccine protocol agreement for pharmacies was stymied by a legislature-wide lockdown on healthcare issues for most of the day on day 40. We expect, and have pressed for, Rep. Sharon Cooper’s Health and Human Services committee to meet in the interim to discuss further opioid measures the state can take going into 2019, with e-prescribing being explicitly part of that conversation.

Bills and resolutions which have either been adopted, signed by Governor Deal or that are awaiting Governor Deal's signature are highlighted in green, bills which did not pass are highlighted in yellow. Action seen on any bills in the final week are in red type.

HB 61 | E-Fairness
Status Update – Passed out of the House during the 2017 Session. This week the bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor for his signature.
What This Bill Does –This bill would require sellers without a physical nexus in Georgia to record and send notice to buyers regarding the sales tax they owe in Georgia.

HB 675 | Employer Income Tax Credit
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the Ways & Means Committee but not heard. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – This bill would provide employers with an income tax credit for up to three years for each Medicaid eligible employee who participates in an employer's health benefit plan.

HB 720 | Employment Practices
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the House Industry & Labor Committee but not heard. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does –This bill would make it illegal to fire or discriminate against employees for discussing wages, or too make such a provision part of a contract. It increases the penalty for doing so from $100 to $1000 dollars.

HB 731 | Sales and Use Tax
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the Ways & Means Tax Reform Subcommittee, heard but not voted on. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – This legislation would exempt feminine hygiene products from sales and use tax.

HB 782 | PDMP Information Disclosure
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed the House Health and Human Services Committee, has passed the House as well as the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The amended bill has passed the Senate and now returns to the House for agree/disagree. The bill failed to pass before Sine Die and therefore died.
What This Bill Does – This bill restrict disclosure of PDMP information to certain persons, and allow for the information disclosure to PDMP programs in other states and certain EMR services and healthcare systems. The bill was amended to also include regulations around "patient brokering".

HB 796 | Sales Tax Holiday for Education
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the Ways & Means Tax Reform subcommittee, the bill has been heard and the Georgia Retailers testified in support, the bill was not voted on. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – This bill renews the sales tax holiday for purchases related to education, one in August and another in September.

HB 811 | Authorizes Dept. of Revenue to Share Tax Info with Third Parties
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the Ways & Means committee, three hearings were held with the bill finally passing Ways & Means. The bill has passed the House. The bill favorably passed the Senate Finance Committee and rests in the Senate Rules Committee prior to any floor action. The Georgia Retailers testified in opposition to the bill. We are worked to eliminate or severely modify the contingency fee aspect of this bill but were ultimately unsuccessful. This bill passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor for his signature.
What This Bill Does – This bill would allow the Dept. of Revenue to contract and share tax information with third party auditors to mine for tax reporting discrepancies on a contingency fee basis. The bill has been modified to ensure the third party auditor never has direct contact with the sales and use tax collector and any audits must be performed on every sales and use tax collector in the same NAICS code at the same time.

HB 842 | Voluntary Pre-Trial Diversion for Shoplifting
Status Update – Bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee but not heard. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – This bill would allow a merchant to offer persons suspected of theft an opportunity to complete a theft education program in lieu of prosecution. Merchants are not compelled or mandated to provide such opportunity.

HB 876 | Preempt Municipalities from Restricting Building Materials
Status Update – Bill has been referred to and passed the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, as well as being passed by the House. The bill favorably passed the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, as well as the entire Senate and now rests on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.
What This Bill Does – This bill would prohibit a political subdivision from passing any ordinance shall prohibiting the use of wood as a construction material so long as such use conforms to all applicable state minimum standard codes and the Georgia State Fire Code.

HB 886 | GATE Card Program
Status Update – Bill has been referred to and passed out of the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee. This bill has passed the House. The bill favorably passed the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee, as well as the entire Senate and now rests on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.
What This Bill Does – This bill modifies the existing GATE Card Program, it requires a participating retailer upon the first use of a new or renewed tax exemption certificate to verify that such certificate is valid by reviewing the producer's certificate and that a seller shall be authorized to continue to honor the tax exemption certificate unless the seller receives actual notice of a suspension or revocation or discovers a suspension or revocation when verifying the validity of the tax exemption certificate upon its first use in any calendar year.

HB 890 | Penalizing Use of Emergency Exit Doors While Shoplifting
Status Update – Bill has passed out of the Reeves Subcommittee of Judiciary Non-Civil, full Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. This bill has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and as well as the Senate and now heads to the Governor for his signature.
What This Bill Does – Makes the utilization of emergency exit doors during the commission of shoplifting a misdemeanor in Georgia.

HB 895 | Requiring Consumer ID for Drug Containing Dextromethorphan
Status Update – Bill has passed out of the House Health & Human Services Committee and rests in the House Rules Committee prior to any floor action. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – This bill requires customers prove to be over the age of 18 to purchase OTC drugs containing dextromethorphan. The Georgia retailers worked to adjust the language to place no onus on the retailer regarding record retention or product placement.

HB 917 | Digital Piracy/Shopping Cart Fine Preemption
Status UpdateBill has been heard and passed out of the House Judiciary Non-Civil and Senate Judiciary Committees. Bill has been heard, amended and passed by the Senate, agreed to and amended by the House. The bill failed to pass before Sine Die and therefore died.
What This Bill Does – This furthers Georgia’s digital piracy criminal statute. The Georgia Retailers had been positioning for weeks, and accomplished, amending this bill to make it illegal for political subdivision to fine retailers for having their shopping carts stolen.

