What bills from Georgia’s 2024 session will Kemp sign into law?

Gov. Brian Kemp has much to consider concerning bills that the General Assembly approved in the session that just ended. He has until May 7 to decide whether to sign them into law or veto them. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Gov. Brian Kemp has much to consider concerning bills that the General Assembly approved in the session that just ended. He has until May 7 to decide whether to sign them into law or veto them. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Georgia lawmakers approved dozens of measures during the legislative session that ended early Friday, leaving Gov. Brian Kemp with 40 days to make decisions on whether to sign, veto or allow legislation to become law.

The second-term Republican took a hands-off approach with most major bills during the session, intervening only on a handful of top priorities. Now he’ll have the chance to make his mark on a wide range of issues, such as tax policy, immigration and criminal justice procedures.

Already, he’s signed measures to combat antisemitism and give a state commission power to discipline “rogue” prosecutors. And he’s certain to approve a $36.1 billion budget that includes raises for teachers and state employees.

But he faces some tough decisions through the May 7 deadline over whether to sign bills or reject them — no idle threat under Kemp’s watch as governor.

He’s vetoed dozens of measures since he took office in 2019, including 14 bills in 2023. He also aggressively used his power to “disregard” expenditures last year, putting on hold more than $200 million in spending in the state budget.

Here’s a closer look at the pending measures on Kemp’s desk.

The budget and tax cuts

The governor is sure to sign a budget that preserves many of his priorities, including raises of $2,500 to $6,000 for Georgia’s roughly 300,000 teachers, education workers and state employees.

He also backed a measure to speed an income tax cut that would drop the rate to 5.39%. And he’s expected to support a proposal that capped increases on home assessments at the rate of inflation.

Election law

A former secretary of state, Kemp is particularly involved in election-related measures. And this year yielded several significant changes.

Senate Bill 368 would bar foreigners from making political donations to Georgia candidates, campaigns and political action committees, and it would require lobbyists and political consultants to disclose whether they’re agents of foreign entities.

State Sen. Greg Dolezal, R-Cumming, answers a question about Senate Bill 233, which would provide vouchers to public school students to attend private school. The measure now awaits Gov. Brian Kemp's signature to become law. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

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Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

And Senate Bill 189 would set new rules for challenging voters’ eligibility, move toward banning the use of QR codes to count ballots and potentially allow more third-party presidential candidates to land on Georgia’s ballot.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has threatened to challenge the measure in court if Kemp signs the bill.

Criminal justice

Georgia could continue heading back toward a lock-em-up criminal justice approach after years of passing policies that seek to avoid jail time for low-level offenses.

Under Senate Bill 63, Georgia would require cash bail for 30 new crimes, including trespassing and failure to appear for a traffic citation on the second offense. This measure, too, could yield legal challenges from civil rights groups.

Far less controversial are a new package of measures targeting human trafficking. Kemp’s wife, Marty Kemp, has led efforts to take aim at the scourge, and her proposals have passed with overwhelming or unanimous support.

Health care

For the first time in decades, Georgia’s certificate of need rules governing how and where hospitals and medical facilities can be built would get a major overhaul under House Bill 1339.

Gov. Brian Kemp tends to take a hands-off approach to work in the General Assembly while it's in session unless it's one of his high-priority issues. This session, he helped scuttle a bill that would have fully expanded Medicaid to provide health care coverage to 359,000 more Georgians, according to the health information organization KFF. Kemp helped develop a more limited plan that includes work requirements. Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

The proposal would loosen regulations for new hospital projects and expand a rural hospital tax credit program. Kemp stayed out of the debate over the measure, but he helped scuttle a proposal to fully expand Medicaid that would have neutered his more limited program.

Education and youth

At the start of the legislative session, Kemp said there were “no more next years” to pass a school voucher program. At his urging, lawmakers narrowly adopted a taxpayer-funded program under Senate Bill 233 that would send direct state subsidies to private schools for students in low-performing districts.

Separately, in the final minutes of the legislative session, state lawmakers cleared a measure that would require schools to teach students about the risks of social media and mandate that children under 16 get their parents’ permission to create accounts.

Under Senate Bill 351, Georgia would join a wave of other states that require parents to approve their children’s use of social media. It would also ban students from accessing social media accounts on school devices or equipment.


The governor was initially skeptical of new state-level crackdowns on illegal immigration, saying in an interview that he’d rather see federal lawmakers toughen penalties on drug traffickers and President Joe Biden take executive action to secure the U.S. border.

That changed after the killing of Laken Riley, the 22-year-old nursing student who was slain on the University of Georgia’s campus. Authorities charged a Venezuelan national suspected of being in the U.S. illegally with murder, and Kemp joined others in backing new calls for immigration measures in Georgia.

That yielded House Bill 1105, which would require sheriffs to coordinate with federal authorities to enforce immigration laws and would punish them if they don’t.

 FILE — Attendees hold signs bearing a photo of Laken Riley during a rally for former President Donald Trump earlier this month in Rome. A Venezuelan national who authorities say entered the country illegally has been charged with murder in Riley's death. The case helped drive a push for immigration legislation during the General Assembly's legislative session that just ended. (Nicole Craine/The New York Times)

Credit: NYT

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Credit: NYT