Governor Kemp Approves Law for Holding Event Promoters Accountable

On April 8, 2024, Senator Ben Watson (R–Savannah) and Representative Jesse Petrea (R–Savannah) announced that Governor Brian P. Kemp has signed Senate Bill 433 into law. The bill grants the City of Tybee Island and any other local government in the state the authority to hold promoters of unpermitted events accountable for resulting costs.

SB 443, sponsored by Senators Ben Watson, Derek Mallow (D–Savannah), and others, empowers local governments to pursue legal action against promoters or organizers of unpermitted events that cause public nuisances. These events impede the travel of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, or other government personnel acting officially. Local governments can seek reimbursement for costs associated with public safety, traffic management, and sanitation services on behalf of the public.

“I appreciate Governor Kemp’s support in signing Senate Bill 443 into law,” stated Sen. Watson. “Governor Kemp understands the importance of preventing situations where promoters circumvent local permitting processes, leaving citizens to bear the costs of responding to and cleaning up after unpermitted events.”

Rep. Petrea commented, “This common-sense legislation will incentivize promoters to collaborate with municipalities to obtain proper permits for hosting events. Promoters of unpermitted events must realize they are liable for any costs incurred due to problematic events they organize.”

Brian West, representing the City of Tybee Island, expressed gratitude, saying, “We welcome visitors and events to our wonderful city and appreciate the backing of Sen. Watson, Rep. Petrea, the Georgia legislature and Governor Kemp in providing this legal mechanism for Tybee to address the significant expenses of managing promoter-driven events that bypass the permitting process. While we hope not to invoke this law, it serves as a necessary tool when unpermitted events strain our public safety resources and burden our taxpayers financially.”

Additionally, Sen. Watson and Rep. Petrea, along with other members of the Chatham County Delegation, are pleased to announce that the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget, pending Governor Kemp’s signature, includes $4 million appropriated for the renourishment of Tybee Island beach.