LISTEN: GPB's Sarah Kallis delivers the Capitol Report for Day 17 of the 2024 Georgia legislative session.


Lawmakers debated several contentious bills in both chambers today, and agreed on tax reform bills.  

The House passed a series of bills dealing with tax reform today, including an income tax cut.  

Members unanimously approved House Bill 1015, which reduces Georgia’s income tax from 5.49% to 5.39%.

They also OK'd a bill that doubles Georgia’s homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000, and another bill that increases the child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000.  

A bill seeking to create a new city in Gwinnett County called Mulberry sparked debate.  

Senate Bill 333 would allow voters in unincorporated northeastern Gwinnett County to form the new city of Mulberry. 

But not everyone supported the measure. Several Democrats representing Gwinnett spoke in opposition of SB 333. They said that the feasibility of creating a new city has not been thoroughly explored.  

The bill ended up passing 101 to 63. It now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk to be signed into law.  

Another contentious debate, this time in the Senate, ensued over SB 362. At stake: whether the state can control how businesses who negotiate state tax incentives deal, can allow labor unions to form. 

The bill, which wouldn’t affect any deals the state negotiates until after Jan. 1, 2025, would require that businesses keep employee information private, and only allow a union vote by secret ballot.   

But Democrats said this bill is just another attempt to keep unions from forming in the first place and that it violates federal labor laws. 

After three hours of debate the bill passed 31-23 along party lines, though with Republican Sen. Colton Moore voting with the Democrats.

The Carter Center hosted the first annual Mental Health Parity Day at the capitol, announcing the result of a yearlong campaign to spread awareness and implement the mental health parity law.  

Lawmakers say it’s a good first step, but more mental health legislation is still needed. 

Lawmakers will re-convene tomorrow morning for Day 18. A Senate special comittee investigating Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to meet for the first time.