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Voices’ Legislative Update – 2/6/17

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Lots of times, the capitol reminds me of a big huge version of “Career Day” at my kids’ school. One day the halls are lined with doctors in scrubs, the next day we are surrounded by university cheerleaders and people dressed up like dogs.  I’ve seen airline pilots, motorcyclists, statues of liberty and my share of peanuts with arms. Some days everyone wears purple to raise awareness about domestic violence, and then others, the place is crawling with firemen. You just hope that the crematory association and the fire guys don’t show up on the same day.

This past Thursday the halls and chambers were awash in red and black. I assumed that was in support of ladybugs, but come to find out the Falcons are in the Super Bowl. Who knew?  All week I’ve been driving around assuming that there was a bread-baker convention in town because the words “Rise up” are all over the place. Silly me.

Believe it or not, in spite of all the excitement about this or that, a fair amount of work actually gets done up there in “the people’s house.”  This week the Senate worked on vetting the FY 2017 Amended budget while the House had hearings on the FY 2018 budget. A few bills were taken up in committee and a few even voted on in the Chambers. One important morsel of legislation that passed was the resolution setting the legislative day schedule for the rest of the legislative session.  You can check out which days they are “in” here.

As far as child highlights, the dental hygiene bills (HB 154 and SB 12) progressed. The House version was recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee (and is now waiting in the Rules Committee, where it may be selected to get a vote on the House floor), and a similar bill passed out of a Senate HHS Healthcare Delivery subcommittee and is awaiting a vote by the full committee.  Very exciting!  There are an awful lot of children in our state who need preventive dental care.

There were also hearings on the use of childcare subsidies (SB 97) (which illustrated how expensive and important quality childcare is for children 0-12 as well as for Georgia’s workforce), and what to do about alleged felonies which happen on college campuses (HB 51 ) (the debate delving into, among other things, the nitty-gritty about college disciplinary procedures, mandatory reporting and victims rights.)

Additionally, there was a substantive hearing on HB 53, which seeks to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction.  This is a pretty groovy idea, when you consider that right now, when a 17-year-old is alleged to have committed any sort of crime, that child must appear in adult court, no matter what.  By raising the age to 18, a 17-year-old would instead be under the jurisdiction of juvenile court, where the court is more likely to respond with services and plans to help a child and family address the root causes of the misbehavior.  In fact, knowing that the executive (read: “rational and discerning”) function part of the human brain is not fully developed until a person reaches his or her mid-twenties, there are a number of folks who would like to see responses to misbehavior for the 17-25 age group be redesigned with the brain in mind (and yes, that was a TERRIBLE – and intended – pun and rhyme).  FYI, under HB 53, the most serious violent offenses, such as murder, rape and the like, would remain as they are now, in adult court, for anyone 13 and over.

I could go on and on, but will spare you since, obviously, you all can read the summaries below.  Also, don’t forget to register (or just show up!) for the Voices Legislative Reception honoring the Georgia Bureau of Investigation this Tuesday evening (2/7).  Don’t worry – we won’t fingerprint you upon arrival.  But we will give you an hors d’oeuvre or three and something to drink.


vulnerable youth

HB 32 (Chandler-105th) Prohibits sexual contact between school employees or agents and students enrolled at the school employing the adult.  STATUS: This bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Tuesday afternoon.

HB 52 (Oliver-82nd) Adds legal custodians to the list of caregivers eligible to accept Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on behalf of the child in their custody. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

HB 75 (Willard-51st) Exempts from public disclosure (open records) child abuse records that contain information provided by law enforcement or prosecutors related to criminal prosecution of a particular case. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee.

HB 86 (Oliver-82nd) Adds acts involving trafficking a person for sexual servitude to the definition of sexual abuse in the code section delineating requirements for mandatory reporting of child abuse. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

HB 124 (Clark-98th) Moves section of law from the code section related to social services (Title 49) to one related to fraud (Title 16). The bill also defines “Food instrument” as a voucher, check, electronic benefits transfer card, coupon, or other document that is used to obtain public assistance, and defines “Public assistance” as “payment in or by money, medical care, remedial care, goods, or services to or for the benefit of needy persons.” The bill also adds a provision to current law which makes it a misdemeanor to aid anyone who is committing public assistance fraud. STATUS: This bill will be heard in the Reeves Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Tuesday morning.

