What bills from Georgia’s 2023 session will Brian Kemp sign into law?

Gov. Brian Kemp has 40 days since the end of the 2023 legislative session to decide which bills he will sign into law and which pieces of legislation he will veto.  (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Gov. Brian Kemp has 40 days since the end of the 2023 legislative session to decide which bills he will sign into law and which pieces of legislation he will veto. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

The end of the legislative session marks the start of a 40-day window for Gov. Brian Kemp to decide which measures he’ll sign into law and which he’ll veto.

The Republican hasn’t been shy about using his red pen, nixing 14 measures in 2019 and eight more since then.

Even so, many of the most closely watched measures that reached his desk this year are either already in the books or are almost assured to earn his signature.

He’s already approved a new law that would limit health care treatments for transgender children. And he’s signed a midyear spending plan that includes a property tax cut of nearly $1 billion, along with a separate $1 billion income tax rebate.

A number of measures are also destined to be law, starting with a $32.4 billion budget that includes raises for teachers and other state employees.

But Kemp’s stance on other proposals is unclear, as he’s preferred to take a more behind-the-scenes approach during his first legislative session since winning another term.

The budget

The $32.4 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes raises for state employees and teachers, plus $600 million for construction projects. House Bill 19 was the one bill lawmakers had to pass before the end of the session, but Senate lawmakers slashed $66 million in higher education funding over Kemp’s objection.

Outlook: Kemp is certain to sign the measure, though he has the power to strike some of the spending through a line-item veto. He’s said there are “significant holes” in the budget, and he could target Senate priorities.

Prosecutor oversight

A new state board would be responsible for punishing or ousting district attorneys who skirt their duties under Senate Bill 92. The bill’s supporters say they want to crack down on “rogue prosecutors” whom they see as inept or corrupt, but critics say it could be used to target progressive district attorneys.

Also enmeshed in the debate is Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who sees the legislation as a racist attack on minority prosecutors and a retaliation of her ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s bid to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat in Georgia.

Outlook: The governor has endorsed the measure and is expected to sign it.

Election law

State lawmakers voted along party lines to make it a felony for county election offices to receive money from nonprofit organizations, a move triggered by Republican complaints that donations disproportionately benefited Democratic-leaning areas.

The measure, Senate Bill 222, was the most contentious election-related proposal up for debate at the Georgia Capitol this year, and it was pushed by Republicans after DeKalb County received a $2 million grant in January from a group vilified by some conservatives.

Outlook: Kemp is expected to sign the measure.

Truck weights

After heated debate, the General Assembly narrowly approved a compromise to allow heavier trucks on Georgia highways for two years. House Bill 189 would allow trucks carrying agricultural and forestry products to weigh up to 88,000 pounds, up from 80,000 pounds.

Outlook: Kemp has been tightlipped about the measure.

Digital downloads

Georgians would pay sales taxes when they download books, video games and music under Senate Bill 56. According to state estimates, the digital download tax provision is expected to bring in more than $200 million a year by fiscal 2028. However, legislators said other provisions in the measure would save many taxpayers money.

Outlook: Kemp has generally opposed tax hikes, but he hasn’t signaled his view on this measure.


Lawmakers want to rewrite how students learn to read. Under House Bill 538, schools would be mandated to screen young students on their reading skills and required to offer new coursework for those who are lagging behind.

Outlook: Kemp is expected to sign the measure.


At the urging of state health officials, legislators approved a proposal to restrict vaping in public spaces by treating it the same way the state regulates smoking. Senate Bill 47 carries a minimum fine of $100 for violators.

Outlook: The governor hasn’t sent any smoke signals, but his administration lobbied for the change.

Electric vehicles

Ahead of an expected boom in electric vehicles, lawmakers overhauled how the state taxes the power used by EVs. Senate Bill 146 would also regulate electric-vehicle chargers much as the state regulates gasoline pumps. And it would let convenience stores and other businesses sell electricity by the kilowatt hour.

Outlook: Kemp is a champion of the EV industry and is expected to sign the legislation.

TikTok ban

Social media services such as TikTok would be banned from state employee phones and devices if they’re owned by “foreign adversaries,” including China. Under Senate Bill 93, Kemp’s directive last year restricting the social media app would be codified.

Outlook: Kemp is expected to sign the legislation.