After several months of the Georgia General Assembly being on an unprecedented “suspension” due to COVID-19, Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan have formally reconvened starting on Monday, June 15. For the remaining 10 legislative days, the Georgia Forestry Association’s Government Affairs Team will have boots on the ground every day, focused on advancing forestry priorities.
“GFA has an aggressive legislative agenda this year, and we are pleased that all GFA priority legislation is positioned to advance thanks to our strategic efforts through ForestPAC and the FORT” GFA President & CEO Andres Villegas said.
GFA’s legislative priorities for the remainder of the 2020 session include:
- HB 1015 | Sustainable Development Carbon Registry
This is landmark legislation for our state, as Georgia would be the first state in the nation to establish a sustainable development carbon registry creating an incentive for developers to utilize products that sequester carbon.
- SB 410 | Addressing Attorney’s Fees in Landowner Appeals Cases
This bill is common-sense, pro-taxpayer legislation that would close a loophole used by county boards of assessors to allow local tax assessors to appeal unfavorable rulings for them at the board of equalization to the superior court simply for the purpose of avoiding having to pay attorney’s fees.
- HB 777 | Mass Timber Building Codes
Legislation seeking to expedite Georgia’s adoption of the 2021 International Building Codes’ tall mass timber provisions, which will allow construction of mass timber buildings up to 18 stories tall (the current building code is limited to six-stories).
- HB 897 | Timber Harvest Notification Reform
Legislation to provide more uniformity in timber harvest notifications timber harvest notification process that will help improve the efficiency of harvesting and logistics operations across Georgia.
- SB 407 & HB 966 | Palmetto Berry Theft Enforcement
Legislation aimed at addressing issues with the theft and law enforcement of Saw Palmetto Berries. Creates strong, enforceable supply chain controls through a “Certificate of Harvest” system that will make it easier for law enforcement to distinguish good actors from bad ones.
- HR 1160 | Motor Carrier Inspection Study Committee
Legislation that would create a study committee to explore the issue of burdensome roadside inspections by the Department of Public Safety.
- SB 415 & HB 1089 | Legal Reform Package
This legislation is an omnibus legal reform package. It was tabled on the Senate Floor due to lack of sufficient support to advance, causing SB 415 to miss the crossover day deadline. House companion legislation (HB 1089) also failed to advance. This is an important issue affecting the log trucking sector in particular, but important conversations on this issue were prompted by this effort. GFA is hopeful for more action in this area in future sessions.
Get Insight on the Political Process
Georgia Forestry Association members receive regular updates on legislative activity and access to special reports that provide detailed insights into the political process. Whether you are a landowner, forestry related business or logging company, GFA is working for you. Contact us below to get access our latest Crossover Day Report and to learn more about becoming a GFA member.