HB 159 (Reeves-34th) Substantially revises general provisions applicable to adoptions, including provisions regarding the following: allowing a nonresident to allow an adoption of his or her child, adoption of foreign-born children, waiver to revoke a surrender of parental rights, the age for individuals to access the Adoption Reunion Registry, and the annulment of an adoption under certain circumstances. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 177 (Marin-96th) Requires each department, agency, board, commission, or authority of the state or any political subdivision to take reasonable steps to provide equal access to public services for individuals with limited English proficiency. The bill tasks Department of Human Services, in consultation with the office of the Attorney General, to provide central coordination and technical assistance to state entities to ensure implementation. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs.

HB 212 (Beskin-54th) Allows the court or jury to remove work related child care costs from the calculation of child support, and divide the work related child care costs pro rata, to be paid within time specified in the final child support order STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 242 (Prince-127th) Requires the Department of Family and Children Services to notify the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program in the event of a report of child abuse by a military parent or guardian. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 4 (Unterman-45th) Establishes the Georgia Mental Health Treatment Task Force to study the effectiveness of the services and health care programs currently available to individuals with, or at risk for, serious mental illness; and to understand the feasibility of using a Medicaid waiver to improve treatment for those with serious mental illness and, if appropriate, enable the General Assembly to make an informed decision as to whether the state should seek a Section 1115 waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services or apply for Medicaid block grant funding for mental health treatment and services. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 39 (Unterman-45th) Increases the penalty provisions relating to pimping and pandering.  The bill also requires registration on the State Sexual Offender Registry when an individual is convicted for the second time for pandering. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 63 (Tate-38th) Creates a program to compensate in part for the wage loss sustained by any individual who is unable to work due to such individual’s own sickness or injury, the sickness or injury of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a new child, and creates the Family Medical Leave Fund which consists of contributions required of individuals and their employers. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

SB 104 (James-35th) Adds government buildings to the list of locations required to post the human trafficking hotline notice and requires government entities to have a hyperlink to the human trafficking hotline model notice on their websites.  The bill also deletes the sunset provision for posting of the notice in all of the designated locations. STATUS: Senate Institutions and Property.

juvenile justice

HB 5 (Caldwell-20th) Change provisions relating to state compensation of juvenile court judges, including the amounts paid to counties by the state for such. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

HB 34 (Petrea-166th) Among other things, the bill makes open records of reports, files, records, and information of certain probationers, parolees, and offenders convicted of a serious offense; removes certain duties from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles pertaining to determining and taking action on violations of parole gives them to the superior court that imposed the sentence; removes the duty of supervision of parolees from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and gives it to the Department of Community Supervision; requires certain notices and a public hearing before an offender may be released on parole, be granted a pardon, or have a death sentence commuted; removes certain duties from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles pertaining to issuance of subpoenas and gives them to the district attorney. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

HB 53 (Oliver-82nd) Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from children under 17 years of age to children under 18 years of age. STATUS: Heard (withut vote) by the House Juvenile Justice Committee.

HB 67 (Boddie-62nd) Increases punishment for entering an automobile or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony, requiring a sentence of 1 to 15 years and a maximum fine $100,000.00; the first year of the sentence can not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld and shall run consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Does not permit the judge to have discretion to impose a lesser punishment. STATUS: This bill will be heard in the Reeves Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Tuesday morning.

HB 116 (Reeves-34th) Gives superior court exclusive jurisdiction for cases involving aggravated assault involving the use of a firearm and aggravated battery. The bill allows a superior court the discretion to transfer such cases back to juvenile court unless the victim was a police officers or over 65 years old. The bill also adds aggravated assault upon an emergency health worker as a class A designated felony. STATUS: This bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Tuesday afternoon.

