2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Georgia

Written by Louis Messier

The Georgia General Assembly adjourned in the early hours of March 29 after a marathon 40th and final day of session, marking the end of the 2023-2024 biennium. 2,107 bills were introduced, not including resolutions. Governor Brian Kemp (R) honored his call for expanded funding for education and public safety as well as an accelerated reduction in the state income tax.

Here is what you may have missed:

Social Media and Sports Betting

Georgia followed the slew of other states (Florida, Idaho, Kansas, and Kentucky) in passing online or social media age verification requirements during this session. Under SB 351, social media platforms will be required to ensure users under the age of 16 obtain parental consent before they are allowed to create a profile. The bill also prohibits access to social media sites using school computers. Similar age verification bills are pending in Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Two sports betting bills failed as lawmakers were again unable to agree on revenue allocation. SR 579, a resolution to allow voters to decide on whether to allow sports gambling in the state, failed to get the requisite two-thirds support for constitutional amendments. The other half of the proposal, SB 386, became stuck in the House Higher Education Committee as members debated which education programs to funnel revenue towards.

Tax Incentives

Going into 2024, the state’s generous tax incentives were expected to be under the microscope after an extensive interim review in 2023. The Republican chairs of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees had both been vocal about their intent to reevaluate the state’s well-known film production tax credit, which, by some estimates, costs taxpayers $1 billion annually in lost tax revenue. HB 1180 would have required film and TV production companies to increase their base investment and meet several additional criteria to qualify for the credit. However, these changes were controversial, and the measure was amended to create an exemption for the industry’s largest production companies before passing the House. This capitulation signaled fading support for the bill, and HB 1180 stalled in the Senate. Despite a last-minute attempt on Thursday night, it failed to pass. Lawmakers successfully paused another high-cost tax incentive program. HB 1192 suspends the sales and use tax exemption for data centers through 2026. The bill initially proposed to end the program altogether following a report from Georgia Power that energy demanded by high-tech data centers is putting an immense strain on the grid and is responsible for 80% of new electricity demand. HB 1192 received significant bipartisan support with many lawmakers critical of the return-on-investment data centers provide to the state. It currently awaits approval from Governor Brian Kemp (R).


The legislature passed the $36.1 billion FY 2025 budget with significant investments in education. These include teacher salary increases, substantial funding for the Georgia Pre-K program, and a $243 overall increase in education funding because of enrollment increases. Beyond education, state employees received a 4% salary increase and over $2 billion was appropriated for infrastructure projects. Governor Kemp spoke highly of the package, stating “the investments made in this budget will help us keep Georgia the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”

Looking Ahead

Tax incentives and sports betting will likely emerge again as contentious issues in 2025. The current political tenor also means public safety and immigration issues will be front and center for Governor Kemp who has two years left in his second term. Democrats will be electing new leadership for  next session following the announcement that both Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler and House Minority Leader James Beverly will be departing the legislature.

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