2024 Legislative Session Report Week 2

Legislative Report

The GFB PPD Team

Legislative Report Week 2  

January 19, 2024

In this Issue: 

Photo Credits: House Media Services

Under the Gold Dome


It was a quiet week under the gold dome as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees met for joint committee hearings. Georgia Farm Bureau closely monitors the budget process and advocates for funding that supports the agriculture industry. We work to secure funding needed by government agencies and research institutions that provide vital services to farmers across the state. Because of ongoing appropriation hearings,  the General Assembly did not convene for any official legislative days this week, but will return Monday, January 22nd for day 6 of the 2024 legislative session.

Budget Week


Commonly known as "Budget Week," the joint committee spent this week hearing from agency and department heads after the release of the Governor's budget recommendations. Presentations focus on the need for specific funding and give the committee members the chance to ask questions to leadership regarding their funding requests. Led by Chairman Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia) and Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), the joint committee underwent three days of hearings. Many presentations expressed gratitude to Governor Kemp for his recommendations for cost-of-living adjustments and pay raises for state employees. Agency heads and directors asked the legislature to maintain those funds in their budget proposals to ensure they can provide the needed raises to state employees.


Dr. Robert Buschman, the State Economist, began the three-day hearings with an update on the state's fiscal health. Dr. Buschman's biggest takeaway, the state of Georgia is strong and economically healthy. We have a robust surplus of tax revenue that has been the result of conservative budgeting and places Georgia in a safe place to make financial investments in areas of need while still returning billions of dollars to taxpayers. Dr. Buschman expressed concerns of a possible recission looming in 2024, but again ensured that due to large tax surpluses, the state of Georgia would be able to handle most anything that came our way.


Commissioner Tyler Harper of the Department of Agriculture presented on Wednesday, January 16th to the joint committee. As we mentioned in last week's report, the Department of Agriculture had many favorable recommendations from the Governor. In Commissioner Harper's presentation he highlighted a few areas of funding in addition to what the Governor recommended. Commissioner Harper outlined the need for funding for the Georgia Farmland Conservation Fund, established last year by SB 220. GFB has been a strong advocate for this program and hopes to help secure funding through this year's appropriations process. Funding is necessary for the program to become operational.


Key investment is also needed to address concerns for wildlife nuisance through the Feral Hog Task Force. Commissioner Harper outlined a request of $150,000 to continue the work of the Feral Hog Task Force. While mentioning wildlife nuisance, many questions were spurred about the impacts of deer depredation on crop damage. He ensured the committee both the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources are committed to finding solutions to this issue.


Final requests outlined by Commissioner Harper included a bond package and continued funding of the soil amendments program. The bond package seeks to address the need for additional vehicles, upgrades to the Tifton lab, and investment in the state's farmers markets. The bond package is a great start, but overall, there is a $1.3 billion dollar need for the Atlanta State Farmer's Market. $550,000 were allocated last year for the soil amendment program and all but one of the five positions have been filled. These positions will help ensure the integrity of the soil amendment program in Georgia.

State Leaders Weigh in on AEWR Increases


The fight with increases to the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) has not cooled off. If anything, there seems to be more attention toward a solution than ever. Last week, 73 members of the House of Representatives (including Reps. Rick Allen, Austin Scott, Andrew Clyde, and Barry Loudermilk) led by Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI) submitted a letter to House and Senate appropriation committee leaders stressing the importance of addressing the sky rocketing AEWR in the H-2A program. The letter notes that the national average AEWR ($17.55/hr) has more than doubled over the last two decades, pushing the price of agriculture labor to unmanageable levels for farmers and ranchers. These seemingly arbitrary increases have pushed domestic agriculture producers far outside of competition with Canada ($11/hr) and Mexico ($1.50/hr) putting us at a severe disadvantage. 


The House letter, soon to be joined by a Senate companion letter, called for the implementation of an AEWR freeze at 2023 levels in the next government funding legislation like the bill Senators Ossoff and Tillis dropped last year freeze AEWR at 2022 levels. 