HB 151 (Waites-60th) Prohibits the use of individual mechanical restraints, including handcuffs and shackles, on an inmate while she is experiencing labor or during delivery or post-delivery recovery unless it is necessary to prevent the inmate from injuring herself or others. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

HB 213 (Golick-40th) Adds fentanyl to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 105 (Jones-22nd) Makes possession of possession of two ounces or less of marijuana constitute a misdemeanor. Possession of half an ounce or less is punishable by a fine of $300. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SR 146 (Kennedy-18th) Constitutional amendment providing for certain rights for victims who have suffered or been harmed due to a criminal act by an adult or juvenile. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 65 (Peake-141st) Adds Tourette’s syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, intractable pain (and provides a definition), post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) to the list of conditions treatable with Low THC oil.  The bill also eliminates the one-year waiting period for new Georgia residents and physicians’ quarterly reporting requirements. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 154 (Cooper-43rd) and SB 12 (Unterman-45th) Allows licensed dental hygienists in certain school settings to apply topical fluoride and perform the application of sealants and oral prophylaxis under general supervision, with written permission of the student’s parent or guardian. They may also, without prior written permission of the student’s parent or guardian, provide oral hygiene instruction and counseling. School settings shall include only schools that are Title I schools under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools in which at least 65 % of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price lunch under federal guidelines, Head Start programs, and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. Licensed dental hygienists may also perform in other specified safety net setting such as nursing homes and hospitals. (FYI, ‘General supervision’ means that a licensed dentist has authorized appropriate duties of a licensed dental hygienist but does not require that a licensed dentist be present when such duties are performed.)  A licensed dentist may only authorize up to four licensed dental hygienists to provide dental hygiene services in such settings. A hygienist can not perform any dental hygiene services on a patient that has dental pain or clearly visible evidence of widespread dental disease. In such cases, the hygienist must immediately refer the patient to the authorizing licensed dentist for clinical examination and treatment. The licensed dental hygienist shall notate such patient’s file and the patient shall not be eligible to receive dental hygiene services until a licensed dentist provides written authorization for such.  STATUS:  HB 154 – Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee; SB 12 Recommended Do Pass by the Healthcare Delivery Subcommittee of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 173 (Chandler-105th) Adds licensed marriage and family therapists to the list of professionals who can perform emergency examinations of persons for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse. STATUS: House Health and Human Services.

HB 184 (Boddie-62nd) “Georgia Pregnant Workers Fairness Act”- Requires employers to provide for reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees for circumstances related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. The bill also  requires the Department of Labor to develop courses and educate the public on such accommodations. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee.

HB 198 (Dempsey-13th) Requires local school systems to provide information to parents and guardians of students in grades 6-12 on influenza and its vaccine whenever other health information is provided. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 200 (Newton-123rd) Requires local boards of education to adopt policies authorizing students to carry and self-administer sunscreen STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 228 (Raffensperger-50th) “Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Act.”-Requires private health insurance plans to cover the costs for hearing aids for children under 19 years old. The cost cannot to exceed $3,000.00 per hearing aid. The plans must also cover replacement hearing aids every 48 months or sooner if the aid fails to work for certain reasons. STATUS: House Insurance Committee.

HB 241 (Hawkins-27th) Adds Krabbe disease to the list of metabolic and genetic conditions for which a newborn may be screened at the request of the parents.  Parents would pay for the screening. STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 246 (Cantrell-22nd) Eliminates the sunset provision for Georgia SHAPE (which is a annual fitness assessment program administered by public schools). STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 40 (Unterman-45th) Allows Emergency medical services personnel, such as  emergency medical technicians, cardiac technicians, paramedics, or first responders, to  transport any person within the county directly to an emergency receiving facility if they have responded to an emergency and believe that it is in the best interest of the person and the public to do such. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 61 (Tate-38th) Creates a Georgia Family Planning Initiative program within the Department of Public Health, with service for low income women and infants prioritized. Services may include long-term birth control and related counseling, breast and cervical cancer screening, pregnancy testing and counseling, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing; and other patient education and referrals. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 81 (Unterman-45th) “Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr., Act”-Among other things, this bill permanently increases access to Naloxone (a drug used to treat opioid overdoses) by allowing the state health officer to issue a standing order permitting certain persons, entities, or categories of persons or entities, to obtain opioid antagonists under such conditions as the state health officer may impose. The bill also changes from weekly to daily reporting by pharmacists on prescription information for controlled substances. Except in certain circumstances, a prescriber can not issue a prescription for a Schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substance for a minor for more than a five-day supply at any time. The prescriber must discuss the risks associated with the use of the controlled substance, including the risk of addiction and overdose associated with such controlled substance and the dangers of taking it with alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other central nervous system depressants. Such consultation with a minor and the custodial parent, guardian, person having legal custody of the minor, or other person present at the time of such consultation shall include the medical need for the prescription. The bill requires the Department of Community Health to collect data and report back to leadership in the General Assembly on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.  Additionally, the bill requires inspections for all licensed narcotic treatment programs in the state, as well as patient outcome data from narcotic treatment programs be reported to the Department of Community Health on a monthly basis. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 88 (Mullis-53rd) Sets standards for narcotics treatment programs, and prioritizes treatment of drug-dependent pregnant women. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities.

