General Assembly Wraps Up 2012 Legislative Session

Georgia lawmakers adjourned the 2012 legislative session right at midnight on Thursday, March 29.   Over the past three months, legislators have addressed major issues ranging from open meetings and open records to criminal justice reform to tax reform.  Many of these issues will have a direct impact on county operations.    


ACCG will provide a more comprehensive summary of the 2012 legislative session.  ACCG will also develop educational materials for counties to explain the new laws and what counties must do to be in compliance.  In addition to legislative updates at the upcoming Annual Meeting, ACCG will be providing more training on legislative changes at the Regional Membership Services Meetings in June.


Below you will find legislation of significance to counties from the final days of the legislative session.   Please note that the positions listed in the ACCG database when you click on the bill link reflect ACCG’s position prior to the final day of the session and may not reflect our final position on the bill based on late changes.   


Legislation that passed: 


HB 110 – Local Government Foreclosed and Vacant Property Registries

HB 397 – Open Meetings and Open Records Comprehensive Rewrite

HB 872 – Strengthens Regulations to Control Metal Theft

HB 916 – Amendments to Conservation Use Special Assessments

HB 1049 – Clarifies the Definition of Prepaid Cellular Service for the Purpose of 911 Fees

HB 1176 – Criminal Justice Reform

SB 332 – Changes Contents of SPLOST Published Annual Report

SB 402 – Broadens Investment Options for Public Retirement Systems


Legislation that did not pass:


HB 641 – Juvenile Code Rewrite

HB 648 – Dedication of Indigent Defense Funds by Constitutional Amendment

HB 802 – Allows for the Subdivision of Historic Property

HB 811 – Prevents the Redirection of Dedicated Fees

SB 98 – Allows Guns in Local Government Buildings

SB 234 – Property Tax Administration Reform

SB 379 – Prohibits Local Governments from Collecting Pawn Transaction Fees

SB 458 – Illegal Immigration Reform Revisions


Major budget considerations:


·         $700,000 was allocated to pay for printers and terminals at tax commissioners’ offices to assist with tag and titling responsibilities on behalf of the state.


The Governor has up to 40 days from the end of the legislative session to sign bills, allow bills to become law without his signature or veto bills passed by the General Assembly. 


ACCG will provide additional details about these bills and other legislation that passed at the 2012 Annual Meeting at the Savannah Civic Center in Chatham County scheduled for April 28 –30.  For the full conference agenda and registration details, click here.

ACCG thanks the Policy Council, Policy Committee members, County Legislative Coordinators and all county officials who stayed informed and engaged during the 2012 legislative session.  You are an important part of the ACCG advocacy network, and phone calls and emails to your local delegation do make a difference.