5 Bills That Could Help Georgia Small Businesses

Date: April 04, 2017

Georgia lawmakers have considered numerous bills this session that would benefit small business owners. Here’s an overview of five of NFIB/GA’s top legislative priorities and their status at this writing.

House Bill 243

HB 243, sponsored by Rep. Werkheiser, would prevent local governments from forcing employee scheduling mandates on businesses. It’s an important protection for businesses, and NFIB/GA has been working hard to urge the Senate to vote on it. It’s currently with the Senate Rules Committee, waiting to be placed on the calendar for a floor vote.

House Bill 137

HB 137, sponsored by Rep. Turner, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would help protect businesses by establishing that attorneys making any forfeiture action are not compensated on a contingent basis by a percentage of assets, which arise from such forfeiture action. Attorneys included in this measure would be those appointed by the attorney general or district attorney as a special assistant attorney general, special assistant district attorney, or other attorney appointed to represent the state in forfeiture action lawsuits.

House Bill 192

HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Beskin, addresses Georgia’s business judgment rule. Currently, business directors and officers in the Peach State can be held personal liable for corporate decisions if “simple negligence” is proven, whereas most states—including Delaware, where most companies incorporate—require a standard of “gross negligence.” Georgia’s lower standard encourages companies to incorporate outside the state and discourages talented people from serving as directors and officers of corporations and banks. Raising Georgia’s negligence standard to give businesses added legal protections, consistent with what other states do, is one of NFIB/GA’s main priorities this year. The bill is currently in the Senate Rules committee.

Senate Bill 2

SB 2, sponsored by Sen. Dugan, would streamline the business licensing and permitting process and is supported by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Contractors, Georgia Home Builders, and many other business groups in addition to NFIB/GA. It’s currently with the House Small Business Development Committee and is being fought by local governments.

Senate Bill 133

SB 133, sponsored by Sen. Walker, would exempt corporations with a net worth of no more than $100,000 from the corporate net worth tax. It’s currently with the House Ways and Means Committee, where it was sent back after passing and moving to the House Rules Committee. NFIB/GA is urging a full House vote.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Georgia

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