HB 918 | Alignment with Federal Tax Changes
Status Update – Bill has been heard and passed out of the Ways & Means Committee, as well as the House. The bill has been heard and passed out of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate as well as being concurred with by the House. The bill was signed into law by Governor Deal.
What This Bill Does – This bill incorporates recent changes to the Federal tax code into Georgia law. By substitute is now Governor Deal’s tax package including a reduction of the corporate tax rate which has seen no change since 1969.

HB 919 | Sales Tax Holiday for Energy Star Items
Status Update – Bill has been introduced and heard in the Ways & Means Tax Reform Sub-Committee. The Georgia Retailers testified in support of this measure. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does – Creates a sales tax holiday for energy star appliances between 5-7 October 2018.

HB 948 | USDA, FDA, and Dept. of Agriculture Preemption
Status Update – Bill was introduced and referred to the House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee where it was passed favorably, the bill now rests in the House Rules Committee prior to any floor action. This bill failed to crossover, therefore this bill is dead.
What This Bill Does –This bill would prohibit any political subdivision in Georgia from regulating any good for sale in a retail establishment that is already regulated by the USDA, FDA, or Georgia Department of Agriculture.

HR 993 | Business Court
Status Update – Bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee but has not been heard. The constitutional amendment resolution has been heard, amended and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now rests in the Senate Rules Committee. The constitutional amendment bill has passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor for his signature. New enabling legislation will be crafted during the 2019 session.
What This Bill Does –Constitutional amendment and enabling legislation that establishes a state-wide business court.

HR 1089 | Urging Congress to Pass the Marketplace Fairness Act
Status Update – Bill has been referred to and passed the Ways & Means Committee. The resolution has been adopted by the House.
What This Bill Does – This resolution urges the United States Congress to pass the federal "Marketplace Fairness Act" in support of equity and sales tax fairness.

SB 17 | Extending Sunday Alcohol Hours “Brunch Bill”
Status Update – Bill was passed out of the Senate Regulated Industries, was then re-committed for further consideration, passed out again as a committee substitute. The bill has passed out of the Senate. The bill has favorably passed the House Regulated Industries Committee and has successfully passed the House. The bill now rests on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.
What This Bill Does –This bill would allow restaurants, upon successful passage of a local referendum, to begin serving alcohol at 11:00 am instead of 12:30 pm. The ability for retailers to sell alcohol under the same circumstances was removed from the bill.

SB 328 | Repeal Certain Income Tax Credits/GILTI Change
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed the Senate Finance Committee, it was voted out of the Senate. The bill has been heard, amended, and passed by the Income Tax Subcommittee of Ways and Means. The bill was passed by the House, agreed to by the Senate and rests on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.
What This Bill Does –This bill eliminates three non-retail specific income tax credits, as well as being amended to exclude global subsidiaries of Georgia companies from paying state tax on earning of those subsidiaries.

SB 352 | Senate Opioid Bill
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, it was voted out of the Senate and now heads to the House Health & Human Services Committee. Portions of this bill were amended to HB 782 above. The bill failed to pass before Sine Die and therefore died.
What This Bill Does –This bill prohibits patient brokering and establishes the Commission on Substance Abuse and Recovery.

SB 407 | Governor Deal's Criminal Justice Reform
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now rests in the Senate Rules Committee Prior to any floor action. This bill has passed out of the Senate and as well as the House Judiciary (non-civil) Committee where the bill was amended. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee prior to any floor action. The bill was passed by the House and now heads to the Governor for his signature.
What This Bill Does –This bill is Governor Deal's criminal justice reform package for 2018, of note is creating the ability to "arrest by citation" for certain non-violent misdemeanors.

SB 418 | USDA, FDA, and Dept. of Agriculture Preemption
Status Update – Bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee where it was passed favorably. This bill failed on the Senate floor, therefore the bill is dead.
What This Bill Does –This bill would prohibit any political subdivision in Georgia from regulating any good for sale in a retail establishment that is already regulated by the USDA, FDA, or Georgia Department of Agriculture.

SB 422 | Exempting Pharmacists from Clinical Laboratory Standards
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed by the Senate Health & Human Services Committee, has passed the Senate and has been reported favorably by the House Health & Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee prior to any floor action. The bill has passed the House and now rests on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.
What This Bill Does –This bill allow pharmacists in their scope of practice to be exempt from clinical laboratory standards when performing tests and interpreting the results as a means to screen for or monitor disease risk factors or drug use, so long as such tests are available to and for use by the public without licensure.

SB 432 | Georgia Tax Credit Business Case Act
Status Update – Bill was referred to and passed the Senate Finance Committee. This bill has passed the Senate. The bill was stripped of original language and replaced with language providing tax credits for certain health care educators, the bill then passed the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee prior to any floor action. The bill failed to pass before Sine Die and therefor died.
What This Bill Does –This bill was introduced incorrectly to provide for the expiration of certain income tax credits, and repeal certain state sales and use tax exemptions. The corrected amended version provides merely for the examination of and recommendations on future action on many such credits and exemptions including but not limited to: non-prescription insulin syringes and glucose test strips, food donated after a natural disaster, sales involving food stamps or WIC, food for off-premise consumption, prescription drugs, prescription oxygen, hearing aids, and durable medical equipment.

SB 471 | Mandatory E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances
Status Update – Bill was introduced and will be referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. This bill failed to crossover, therefore the bill is dead.
What This Bill Does –This bill requires the mandatory use of e-prescribing for all schedule II & III controlled substances.

Read 1553 times Last modified on Monday, 16 April 2018 18:37

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Contact Us

+1 (706) 202-9308
Thomas Beusse
Georgia Retail Association
1750 Powder Springs Rd, Ste 190
PMB 275
Marietta, GA 30064
thomas@georgiaretail.org