Georgia “Chemistry Creates, America Competes” Resolutions Pass Committee in House, Senate

Support for regulatory reform is strong in Georgia! On Tuesday, March 19th, the House Regulated Industries Committee voted to pass GA HR 1356 (sponsored by Rep. Brad Thomas). On the Senate side, GA SR 703 (sponsored by Senator Russ Goodman) passed the Senate Economic Development & Tourism Committee on Thursday, March 14th.

Georgia HR 1356 and SR 703 are identical Resolutions expressing concern with regulatory overreach impacting the chemical industry that urge the Biden Administration, Congress, and federal agencies to reevaluate proposed restrictions targeting industry, ensuring that regulations are based on sound science, promote innovation, and support supply chain resiliency. The concern is not that the chemistry is being regulated; rather, that the proposed regulations are not science based, and, as a result several of the regulations either ban chemistries outright or regulate them at trace levels, which is a de facto ban on manufacturing.

The Senate version, SR 703, is sponsored by Senate Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell). Chairman Goodman is a 7th generation farmer who was first elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2020. His district, Senate District 8, is located in South Georgia near the Valdosta area. In addition to his duties as a committee Chairman, he also serves as a member of the Senate Natural Resources & Environment Committee, Senate Public Safety Committee, and the Senate Retirement Committee.

The House version, HR 1356, is sponsored by Representative Brad Thomas (R-Holly Springs). Representative Thomas was elected to the Georgia House in 2020, representing House District 21 (Cherokee County) north of Atlanta.  Representative Thomas is mechanical engineer and U.S. Navy veteran. Representative Thomas serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Technology & Infrastructure Innovation Committee and the Secretary of the Defense & Veterans Affairs Committee. He is a member of 5 other committees including the House Energy, Utilities, & Telecommunications Committee and the House Transportation Committee.

Chairman Goodman and Representative Thomas have long been supporters of our industry, and the Georgia Chemistry Council would like to extend our gratitude to both of them for all of their hard work on HR 1356 and SR 703.  

For more information on the “Chemistry Creates, America Competes” regulatory overreach campaign by the American Chemistry Council, please visit ChemistryCreates.org.

Governor Kemp Signs the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act

On August 5th, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the “Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act” putting new business liability protections into effect. This Act is similar to legislation that has been passed in other states such as Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The 2020 Session brought several liability bills to enact liability protections for businesses due to COVID-19, but ultimately it was the “Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act” (SB 359) that won final passage on June 26th.

This Act sets the standard that “no healthcare facility, healthcare provider, entity, or individual, shall be held liable for damages in an action involving a COVID-19 liability claim against such healthcare facility, healthcare provider, entity, or individual unless the claimant proves that the actions of the healthcare facility, healthcare provider, entity, or individual, showed: gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm”. Essentially, all covered entities have immunity from COVID-19 related liability claims unless the claimant is able to prove said entity acted with “gross negligence”.

Additionally, the Act provides that (except in cases where gross negligence is found) there is a “rebuttable presumption of assumption of the risk” by the claimant so long as the entity has posted a specific warning sign on its premises. This sign must be typed in at least one-inch (72pt) Arial font and placed separately from any other text or signage. It must state the following:

Warning
Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.

Regardless of if a warning is posted or not, the rebuttable presumption does not apply if the entity is found to have acted with “gross negligence”.

The liability protections under the “Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act” extend to “manufacturing, labeling, donating, or distributing personal protective equipment or sanitizer that is directly related to providing such personal protective equipment or sanitizer to claimant by any entity during a public health state of emergency for COVID-19, which departs from the normal manufacturing, labeling, donating, or distributing personal protective equipment of such entity that proximately results in injury to or death of a claimant”.

To view the full text of the “Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act” (SB 359), click here.

All cited language within this post was taken directly from the text of SB 359.