From the State House to Your House

With the legislative session at an end, it is important to take a look at some of the laws that passed that might affect our clients.

House Bill 112 is an extension of liability relief for healthcare providers, facilities, and businesses that was originally passed in 2020 as Senate Bill 359 and is was scheduled to sunset on July 14, 2021.  The Bill extends liability protections for an additional year until July 14, 2022.

House Bill 593 increases the standard deduction for Georgians paying state income tax. This economic recovery bill is targeted to allow Georgians to keep more of their taxable income starting in tax year 2022. 

House Bill 307 is known as “The Georgia Telehealth Act” and authorizes healthcare professionals to provide telemedicine services from home. It would also make it possible for patients to receive telemedicine services from home, work, or school without first requiring an in-person visit. This bill would allow the prescribing of medicine post-visit, prohibit separate deductibles, and require virtual visits to be as thorough and consistent as with an in-person visit.

House Bill 34 allows audiologists and speech pathologists to maintain their license to practice in Georgia through an interstate compact that would recognize other member state licenses.  Similarly, House Bill 268 increases public access to occupational therapists by recognizing other states’ licenses in allowing these practitioners to operate in Georgia. Additionally, House Bill 395 increases public access to professional counselors by recognizing other states’ licenses in allowing these practitioners to operate in Georgia.

Senate Bill 168 allows the board of directors of a corporation to determine that an annual shareholders’ meeting may be held virtually, in whole or in part, unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise. This increased flexibility is a continuation of the Governor’s executive action that has been successful during the pandemic state of emergency and should give corporations additional flexibility to operate in an increasingly-digital age.

Senate Bill 185 is designed to level the playing field for taxpayers in disputes with the Department of Revenue. The bill allows the Tax Tribunal Judge more flexibility in taxpayer dispute cases and frees them from an administrative rule requiring them to defer to Department interpretations of ambiguous laws.

House Bill 317 updates the definition of an innkeeper to include marketplace facilitators, like Airbnb and VRBO, and extends the $5.00 hotel/motel fee to these entities.

If you have any questions about any of these laws, or any other legal issue, do not hesitate to contact us.