Governor Brian P. Kemp signed SB 157 into law at the Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA) headquarters today before a group of community bankers from across the state.

SB 157 allows community banks, many of which are located in rural Georgia, to accept local government’s funds and allows these banks in turn to reinvest and loan monies back into their own communities and spur economic activity. Increased lending will spur business growth, jobs, and boost statewide economic activity. SB 157 was unanimously passed by the legislature during the 2019 legislative session.

CBA’s President and Chief Executive Officer John McNair stated, “We greatly appreciate Senator John Kennedy (R), Macon and Representative Dale Washburn (R), Macon, for guiding the bill through this legislative process. We are also thankful for our partnerships with National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), and the Association of County Commissioners (ACCG) in making this bill a possibility. SB 157 will change people’s lives, and all of us at CBA are proud, honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to impact Georgia’s community banking industry in this most positive manner!”

Community banks are the primary providers of credit and banking services throughout the state and play a vital role in helping the Kemp administration fulfill its objective of further developing and growing small businesses in Georgia. This bill will allow community banks to compete with large, mostly out-of-state banks, for local municipal accounts and deposits. Georgia’s community banks will be able to dramatically increase lending in their local markets thereby helping small businesses start and grow, funding homeownership as well as a variety of agriculture and consumer loans.

Governor Brian P. Kemp stated, “By supporting small businesses and local entrepreneurs, this legislation is another positive step toward a new day in rural Georgia. I thank the General Assembly and the Community Bankers Association for their hard work on this important issue and their efforts to bring greater prosperity to all corners of our state.”

“I am pleased and honored to have sponsored this legislation,” remarked Senator John F. Kennedy, (R), Macon. “This is a ‘win-win’ for all of Georgia, but especially rural Georgia, the local governments of Georgia and our banking community who serve our businesses and help so much with much needed economic development.”

“I’m so pleased to have been involved in the passage of this bill. It is a good, practical piece of legislation that benefits local governments, the banking community and economic development, especially in rural Georgia,” commented Representative Dale Washburn (R), Macon.

The ceremony began with remarks by CBA Chairman Mr. Tim Jones (Citizens Community Bank, Valdosta), Senator John F. Kennedy (bill sponsor), CBA President and CEO Mr. John McNair and CBA Director of Legislative Affairs Mrs. Lori Godfrey. The Governor offered remarks, signed SB 157 and visited with community bankers afterwards. CBA hosted a brief reception following the ceremony.

About Community Bankers Association of Georgia

Community Bankers Association of Georgia is a non-profit organization serving community banks throughout Georgia for 50 years to enhance their profitability and growth. CBA was founded in 1969 by a group of Georgia community bankers to protect the political interests of locally-owned community banks.

Representing 150 community banks and nearly 200 associate member companies, CBA offers services in four distinct areas which include political affairs, education, products & services and networking. For more information about the Association, visit or call (770) 541-4490

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