SB 94 (Fort-39th) “Bou Bou’s Law” – Limits the use of no-knock search warrants. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 118 (Unterman-45th) Changes the age limit for coverage for autism spectrum disorders for an individual covered under a policy or contract from six years old or under to 21 years old or under. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

SB 121 (Miller-49th) The state health officer may issue a standing order permitting certain persons and entities, to obtain opioid antagonists under such conditions as the state health officer may impose. Such an order shall have statewide effect. Every pharmacy must keep a record of every opioid antagonist dispensed as a result of the standing order and maintain the record for two years, but pharmacists are not required to submit this information to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.  STATUS: Senate Hopper.

HR 57 (Carter-175th) Creates the Joint Elementary and Secondary School Nutrition Programs Study Committee. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

HR 182 (Raffensperger-50th) Urges the Governor to negotiate with federal authorities to receive a waiver creating per capita block grant funding to be used for indigent health care. STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 166 (Price-48th) Allows an operator of a licensed family child care learning home, who executes an affidavit stating that he/she is the operator of a family child care learning home, to be excused or deferred from jury duty. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 250 (Ballinger-23rd) Allows an employee of an early care and education program who has received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination within the previous 24 months to be exempt from submitting applications for an additional background check for purposes of providing care to children placed in a foster home. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 24 (McKoon-29th) Exempts from licensure nursery schools, playschools, kindergarten programs, and other educational programs who serve children 0-2 years old for four consecutive hours per day and up to 20 hours per week. (Current exemption rules limit 0-2 year-olds to four hours per day up to 8 hours per week.) STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 97 (Parent-42nd) Changes the Georgia child care plan for child care subsidies so that a parent who is attending a job training or educational program may receive child care assistance for up to 24 consecutive months. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 98 (Parent-42nd) Allows capital outlay funds to be used for educational facilities for voluntary pre-kindergarten programs in public schools. The bill also allows the state Board of Education to include pre-kindergarten in student projection counts. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

education

HB 37 (Ehrhart-36th) Prohibits private postsecondary institution in Georgia from enacting, adopting, implementing, or enforcing any sanctuary policy. Failure to obey results in the withholding of state funding or state administered federal funding (other than funds to provide services specified in subsection (d) of Code Section 50-36-1). This includes funds provided to the private postsecondary institution directly as well as funding for scholarships, loans, and grants for students. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee.

HB 51 (Ehrhart-36th) Requires employees of post-secondary institutions to report felony crimes committed on campus by or to students to law enforcement or the local district attorney. STATUS: House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee.

HB 77 (Kendrick-93rd) Requires the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and mental health experts, develop and provide a list of training materials for awareness in mental health, behavioral disabilities, and learning disabilities to all local school systems. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 114 (Dickey-140th) Prohibits local school systems from excluding eligible “Move On When Ready” high school students taking one or more dual credit  (post-secondary) courses from being eligible for valedictorian and salutatorian of their class. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 139 (Belton-112th) Requires local boards of education and state charter schools to make readily accessible to the public a great deal of school site budget and expenditure information for each school unless specifically made confidential by law, including data on the types of students served. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 148 (Glanton-75th) Provides for unique identifiers for students who are children of military personnel. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 170 (Jones-53rd) “Student Online Personal Information Protection Act” – prohibit operators of educational sites, services, and applications from using personally identifiable student information or materials, in any media or format for advertising, profiling students, or selling a student’s identifying information. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 178 (Belton-112th) Requires each local school system to earn funding to pay the beginning salaries for one school counselor for every 200 military students in the local school system, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. Each school counselor for military students must spend at least 50% of his or her time counseling or advising military students and their parents. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 179 (Raffensperger-50th) Changes the eligibility requirements for HOPE scholarships, HOPE grants, and Zell Miller Scholarships  regarding scores on standardized college admission tests for home study students and students graduating from ineligible high schools. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

HB 194 (Jones-25th) Requires counties and municipalities to consider the effect of a proposed zoning action on local school systems and the potential overcrowding of schools within that system.  STATUS: House Governmental Affairs.