The fight does not stop with federal officials either. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has lent his unwavering support to Georgia farmers. He submitted his own letter to the heads of the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlighting the detrimental impact AEWR increases will and already have had on the agricultural economy. He also mentions the devastating effects recent DOL rulings will have on effective wage rates and addresses the lack of transparency in the methodology used to determine each year's calculated AEWR. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tyler Harper also led a letter to the Georgia congressional delegation noting the weight of the issue and urging them to take action to find a fix as fast as possible. Commissioner Harper also called for the Georgia delegation to support a wage freeze. These efforts are pivotal to pushing Congress to agree on a freeze until the H-2A program can be reformed to work for all parties involved.


To read the letters from Attorney General Chris Carr and Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper, follow the links below.


Attorney General Chris Carr


Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper


Poultry Transparency Rule


On November 28, 2023, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service published the final rule entitled Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting Tournaments or the transparency rule. The final rule only applies to contracting in broiler production and takes effect on February 12. This transparency rule will make contracting for poultry producers far more competitive with the inclusion of four main requirements listed throughout the final language.


First, the rule dictates that at certain points in the contracting process specific disclosures must be provided to broiler producers about former payments or potential projected payment rates. This will provide a historical perspective on what market rates look like for growers, giving them an idea of what they can expect.


Secondly, integrators must create a governing framework to guarantee the accuracy of information provided during the aforementioned points during the contracting process. This inclusion keeps integrators accountable to the broiler producers through the contract period.


Third, integrators who employ the poultry grower ranking system to determine payment rates will be compelled to provide data on the flock at arrival and every flock in the settlement pool at settlement. Not only does this provide growers with information on chick quality, but it also shows how the various flocks performed through the production period.


Lastly, contracts must specify the "minimum number of placements annually" and the "minimum stocking density for each flock." These provisions clearly look to make the contracting process truly more transparent and allow growers to gain a much-needed insight into the terms of the contracts they enter.


This rule marks a significant step in addressing several issues producers face when engaging with integrators and does much to improve the growers' right to have a fully informative decision on which firms they choose to do business with. Georgia Farm Bureau is fully supportive of this transparency rule which marks a win for production agriculture.

GFB Day at the Capitol


Please join us for GFB Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 13th as more than 600 members convene to advocate for agriculture! The event will begin at 9:30am with orientation and remarks from the House and Senate Ag Chairmen at the Georgia Freight Depot, followed by time at the capitol visiting with legislators. Attendees will then return to the Freight Depot for a complimentary lunch at noon. While the event is free to attend, please RSVP by Friday, January 19th so we may accurately plan for food and name badges.


For registration, hotel room block information, parking location, and other details, please click the link below.

Click Here

Bills of Interest


HB 33:

Reps. Camp, Mathiak, Lim, Au, and Cameron

This bill would establish the State Board of Veterinary Medicine as an independent agency attached to the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes. The State Board of Veterinary Medicine serves as the licensing board for veterinarians in the state of Georgia. Currently, this board is administratively attached to the Secretary of State and is under the professional licensing boards division. 

Passed House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee 2/22/2023


HB 53:

Reps. Corbett, Meeks, Pirkle, Dickey, and Williams

This bill would establish the State Board of Registration for Foresters as an independent agency attached to the State Forestry Commission for administrative purposes. Currently the Board is under the professional licensing boards division of the Secretary of State's office.

Passed House Natural Resources and Environment Committee 2/23/2023


HB 73:

Reps. Gullett, Parsons, Thomas, Anderson, Meeks, and others

This bill deals with ensuring transparency between buyers and sellers of distributed energy generation systems, including solar energy procurement, and provides access to educational information surrounding contracts and agreements for such systems. It specifically looks to address deceptive business practices seen throughout the state by certain companies selling rooftop solar systems.

Passed House on 2/22/2023 & Assigned to Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities on 3/1/2023


HB 82:

Reps. Jackson, Hawkins, Cooper, Williams, Beverly, and others  

This bill would eliminate the current tax credit available for rural physicians and replace it with a new tax credit of up to $5,000 for each taxable year. The new tax credit would be available to a wider array of health care professionals including dentists, nurse practitioners, physical assistants and more. It also imposes certain restrictions such as a cap on the number of years it can be claimed (5 years) and restrictions on those who are already working in a rural area.

