- 1 - Allows competitive contracts to be enforced in Georgia courts
Shall the Constitution o f G e o r g i a b e amended so as to make Georgia more e c o n o m i c a l l y c o m p e t i t ive b y a u t h o r i z i n g l e g i s l a t i o n t o uphold reasonable c o m p e t i t i v e agreements?" This proposal provides an exception to the current constitutional provision which prohibits the General Assembly from authorizing any contract or agreement which may have the effect of or which is intended to have the effect of defeating or lessening competition. Under the proposal, the General Assembly would be empowered to authorize and provide by general law for judicial enforcement of cont r a c t s or agre ement s r e st r ic ting or regula ting competitive activities between or among: (a) employers and employees; (b) distributors and manufacturers; (c) lessors and lessees; (d) partnerships and partners; (e) franchisors and franchisees; (f) sellers and purchasers of a business or commercial enterprise; or (g) two or more employers. This would inc lude legisla tive authority to grant to courts by general law the power to "blue-pencil" or limit the duration, geographic area, and scope of prohibited activities provided in a contract or agre ement re st r ic ting or regulating competitive activities in order to render such contract or agreement reasonable under the circumstances for which it was made. The General Assembly has enacted a law to exercise the authority granted by the proposed constitutional amendment. This law will become effective only if the constitutional amendment is ratified by the voters. This law is published at Georgia Laws 2009, p. 231, and was enacted by 2009 House Bill 173, Act No. 64. Examples of contracts which would be authorized by the law include, but are not limited to: (1) an agreement by an employee to refrain from competing with the employer after termination of employment; and (2) an agreement by a seller not to compete with the seller's customer or solicit business from customers of the seller's customer. A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection.