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Welcome to the HBAG Legislative Update for Week 4 of the Georgia General Assembly’s 2017 Legislative Session. Week 4 contained four legislative days, which means we’re already through day 12 of 40. The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business held their 2017 Economic Outlook in Athens on Wednesday. Dean Benjamin Ayers said “The 2017 outlook for the state of Georgia is quite good; jobs will be plentiful, income will rise, and housing prices have recovered to pre-recession levels.” All great news for the residential construction industry. GAC also met this week at the HBAG office on Thursday 2/2.

GAC got updates on the progress of our legislative initiatives: building design controls and tree ordinances. Both bills are still early in the process and haven’t been assigned a “bill number” yet. SB 2 - The FAST Act - was the main topic of discussion among committee members yet again. GAC members were provided with a first draft of suggested edits to the bill - including striking the “start-up” language, ensuring the reforms will be applied to existing businesses and adding more specific metrics to be used when determining a local government’s Building and Infrastructure Transparency Score. HBAG has submitted these notes to the bill’s sponsor and will continue to provide input throughout the process. GAC took a position on several new bills:

• HB 94, HB 95, HB 99, HB 111 - Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) - four placeholder bills for the House Ways & Means Committee. MONITOR
• HB 120 - Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) - updates Georgia’s laws regulating notaries, including new provisions about electronic documents. MONITOR
• HB 182 - Rep. Winfred Dukes (D-Albany) - prohibits employers from requiring credit checks as part of an employment application. MONITOR
• HB 183 - Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella) - re-establishes the Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council. MONITOR
• HB 194 - Rep. Todd Jones (R-Cumming) - requires zoning boards to consider the potential for overcrowded schools when approving an application for re-zoning. OPPOSE
• SB 86 - Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) - clarifies that the confirmation notice of a foreclosure sale is not “waivable” by any party. MONITOR

The Home Builders Association of Georgia is represented at the state capitol by Government Affairs Director Austin Hackney and our contract lobbying team of Troutman Sanders Strategies - principally Sam Hill. Please contact Austin at ahackney@hbag.org with any questions or concerns about the legislature and HBAG’s Government Affairs Committee.

REMINDER: The 2017 Legislative Rally & Winter Board Meeting will take place at the state capitol on February 21 and will follow a similar agenda as in year’s past. Please mark your calendar and plan on joining your fellow HBAG members as we meet with our legislators and push our legislative agenda. Visit www.hbag.org to register for this event. Take the time now to contact your legislator and set up a meeting - your participation as a local constituent is what makes this event so effective.

GAC will meet next week - Thursday February 9 at 11:00 am at the HBAG office in Atlanta. A meeting notice with an agenda, tracking sheet, and last meeting’s minutes will be forthcoming.

**Legislative updates can also be found at http://www.hbag.org/current-legislation.html
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