SB 332 Scheduled for Judiciary Committee Debate Monday
SB 332, the INFORM Consumers Act, will get it’s first hearing on Monday, January 24th in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Georgia Retailers will testify on the importance of passing this critical consumer protection legislation to combat organized retail crime.
The Committee will meet in Room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at 2:00pm (ET) and the meeting will be broadcast online through the General Assembly’s website here.
There is currently an adjournment resolution that has the Legislature in Session Monday and Tuesday, however committee meetings are being scheduled through Friday.
The General Assembly kicked off its first week of the 2022 Session with a very quiet Monday as many of the legislators were headed to Indianapolis for the National Championship game between the University of Georgia and Alabama. A Dawgs victory had almost everyone in very high spirits the rest of this week as the Legislature started its work by inviting Governor Kemp to address a joint session of the House and Senate on Thursday.
Governor Kemp laid out his priorities for the year in his State of the State speech. Education, healthcare and public safety were the primary focus of the Governor’s agenda for 2022. Given the excellent fiscal health of the state, the Governor stated he would include both a tax cut for all Georgians ($250 for single filers and $500 for joint filers) as well as a significant raise for teachers and other state employees and eliminating all austerity cuts to the state K-12 education budget for the first time since the Great Recession in next year’s budget.
Other investments included funding for programs to increase the number of physicians serving in rural areas, expanding the number of nursing slots in public universities and providing the GA Bureau of Investigation with new equipment for the state crime lab.
Speaker David Ralston made his priorities clear during a speech at the annual GA Chamber Eggs and Issues Breakfast Wednesday morning. Chief among them will be a package to address shortcomings in the mental health system in Georgia.
Lt. Governor Duncan also addressed the Chamber breakfast and discussed his desire to hold a national conversation on restoring civility to the political discourse in America.
INFORM CONSUMERS ACT FILED
SB 332 by Sen. John Albers, the Inform Consumers Act, was filed this week. The act will require internet marketplaces to provide more information to consumers about who they are buying from when they make purchases online from high-volume sellers. It is based on the federal legislation that was introduced in Congress late last year. Co-sponsors of the bill include nearly every member of the Senate Majority and Minority leadership.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.
Today is Day 4 of the 40 Day Session. Next week will have no legislative days as the House and Senate Appropriations’ Committees hold joint hearings on the Governor’s budget. The current schedule calls for Days 5-7 to be held Monday through Wednesday of the following week at which point a new adjournment resolution to set the calendar will need to be adopted.
Today, Georgia Retailers announced the addition of Stephen Loftin to its lobby team for the 2022 Legislative Session. Loftin has 26 years of experience successfully representing the business community in Georgia having served in government affairs capacities with organizations such as the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Business Coalition, and the Georgia Cable Association before opening Loftin Public Affairs in 2019.
“I am excited for the opportunity to represent an organization that is as respected as Georgia Retailers,” said Loftin “I look forward to working with members and our partners to continue to protect and enhance Georgia’s retail industry.”
Loftin has championed numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives on behalf of clients which have resulted in cost savings and better operating environments for the business community. He will work alongside members and state officials to lead the association’s strategic initiatives and advocate for sound policy on behalf of Georgia’s retail industry.
Stephen Loftin began his career in 1994 as an aide to the Senate Minority Caucus and worked his way through the ranks amassing legislative victories on issues related to natural gas, telecommunications, tax policy, transportation and education.
For Stephen’s Bio click here.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Georgia Retailers’ Executive Director Kyle Jackson. Kyle passed away unexpectedly on December 9th. While he had only recently joined the GR team, Kyle had hit the ground running and had already been in touch with many of you.
A graduate of Ohio State University, Kyle was a seasoned association manager, lobbyist and political strategist. He was excited about representing Georgia’s retailers and had a lot to offer our organization. Kyle leaves behind two young children-his son and daughter.
Please keep his family in your thoughts during the coming days and weeks as they mourn the loss of a son, father, and dear friend.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 10, 2021
Atlanta, GA – This week, the Georgia Retailers announced Kyle Jackson as their new executive director, effective immediately. Jackson joins Georgia Retailers from UnitedHealth Group, where he previously served as Vice President of External Affairs for Georgia and Alabama.
Jackson brings a wealth of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy with specialized expertise in association management, political fundraising and strategy.
“I am excited to join the Georgia Retailers team and advocate on behalf of the 120,000 retailers in the state," said Kyle Jackson. "We will work together with the Georgia Legislature and our partners to provide a strong voice for the retail industry. I look forward to continuing to grow our association and serve the state of Georgia."
With over a decade of experience in Georgia's business industry, Jackson will work alongside state and federal officials to target key issues in the retail sector and lead the organization’s strategic initiatives. In addition to advocating for the retail sector and good policy, Jackson will also manage the organization's political action committee.
Jackson has been involved with the Georgia retail industry since 2009 when he joined the South region team of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). His prior positions included interim executive director of Georgians for Lawsuit Reform, vice president of state and political affairs for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia state director of NFIB.
Kyle Jackson has served the state in various positions and appointments over the years. He served on the Legislative Advisory panel for the Georgia Board of Workers' Compensation to help develop legislative reforms to workers' compensation statutes.
He also served as a member of Attorney General Chris Carr's Opioid Taskforce, worked on Governor Nathan Deal's Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board and participated in Georgia Environmental Protection Division's Small Business Compliance Assistance Program.
Jackson is a graduate of Ohio State University, where he received two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and in Anthropology.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAILERS
Since 1961, the Georgia Retailers have been the premier statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Georgia’s retailers provide over 888,000 jobs at over 120,000 retail establishments in the state, and pay more than $23 billion in wages annually. Georgia’s retailers collect and remit more than $6 billion in sales taxes for Georgia’s government each year.