Passed House on 3/6/2023 & Senate Tabled 3/27/2023


HB 246:

Reps. Momtahan, Parsons, Dickey, Tarvin, Pirkle, and others

This bill would prohibit the foreign ownership of certain types of land or properties, including farms and agricultural land, by Chinese, Russian, Iranian, or North Korean governments, citizens, or companies. It would both prohibit direct ownership but also ownership through majority stock or other specified intertest.

Assigned to House Judiciary Committee 2/7/2023


HB 251:

Reps. Schofield, Drenner, Kennard, Evans and Hutchinson

This bill would require the Public Service Commission to adopt regulations to gradually reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from every electric utility in Georgia, regardless of fuel type. It would require that by 2050 all electricity provided by an electric utility in Georgia be generated from energy sources that produce zero greenhouse gasses.

Assigned to House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee 2/7/2023


HB 262:

Reps. Lewis-Ward, Beverly, Jackson, and  Gilliard 

This bill would establish the Office of Equity in Agriculture to support current members of socially disadvantaged groups and to encourage the growth of socially disadvantaged groups into the field of agriculture.

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/7/2023


HB 287:

Reps. Thomas, Schofield, and Marin

This bill would establish the ability to set up and operate a Microenterprise home kitchen. This would be a noncommercial kitchen facility located in a private home or on a farm where ready-to-eat food is handled, stored, prepared, or offered for sale for consumption off the premises. The kitchen must meet the criteria to be a microenterprise as established by the Department of Economic Development. This bill would exclude food sales establishments, any food production which requires a license by the Dept. of Agriculture, and more.

Heard House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/14/2023


HB 300:

Reps. Smith, Kelley, Williamson, Stephens, and Blackmon

This legislation would establish the Solar Technology Trust Fund and impose a fee of $15 per kilowatt of capacity on retail sales of solar equipment in Georgia. The fees collected would be used by the trust fund for remediation, decommissioning, and disposal of solar equipment, such as solar panels.

Assigned to House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication Committee 2/9/2023


HB 305:

Reps. Dickey, Houston, Gilliard, and Carpenter

Over the past few years there has been discussion over how to address issues with our state's Farmers Markets, some of which are in need of substantial capital repairs and improvements. Several of the markets have also suffered from profitability issues, leading to the temporary closing of certain markets. This bill seeks to establish the Georgia Farmers Market Authority, allowing the state's markets to be run more like a business by retaining the income it generates and using it to operate and improve the markets.

Recommitted to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee 3/1/2023


HB 321:

Reps. Scott, Schofield, and Davis

Under this proposal, the Department of Human Services could establish the Healthy Food Development Program, to establish, support, facilitate, and expand access to healthy foods in eligible underserved areas, in coordination with Departments of Economic Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources on an approved application basis.

Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee on 2/9/2023


HB 363:

Reps. LaHood, Parrish, Williams, Jackson, Burchett and others.

This bill seeks to amend the tax credit limit for rural hospital contributions and redefines a rural hospital organization. It would increase the tax credit limit for contributions by corporate donors and increase the aggregate limit for tax credits for contributions to rural hospital organizations. This bill includes a sunset date of December 31, 2023. 

Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee 2/14/2023


HB 379:

Reps. Yearta, Corbett, Cannon, Jasperse, and Franklin

This bill would make it unlawful for anyone other than a secondary metal recycler to sell, purchase, possess, or transport a catalytic convertor. The individual would be charged on a separate offense for every individual catalytic convertor. This, along with other similar pieces of proposed legislation, are in response to increasing frequency of catalytic converter theft in recent years. 

Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee 2/13/2023


HB 413:

Reps. Williams, Meeks, Rhodes, Dickey, Blackmon, and others

This bill seeks to grant a second round of funding to the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs program. This bill would also increase the application fee and provide an annual maintenance fee. 

Passed House Ways and Means Committee 3/2/2023


HB 438:

Reps. Anderson, Williamson, Parsons, Frazier, Jones and others

This bill says no governmental entity of this state shall adopt any policy that restricts or prohibits, or has the effect of restricting or prohibiting, the type or source of energy or fuel to be delivered to a home or the appliance to be used. 

Passed House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunication Committee 2/22/2023


HB 439:

Reps. Houston, Meeks, Dickey, Pirkle

This bill would establish the Farmer's Market Trust Fund allowing for the state farmers markets to retain fees and utilize them to repair and maintain those farmers markets and for marketing and promotion of Georgia agricultural goods. 

