AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The City of Augusta opened its doors to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and his wife Marty. The Peach State leader came to the Garden City to announce new state laws that will help the economy.

“House Bill 128 will be the first piece of legislation,” Gov. Kemp said ahead of the bill signing. “It’s going to streamline and expand access to state certification for minority, women and veteran owned businesses as they navigate the procurement process for contracts.”

Now signed into law, Governor Kemp said House Bill 128 cuts red tape and and supports small businesses. He said it will also increase competition among businesses. The goal is to ensure state contracts come at the lowest cost, and benefit taxpayers.

“This legislation enables property owners to replace an existing manufactured home with a newly built manufactured home without running into bureaucratic restrictions,” the governor stated.

Senate Bill 213 was also signed by Gov. Kemp in a room full of state and local leaders. The bill, sponsored by several senators including Sen. Max Burns, comes in handy when a natural disaster or fire impacts a manufactured home or mobile home and you need to replace it.

“If your home burns down, you’re only going to get a check from your insurance company for the amount of your home. $150,000 might get you a new manufactured home and they deserve that opportunity, but it won’t build you a 2,000 sq. ft. stick built home, right? So people were essentially homeless,” Brad Mock, Government Affairs Director for Georgia Association of Realtors told NewsChannel 6.

And when zoning issues cause problems for those mobile home owners, the new law helps there too.

Mock added, “Maybe you bought that manufactured home in 2003. And maybe by 2015 the zoning had changed. So, your square footage isn’t big enough or the length of your home isn’t long enough. There’s something that doesn’t fit the new zoning. That would keep you from replacing your home.”

Jimmy Cotty, Executive Director of Georgia Manufactured Housing Association also weighed in on the new law. “There’s roughly 360,000 manufactured homes on the ground in Georgia. Many of them are probably situated in an area where they couldn’t be replaced. Just from a business standpoint, the ability to replace those homes becomes a whole new market.”

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps