2022 Legislative Session Wrap-Up
Last day to register to vote
Last day to request an absentee ballot
In-person early voting begins
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Monday, April 4, marking the end of the 2022 legislative session. Governor Brian Kemp has 40 days from adjournment to sign or veto the legislation passed by the General Assembly. If he takes no action on a bill by May 14, the legislation will become law.
There were several bills of interest to the business community that were passed this year. One of those is SB 331, “Protecting Georgia Businesses and Workers Act,” which prevents local governments from enacting ordinances dictating employee hours, scheduling, or regulating employee output during work hours.
The legislature also made some policy changes related to the state’s income tax. HB 1064 allows for Georgians receiving military retirement income to have more or all income exempt from state tax. HB 1437 lowers the standard income tax rate from 5.75% to 4.99%, phased in over nine years. It also eliminates most deductions but raises the standard deduction to $12,000 per year for single filers and $24,000 for those filing jointly.
Education is always a popular topic at the General Assembly, and this year was no exception. SB 379 creates the Office of Workforce Development within the Technical College System of Georgia. The office will establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in the state, with the goal of creating more programs to support the demands of our growing economy and current workforce challenges. Businesses that train up to five students will be eligible to receive compensation of up to $10,000 per student upon completion of the apprenticeship course.
Speaker Ralston personally took on the challenge of addressing the state’s mental health system by sponsoring HB 1013. “The Mental Health Parity Act” expands access to much-needed behavioral mental health services in Georgia and addresses alternative outcomes for mental health individuals to alleviate overcrowding in our criminal justice system. It also enhances resources for frontline responders, addresses parity for providers and clients, and provides solutions for individuals dealing with substance abuse. This bill was signed into law by Governor Kemp on April 4.
The General Assembly also showed their support for law enforcement by passing SB 361, the “Law Enforcement Strategic Support Act,” or “LESS Crime Act.” The act creates a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for private and corporate taxpayers choosing to invest in law enforcement organizations.
The focus now turns to the upcoming primary election on May 24. Early in-person voting starts on May 2, and the last day to request an absentee ballot is May 13. We will keep you updated on the results!
Your team at Joe Tanner & Associates