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/16/2023


HB 449:

Reps. Knight, Corbett, Rhodes, Cannon, and Pirkle

This bill would do away with an exemption provided in the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) program that allows for the installation of solar panels on land within a CUVA covenant, so long as that portion of the land is removed from the covenant and the specified breach penalty is paid. That penalty in current law is less than what must be paid for a normal breach on a property that is subject to a covenant. Under this proposal, installing solar panels on land enrolled in CUVA would constitute a breach of the covenant, and the full penalty would have to be paid. 

Passed House Ways and Means Committee 3/3/2023


HB 452:

Reps. Pirkle, Jasperse, Meeks, Rhodes, Knight, and others

This bill would prohibit the foreign ownership of agricultural land by any non-resident alien, government, or business from a country considered to be foreign adversary as determined by the US Secretary of Commerce. It would also restrict ownership by those individuals, governments, and businesses of any land that is within a 25 mile radius of a military facility. The bill does allow for possession in certain special circumstances such as through an inheritance or for the collection of debts, but the land must be dispersed after a specified period of time. 

Passed House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/28/2023


HB 458:

Reps. Pirkle, Corbett, Williams, and Rhodes

This bill seeks to make changes to the current hemp law to ensure the safety of the products being sold and marketed here in Georgia by requiring certain labeling and testing requirements for all consumable hemp products. It defines hemp products, consumable hemp products, and industrial hemp products to distinguish between the different usages of hemp plants. It seeks make changes to the licensing and registration process and fee structure for growers, processors, and retailers. This bill also requires a person to be 21 years old to purchase consumable hemp products, be the target of certain marketing, or receive samples of consumable hemp products in stores. 

Passed House 3/6/2023 & Assigned to Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee 3/7/2023


HB 477:

Reps. Leverett, Petrea, Prince, and Jackson 

This bill seeks to address issues with bad actors improperly applying soil amendments through increased notification requirements and delegation of enforcement authority to certain local governments. GFB is actively monitoring this bill and has been in discussions with the sponsor to work towards an appropriate and balanced solution to the issue. 

Assigned to House Natural Resources and Environment Committee 2/21/2023


HB 491:

Reps. Drenner, Carter, Evans, Davis, and Thomas

This bill creates a definition for what is an overburdened community and seeks to establish a special permitting process and environmental justice considerations that must be followed for an individual or entity to build or expand certain types of facilities in an overburdened community. 

Assigned to House Natural Resources and Environment Committee 2/22/2023


HB 495:

Reps. Drenner, Carter, Evans, Davis, and Thomas

This bill is titled Georgia Environmental Justice Act of 2023. It establishes the Environmental Justice Commission to oversee the permitting of certain projects in low-income and minority neighborhoods. 

Assigned to House Natural Resources and Environment Committee 2/22/2023


HB 510:

Reps. Barnes, Beverly, Clark, Au, Oliver, and others.

This bill seeks to provide free school meals to all public-school students who qualify for the reduced-price meals under federal and state guidelines. It encourages the use of Georgia Grown products in school breakfast and lunch programs to promote Georgia agriculture and healthy eating. 

Assigned to House Education Committee 2/22/2023


HB 514:

Reps. Washburn, Bazemore, Reeves, Lim, Ridley, and others. 

This bill is known as the "Housing Regulation Transparency Act." It seeks to limit the duration of time that a local government may enact a temporary housing moratorium on properties being developed for residential purposes to 180 days. It also requires that a local government must wait another 180 days before enacting any new temporary housing moratorium once the initial 180-day moratorium is expired. The bill allows for exemptions under certain circumstances including a declared state of emergency, when safety is of concern, a court order, or while a studied is being conducted investigating future development. This bill also grants local governments the power to collect fees associated with their zoning powers and issuance of permits. This is to create an equitable program for governments to finance the development and creation of local planning, land use, and zoning ordinances for orderly growth. 

Assigned to Conference Committee 3/29/2023


HB 533:

Reps. Gilliard, Stephens, Willis, and Thomas 

This bill, titled the "Georgia Hemp Industry Growth and Business Partnership Tax Credit Act," provides for a tax credit for costs of doing business with Georgia Grown hemp owners and suppliers. 

