Legislative Update

Lynne O'Brien A labor of Love

Lynne O’Brien


By: Lynne O’Brien, Director of Corporate Real Estate at The Coca-Cola Company, and Claire Ross, Associate of Agency Leasing at JLL

Frances Phillips Calhoun, Division Manager of Fulton County’s Department of External Affairs provided an overview of the 2017 Session of the Georgia General Assembly during CREW Atlanta’s April luncheon program.  Of particular interest, Ms. Calhoun collected stamps as a young girl and one of her “sheros” was Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African-American woman to be appointed to a Cabinet position. Ms. Harris served a Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Carter.  Ms. Calhoun so admired Secretary Harris that she advocated to have her image placed on a U.S. postage stamp. She succeeded!  The 33-cent stamp, featuring Secretary Harris, was issued on January 27, 2000!

Claire Ross UCREW

Claire Ross

Ms. Calhoun began her presentation with a video highlighting some of the key pieces of legislation before the General Assembly this year. After the video, she discussed several specific issues, including work being done by ARC in relation to MARTA. She also discussed the School Turnaround bill, work being done by the Council for Quality Growth and the City of South Fulton’s billion dollar infrastructure plan.  Another important piece of legislation this year aims to bring uniformity to the State’s “hodge podge” of 911 networks.  Ms. Calhoun also discussed implications of the hospital providers or “bed tax” bill and the dental service access bill.

Proposed legislation of interest for the 2018 General Assembly are predicted to be focused on transportation, casinos and technology, and the bills noted below could have an impact on Commercial Real Estate (CRE) development.


  • House Bill 134 (TSPLOST):
    • Local government can utilize fractional sales tax in one lump sum to pay for transportation projects
      • CRE Impact: Supports road infrastructure and city development
        • Passed Legislature
  • House Bill 158:
    • Authorize casinos to operate gambling facilities in Georgia
      • CRE Impact: Representatives of the Bill hope to donate funds toward the HOPE scholarship and create greater tourism revenue
        • In House Committee
  • Senate Bill 6:
    • Create a 19-member Georgia Regional Transit Council to oversee Georgia transit
      • CRE Impact: Provides a structured committee to oversee the future of transportation in Georgia
        • Passed Senate, House Committee
  • Senate Bill 219:
    • Allow pilot projects for driverless cars on public roads in certain areas.
      • CRE Impact: The future of the parking deck and congestion on Georgia roads
        • Passed Legislature.

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