How did consumers fare this legislative session?

Now that Sine Die, the last day of the legislative session, has passed, it’s time to take a look back at our legislative agenda and ask, how did consumers fare?

Oppose Legislation That Would Permit Abusive Debt Settlement Practices
HB 387, introduced back in February, did not pass out of the House Judiciary Sub-Committee. The bill was heard in both Banks & Banking as well as in Judiciary. After hearing arguments in favor of and against the bill, Representatives on both sides of the aisle raised many hard-hitting questions about the legislation. Ultimately, the bill did not move forward in either committee. Georgia Watch applauds committee members for not allowing abusive debt settlement into the State in 2015, but we will continue to watch this issue in the next session. Read more>

Financing Solar for Georgians (HB 57)
HB 57 passed the General Assembly on March 27th with great support from both the House and the Senate. We are very pleased that this bill will allow consumers to finance residential solar options in their homes that were previously inaccessible. We thank Representative Mike Dudgeon (R-John’s Creek) for his tireless efforts around the passage of this landmark legislation. Read more>

Protect Our Seniors (HB 72)
HB 72 was passed on Sine Die and will expand existing protections for seniors in the financial sector and increase access to the courts in cases where identity theft or scams are involved. We applaud Chairman Wendell Willard (R-51) and Chairman Renee Unterman (R-45) for putting forward this important extension of rights for our aging adults, and the Georgia Council on Aging for ensuring the integrity of this bill as it passed through the General Assembly. Read more>

Ensure SB 88 Fairly Discloses Payroll Card Fees and Alternatives to Employees
SB 88 passed the General Assembly on Sine Die, 43 yea to 8 nay. The final version of the bill included two major protections for consumers: 1) written disclosure of any fees that come with the prepaid payroll card at least 30 days before payroll is issued; and 2) the ability to opt out of receiving payment via payroll card in favor of paper check or direct deposit. Read more>

Guarantee that Insurance Companies Pay Claims to Consumers (HB 303)
House Bill 303 would have provided for increased recovery from the insurance company when a consumer (the insured) experiences damage by an uninsured motorist and the insurance company refuses to pay their claim covered under the law. This bill did not pass out of the House Judiciary Sub-Committee. Read more>

Oppose Patient Compensation Act (SB 86)
SB 86 would have limited access to the courts in cases of medical negligence. We are happy report that this bill never passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Read more>

Support Health Insurance Network Adequacy (SB 158/SR 561)
As anticipated, SB 158 did not pass during this legislative session. An off-session study committee will further analyze this issue and the proposed bill.

Nursing Home Bill Passed Has No Arbitration Provisions (HB 342)

HB 342 passed on March 31. As expected, the final version of the bill did not contain any arbitration provisions. Read more>