Assigned to House Ways & Means Committee 2/23/2023


HB 566:

Reps. Lewis-Ward, Beverly, Bentley, Jackson, and Schofield

This bill would require the Department of Agriculture to spend no less than 5% of the entire marketing and promotion budget on minority or women owned agricultural enterprises. 

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/27/2023


HB 567:

Reps. Cheokas, Collins, Hitchens, Yearta, and Washburn 

This bill would allow a county to establish a trespass enforcement program to provide any participating owner or rightful occupant of property with a method for designating any peace officer with the local law enforcement agency as his or her authorized representative for purposes of enforcing criminal trespass. 

Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee 2/27/2023



Reps. Cameron, Camp, Campbell, Hagan, and Huddleston

This bill is tilted the Healthy Food Development Program Act. It allows for the Department of Human Services to coordinate with the Department of Economic Development to create the Healthy Food Development Program. They could provide grants, loans, state tax credits, equipment, other financial assistance or technical assistance to grocery stores, corner stores, farmers' markets, or other retailers. 

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/27/2023


HB 583:

Reps. Hagan, Gaines, Camp, and Clark

This bill creates the cottage food operator license for a person who produces homemade food items at a residential property for sale to a consumer. They will be permitted to only sell non-potentially hazardous foods - foods that do not require temperature control for safety. A license must be obtained through the Department of Agriculture for $100 per year to obtain this license. This bill exempts cottage food operators from inspection but grants the Department the power to conduct an inspection upon complaint. 

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/27/2023 


HB 808:

Reps. Cheokas, Yearta, Mathiak, Ridley, Powell, and others

This bill would increase a statewide ad valorem tax exemption limit for tangible personal property from $7,500 to $50,000. It also provides for a statewide referendum and a question to be placed on the ballot for the voters of Georgia to decide on making this change. 

Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee 3/23/2023


HB 827:

Reps. Smith, Dickey, Pirkle, Leverett, Hagan, and others

This bill increases the punishment for livestock theft by increasing both the penalty fines and the years of imprisonment. 

Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee 3/29/2023


HB 848:

Reps. Taylor, Lumsden, Collins, Hitchens, and Dunahoo

This bill would allow any law enforcement to enforce excess vehicle weight limitations using automated vehicle weight detection system. This would allow the use of weight detecting technology and cameras capable of determining the gross vehicle weight and individual  axle weights of a passing motor vehicle and producing recorded images of such vehicle  located outside of a fixed scales facility. The technology could be implemented by third party agents.

Assigned to House Motor Vehicles Committee 1/09/2024


HB 870:

Reps. Washburn, Au, Stephens, Anulewicz, Hitchens, and others

This bill would exempt Georgia from the advancement of standard time, known as daylight savings upon the exemption from daylight savings by North and South Carolina and the portions of Florida and Tennessee that observe eastern standard time.

Assigned to House State Planning & Community Affairs Committee 1/10/2024


HB 893:

Rep. Thomas 

This bill would provide for a state-wide homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes for the full value of a homestead used for agricultural purposes under certain parameters. The farmer must be engaged in production agriculture for no more than 5 years and operate on no more than 5 acres.

Assigned to House Ways & Means Committee 1/10/2024


HB 908:

Reps. Ridley, Ridley, Jasperse, Fleming, Persinger, and others

This bill would require all food service establishments in the state that serve food products containing cell cultured meat or plant-based meat alternatives to display on their menus, or on placards visible to the public, disclosures stating that such food products contain cell cultured meat or plant based meat alternatives.

Assigned to House Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee 1/11/2024


HB 912:

Reps. Anderson, Rhodes, Burchett, Smith, Williams, and others

This bill defines a multipurpose off-highway vehicle and ensures no multipurpose off-highway vehicle shall be returned for or subject to ad valorem taxation.

Assigned to House Ways & Means Committee 1/12/2024


HB 922:

Reps. Vance, Tarvin, Lumsden, Collins, and Hitchens 

This bill would add to what is considered criminal trespass and make entrance upon property of another without consent shall be an offense of criminal trespass.

Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee 1/12/2024


HR 96:

Reps. Williams, Petrea, Dickey, Corbett, Rhodes, and others

This resolution proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would reduce the rate of ad-valorem tax assessment on timber at the time of sale or harvest. The proposal would require that the state appropriate funds annually to each county or municipality to compensate for any loss in revenue.

Passed House 3/2/2023 & Assigned to Senate Finance Committee 3/6/2023


HR 185:

Reps. Bennett, Jenkins, Dempsey, Lewis-Ward, Newton, and others

This resolution establishes the House Healthy Food Retail Study Committee to investigate the lack of access to healthy foods in both rural and urban areas.

Assigned to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 2/15/2023


HR 255:

Reps. Drenner and Thomas 

This is a resolution creating the House Study Committee on Environmental Justice. This committee will study the impact of pollution and hazardous materials on low-income neighborhoods or neighborhoods consisting primarily of minorities. 

Assigned to House Natural Resources and Environment Committee 2/22/2023


HR 547:

Reps. Mathiak, Gunter, Hatchett

This resolution would create the House Study Committee on Rural Medical Personnel Recruitment. This study would look to raise awareness of the challenges rural hospitals face to recruit personnel and retain surgical support personnel. 

Recommitted to House Special Rules Committee 3/29/2023


SB 22:

Sens. Kirkpatrick, Robertson, Hufstetler, Payne, Butler, and others

This bill seeks to address licensing, testing, and retail sales of consumable hemp products. It puts in place certain testing requirements for consumable hemp products, establishes a licensing structure with the associated fees, and addresses certain issues surrounding the offering of hemp samples to anyone under 21 years of age. The bill also puts in place specific labeling requirements for retail consumable hemp products. 

Recommitted to Senate Rules Committee 2/22/2023


SB 39:

Sens. Jackson, Goodman, Summers and Butler

This bill, called the "Georgia Hemp Farming Act," would change the limitations for individuals seeking a license or permit to grow hemp. It would change current law to allow individuals who are convicted of a misdemeanor involving the sale of a controlled substance, to apply for and be given a license or permit to grow industrial hemp. It would also allow someone convicted of a felony to apply for and receive a license or permit after 10 years has passed from said felony.

Recommitted to Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee 2/28/2023


SB 132:

Sens. Beach, Dolezal, Goodman, Summers, Anderson, and others

This bill would prohibit the purchase of agricultural land by a non-resident foreign alien who is subject to a government that is considered a foreign adversary as defined by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. It would also restrict the purchase of agricultural land by any government of, or business domiciled in a country subject to a government that is considered a foreign adversary. There are provisions within the bill that would also limit the foreign ownership of land near certain military instillations. 

Passed Senate 3/2/2023 & Recommitted to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 3/29/2023


SB 142:

Sens. Anderson, Brass, Burns, Anavitarte, Robertson and others

This bill changes the definition of what is considered a dangerous or vicious dog. This bill revises the definition to include the following: a dog who is unprovoked barking, growling, or snarling, aggressively running along fence lines, or escaping confinement when people are present. It requires the owner of a dangerous dog as defined by the bill to maintain a $500,000 insurance policy covering any damage or bodily harm caused by the dog. 

Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee 2/13/2023


SB 145:

Sens. Still, Dolezal, Robertson, Anavitarte, Payne, and others 

This bill which at one time would have only prohibited local regulations that create differing standards for gasoline-powered leaf blowers from similar equipment, now includes an additional 33 pages of language that addresses numerous other issues. 

Senate Disagreed to House Amendment 3/29/2023 & House Insisted 3/29/2023


SB 165:

Sens. Goodman, Sims, Walker, Brass, Mallow, and others

This bill is a companion bill to HB 189. The current state law sets the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of any 5-axle truck at 80,000lbs. Agriculture and forestry receives a 5% variance exemption to allow them to haul 84,000lbs. The bill would allow for these industries and a few additional ones to haul using a 12.5% variance, setting allowable weights at 90,000lbs. This bill only pertains to state roads. Due to federal regulations, trucks traveling on interstates are only allowed to haul at 80,000lbs with no variances. 