HB 211 (Beskin-54th) Creates an annual tax credit for up to five years for taxpayers who purchase, own, and occupy a dwelling that qualifies for a homestead exemption located within a school attendance zone assigned to a public elementary school that is among the lowest 5% of academic achievement public elementary schools in the state. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee.

HB 216 (Buckner-137th) Gives preferences to Georgia companies and those who employ Georgians when state entities are bidding Georgia service providers and certain supplies, materials, equipment, and agricultural products grown, manufactured, or produced in this state.  The bill also requires local boards of education require that a local school system, when issuing a request for a competitive bid, to consider information relating to the effects on employment within this state. No bid shall be considered unless accompanied by an employment impact statement. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs.

HB 217 (Carson-46th) Increases the amount of the aggregate cap on contributions to school scholarship organizations in order to receive income tax credits from $58 million to $180 Million by the end of 2021.  The bill also limits the total amount of tax credits approved for C corporations, trusts, or other similar entities that qualify for the credit to 20% of total tax credits. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee.

HB 222 (Blackmon-146th) Allows members of the Georgia National Guard or the armed forces of the United States located in Georgia to be classified as a legal residents of Georgia for the purposes of eligibility for the HOPE scholarship or grant. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

HB 223 (Waites-60th) Requires each local board of education which operates a school with grades 9- 12 to provide an elective course in driver education and training for one-half unit of credit. The course must be taught by a driving instructor who is licensed by the Department of Driver Services or approved by the Professional Standards Commission with a Safety and Driver Education endorsement.  The bill also raises the minimum age for the issuance of certain licenses and permits. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 224 (Belton-112th) Allows the parent of a military student to enroll the child in a public school located where the student resides in  military base or off-base military housing. The parent is responsible for and cost of transportation of the student to and from the school. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 229 (Dollar-45th) Limits yearly tuition and student fee increases within the University System of Georgia to zero or the rate of inflation as published by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.  The bill also allows the fees to be waived by the Senate Higher Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Higher Education.  Such a waiver may be granted in the event of recession, decline in state appropriations, change in institutional mission, consolidation, or any other circumstance which such committees deem appropriate. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

HB 230 (Burnough-77th) Requires that otherwise eligible schools or programs
which receive funds from School Scholarship Organizations maintain nondiscriminatory practices in hiring or admission on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or gender-related characteristics. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

HB 236 (Teasley-37th) Increases the amount of the aggregate cap on contributions to school scholarship organizations in order to receive income tax credits from $58 million to $150 Million by the end of 2019, and then by $7.5 million per year for each following year.  The bill also increases the application window for the scholarships from one to two times per year. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee.

HB 237 (Coleman-97th) Allows authorize the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation to receive private donations( tax deductible) to be used for grants to public schools. The bill caps the aggregate amount of tax credits allowed at $15 million per tax year. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 3 (Tippins-37th) Enacts the “Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act” which would provide for industry credentialing for students grades 6 through 12 who complete certain focused programs of study in work based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education, service learning, or employability skill development.  The Georgia Department of Education would work with the Technical College System of Georgia and industry to develop such credentialing.  STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 5 (Cowsert-46th) Requires the lottery to return 26% of gross sales to the state in fiscal year 2018, 28% in 2019, and 30% in 2020. If ticket sales in any year drop by 5% or more, the percent return would be frozen and no further increase would be required. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.

SB 68 (Hill-6th) Creates an individual student education account, which is a consumer driven savings account composed of state funds accrued on behalf of an eligible student and which may be used for qualifying educational expenses, including future postsecondary education expenses, as well as payment that a parent could use for private school, curriculum materials, postsecondary instruction, etc.  Seems to be a sort of voucher program. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 76 (Black-8th) Allows an agreement between a county school system and one or more independent school systems within the county to decide how net proceeds of the sales tax for educational purposes shall be distributed. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 77 (Fort-39th) Raises the upper age of mandatory school attendance from 16 to 17 years of age. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 82 (Jackson-2nd) Creates a need based HOPE scholarship and grant for eligible students whose family’s annual gross income is less than $75,000 for the prior 24 month period, or is solely responsible for his or her own care, custody, and earnings and has not been claimed by a parent as a dependent on the federal or state income tax returns for a period of 24 months immediately prior to the first day of classes for which the scholarship or grant is to be awarded; and has an annual gross income of less than $75,000.00.   STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 83 (Jackson-2nd) Raises the age of mandatory education for children from 16 to 17 1/2. The bill also changes the age a person is eligible for adult literacy training from 16 to 17 1/2. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

