What new laws took effect January 1, 2024?

What new laws took effect January 1, 2024?

By Adjoa Danso

The 2024 legislative session is officially underway, but first, let’s review what changes we have to look forward to this year. Once the House and Senate of the Georgia General Assembly approved a bill, these bits of legislation went to the governor’s desk for a signature. Last year, Gov. Brian Kemp signed more than 300 pieces of legislation into law. Several of them went into effect on July 1, 2023, but some are just going into effect this year. As of Mon., Jan. 1, 2024, here are new the laws on Georgia’s books, and how they affect residents:


    • Income tax cuts (HB 1437): This year, income taxes will decrease to 5.49 percent. The rate will continue to drop 0.1 percent every year for the next five years before settling at 4.99 percent in 2029. The new legislation also increases exemptions on tax returns. Taxpayers could save a collective total of $1 billion under the new law. Speedier decreases could be on the way if legislators accept Gov. Kemp’s proposal this session.
    • Consumer Access to Contracted Healthcare Act (SB 20): The CATCH Act changed a previous law around health insurance and in-network care. Now, providers must follow new standards to make in-network physicians, metal health professionals, substance abuse treatment, pharmacies, and labs more accessible for patients.
    • Mental Health Parity Act (HB 1013): Under this act, health insurance plans are required to treat coverage for mental health and substance abuse services the same as they treat coverage for physical ailments. Coverage extends to dependents and significant others, too.
    • Online Automatic Renewal Transparency Act (SB 528): This piece of legislation means companies are now required to get consumers’ consent before deducting money for online subscriptions — and to make the cancellation process easier.
    • Training for 911 operators (SB 505): This law establishes new standards for 911 operators, including annual training on how to give CPR instructions over the phone, compliance reviews, and continuing education. By 2025, anyone who hopes to be a 911 operator will need to complete the necessary trainings.
  • Izzy’s Law (SB 107): Named in remembrance of 4-year-old Israel Scott, who drowned during a 2022 swimming lesson, the law requires the Georgia Department of Health to have established an aquatic safety plan by the start of this year. The safety plan will take effect by April 1, will be reviewed every five years and will be required for every swim instructor before getting into the pool for lessons.
    • Contracts for minority, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses (HB 128): Meant to pave a smoother road for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses seeking state contracts, the new law increases access to state certifications for qualifying enterprises.
    • Access to limited driving permits (HB 120): Certain drivers who’ve had their license suspended now have easier access to limited driving permits. Such permits are restricted to use for driving to and from work, medical appointments, school or college, substance abuse support programs and more. Limited permits can be revoked if the driver breaks driving laws, violates the conditions under which they received the permit, or fails to pay child support.
  • License plate changes (HB 175): Georgians have more options for license plates now, including specialty plates for members of the Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities; plates designated for state constitutional officers and Public Service Commission members; and special plates for retired members of the active reserve components and Georgia National Guard. Additionally, disabled veterans no longer need to have a certain license plate to be eligible for tax exemption.
  • Waived ambulance fees (HB 453): This law repeals the requirement for every ambulance service in the state to pay an annual license fee. It also repeals any laws that contradict the struck requirement.

Commercial Financing Disclosure Law (SB 90): As of Jan. 1, Georgia is the fifth state to require certain lenders, such as banks and credit unions, to file disclosure statements for “commercial financing transactions” of $500,000 or less.

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