Heard by Senate Transportation Committee 2/27/2023


SB 177:

Sens. Jones, Goodman, Butler, Hickman, and Sims

This bill is entitled the "Food Insecurity Eradication Act." It establishes the Georgia Food Security Advisory Council under the Georgia Department of Agriculture to advise the General Assembly on ways to alleviate food insecurity in the state. 

Passed Senate 3/6/2023 & Recommitted to House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee 3/29/2023 


SB 186:

Sens. Dolezal, Still, Gooch, Kennedy, Watson and others

This legislation deals with premises liability action and seeks to make changes to tort law provisions that are significant to landowners. It states no landowner shall be liable in a premises liability action to anyone who is injured on the landowner's property as the result of the willful, wanton, or intentionally tortious conduct of any third party who is not a director, officer, employee, or agent of the landowner unless the invitee can prove specific items as laid out by the legislation. 

Senate Tabled 3/6/2023


SB 330:

Sens. Kirkpatrick, Hufstetler, Payne, Echols, Dugan, and others. 

This bill is known as the Outdoor Dog Protection Act. It would make it unlawful to leave a dog outdoors or unattended for more than 24 hours under the defined circumstances within the bill. It provides an exemption for livestock herding dogs, dogs sued within production agriculture, and hunting or field training dogs. 

Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee 3/27/2023


SB 243:

Sens. Jones, Harbison, Rahman, Merrit, Butler and others

This bill is entitled the Right to Repair Act. It seeks to require manufactures of digital and electronic products to provide diagnostic and repair information, parts, and tools to independent repair providers. 

Assigned to Senate Science and Technology Committee 2/27/2023


SR 314:

Sens. Anavitarte, Gooch, Anderson, Summers, Cowsert and others. 

This resolution will form the Senate Study Committee on the Benefits of Solar Energy in Georgia. It will report on the pros and cons of solar generated energy in the state of Georgia.  

Passed Senate Rules Committee on 3/23/2023


SB 349:

Sens. Hufstetler, Albers, Esteves, Echols, Anavitarte, and others. 

This bill is an omnibus tax bill. It deals with ad valorem taxation of property. It revises the limitations on setting mileage rates and provides a statewide homestead tax exemption from ad valorem taxes if the current year assessed value of a homestead is more than 3 percent from the adjusted base year value.

Assigned to Senate Finance Committee 1/11/2024


SB 352:

Sens. Anderson, Albers, Robertson, Williams, Payne, and others

This bill prohibits any motor vehicle from operating on any highway whose suspension has been elevated or lowered six inches above or below the manufacturer's recommendation for such vehicle. No motor vehicle may operate on any highway whose front frame is more than four inches above the rear of the vehicle.

Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee 1/12/2024



PAC Cookbook


We are looking for the best cooks and recipes in Georgia! The Public Policy Department is putting together a cookbook with recipes from those who know Georgians best...YOU!


We need your help gathering some of the most mouthwatering, delicious, treasured recipes you and your family gather around the table to enjoy. We invite you to submit your favorite and best recipes to be featured in the newest Georgia Farm Bureau cookbook. Click the button below to find out more information on how to submit your recipe, as well as how this cookbook will directly benefit the Georgia Farm Bureau Federal PAC. All submissions are due by January 26, 2024.

Click Here

Save the Date

January 15 - 2024 Georgia Dairy Conference

January 26 - 2024 UGA Ag Forecast

January 31 - GA Cotton Commission Annual Meeting/Workshop

February 5-6 - GFA Day at the Capitol

February 6-7 - GAC Annual Meeting & Legislative Breakfast

February 13 - GFB Day at the Capitol

February 14 - 4-H Day at the Capitol

February 27 - GA Citrus Association Annual Conference

March 13-15 - GA Cattlemen's Association Annual Convention

March 15 - FFA 17th Annual Blue & Gold Gala


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Thank you for taking an active role in staying up-to-date and informed on the developments at our State Capitol. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to any of our Public Policy Department Staff and we will be happy to assist you. 


Alex Bradford, Director

Adam Belflower, Governmental Affairs Specialist

Raynor Churchwell, Agricultural Programs Manager

Renee Jones, Operations Coordinator

Ben Parker, National Affairs Coordinator

Jeremy Taylor, Agricultural Programs Specialist

Keaton Walker,  Advocacy and Policy Development Specialist