SB 113 (McKoon-29th) Allows automatic eligibility for a HOPE scholarship to the children of law enforcement officers, firefighters, or prison guards who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.

HR 58 (Taylor-79th) A constitutional amendment authorizing any municipality in the State to establish by local law an independent school system. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs.

HR 101 (Chandler-105th) Creates the House Study Committee on College Course Credit. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

SR 95 (Black-8th) Constitutional Amendment to allow an agreement between a county school system and one or more independent school systems within the county to decide how net proceeds of the sales tax for educational purposes can be distributed. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HR 159 (Dollar-45th) Constitutional Amendment to limits yearly tuition and student fee increases within the University System of Georgia to zero or the rate of inflation as published by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.  The bill also allows the fees to be waived by the Senate Higher Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Higher Education.  Such a waiver may be granted in the event of recession, decline in state appropriations, change in institutional mission, consolidation, or any other circumstance which such committees deem appropriate. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

misc

HB 9 (Blackmon-146th) Prohibits any individual to, knowingly and without the consent of the person (16 years or older) observed, use or install a device for the purpose of videotaping, filming, photographing, or video recording under or through such person’s clothing, for the purpose of viewing the body of or the undergarments worn by such person, under circumstances in which such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Dissemination of such material is also unlawful.  STATUS: This bill will be heard in the Reeves Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Tuesday morning.

HB 121 (Efstration-104th) Change provisions relating to minor or unborn beneficiaries of trusts, among other things. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee.

HB 123 (Scott-76th) Requires that tattoo consent forms include a warning notification that certain tattoos could disqualify the wearer from military service. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee.

HB 136 (Carter-175th) Alters certain law regarding drives licenses and permits.  The bill, among other things, allows any person who applies for a driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit shall indicate on the application whether he or she is in possession of any other valid driver’s license or permit including one from any other jurisdiction. Additionally, the Department of Driver Services shall issue a receipt to a person eligible to be issued a driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit which satisfy the requirements regarding proof of eligibility to operate a motor vehicle until the person has received his or her permanent driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit. Any person who willfully fails to surrender any valid driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit shall be considered to have committed an act of fraud.  The bill also removes requirement that a visually impaired parent or legal guardian must have previously held a valid driver’s license in order for his or her minor child to operate a motor vehicle.  STATUS: This bill will be heard in the House Motor Vehicles Committee Tuesday afternoon.

HB 175 (Cox-108th) Permits counties and municipalities by resolution or ordinance to reduce the prohibited distances from school buildings, school grounds, college campus, or housing authority property in which eating establishments may sell beer and wine for consumption on the premises. STATUS: Regulated Industries.

SB 45 (Walker-20th) Prohibits any individual to, knowingly and without the consent of the person (16 years or older) observed, use or install a device for the purpose of videotaping, filming, photographing, or video recording under or through such person’s clothing, for the purpose of viewing the body of or the undergarments worn by such person, under circumstances in which such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Dissemination of such material is also unlawful. First violation is a misdemeanor, and second violation is a felony, punishable by a sentence of 1-5 years, $100,000 fine or both. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 110 (Fort-39th) Reduces the minimum age requirement to hold civil office from 21 to 18. STATUS: Senate Ethics Committee.

SR 105 (Heath-31st) Constitutional amendment allowing religious or faith based organizations to receive public aid, directly or indirectly for the provision of social services. STATUS: Senate Government Oversight Committee.

SR 130 (Hufstetler-52nd) Creates the Joint Transparency and Open Access in Government Study Committee. The goal is to evaluate ways the state can appropriately, efficiently, and securely share data between and within state agencies to allow for quicker, more impactful cross-agency analysis, thereby allowing policymakers to make quicker, more informed decisions. STATUS: Senate Science and Technology.

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