Home » legislative updates » Voices’ Legislative Update – 2/20/18

Voices’ Legislative Update – 2/20/18

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Last week, I could barely let go of my children.  One is 15 and one is 17.  I drove them to school and watched them walk into the building.  Gone were the tears I shed when each started kindergarten; gone were the long, skipping walks through the park on the way to elementary school; and gone were the throes and thrashes of middle school, with changing friend groups, clothing sizes and hair.  Present, however, was the realization that every moment with them is a gift, even when they are grumpy, angry or annoying, and even when they can’t bear to be seen with their mom (cue exasperated eye-roll).  I write this to you because in this great big world of things we can’t control, I just want you all to know that I am grateful to every one of you and to our combined work to improve our state for our children.  Your commitment to mental health services, child healthcare and safety, restorative justice, holistic learning and support, and ways to help children live in loving and forgiving families does not go unnoticed.  It is your tireless and thoughtful advocacy are the underpinnings of my belief that we can make things better, no matter how scary, hard or elusive the task.  Thank you all. Let’s keep it going.

 


 

To quote Monty Python: And now for something completely different…

 

Last week was #busyasaoneleggedmaninabuttkickingcontest. Why? Well, 1. #becausebudgetsneedtopass  and 2. #becausecrossoverdayisaweekfromWednesday and so #legislatorsneedtogetbillsgoing.

 

Regarding point #1, passing the FY 2019 budget is the one thing that the General Assembly is constitutionally required to do, so they are sorting through that.  FYI, the Senate passed their version of the amended FY 2018 budget last week and is now waiting on agreement from the House.  See below for Senate changes.

 

Regarding point #2, in case you have forgotten, Crossover Day is the last day when a bill can move from one chamber to another and still be viable for passage.  That means that everyone is eager to vet legislation in committee so it can get to the Rules Committee and get put on the calendar for a floor vote.  In short, it is a #sausagemakingstressfultime.

 

So please watch your emails this week for action alerts because it is likely to be #ahottimeintheoldstatehousetonight and because we need your voice to #makethingsgoodforkids.

 

As they also say in the UK – Bob’s your uncle!

 

Polly

 

 


“Get your acronym on” with this handy key!

CJCC = Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (attached to GBI)

CJCJ = Council of Juvenile Court Judges (attached to Juvenile Courts)

DBHDD = Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

DCS = Department of Community Supervision

DECAL = Department of Early Care and Learning

DHS = Department of Human Services (which houses DFCS = Department of Family and Children Services, as well as DCSS = Division of Child Support Services )

DJJ = Department of Juvenile Justice

DOE = Department of Education

DOL = Department of Labor

DOR = Department of Revenue

DPH = Department of Public Health

GBI = Georgia Bureau of Investigation

GDC = Georgia Department of Corrections

GDEcD = Department of Economic Development

GOSA = Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

GPDC = Georgia Public Defenders Council

GSFC = Georgia Student Finance Commission

PAC = Prosecuting Attorneys Council

TCSG = Technical College System of Georgia

USG = University System of Georgia


 

Child Health

  • $1 Million Added to the State Office of Rural Health to fund a grant program, as proposed in SB14 (2017 Session), to encourage health systems or primary care providers to purchase data analytic or electronic/digital population health tools to improve health outcomes in rural Georgia.
  • $40,000 Added to the House addition of $40,000 (bringing the total add to $80,000) for a statewide residency recruitment fair (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council)
  • $173,000 Subtracted from the Office of Children and Families (which is tasked with enhancing coordination and communication among providers and stakeholders of services to families)
  • Reduced the House addition of $750,000 to $658,000 (Which brings the total including the federal match to $1.316 million) to analyze the Medicaid delivery system to identify efficiencies and service delivery improvement opportunities
  • $25,000 Added (bringing the total for House and Senate additions to $100,000) for the State Office of Rural Health to conduct a request for proposal process to identify a postsecondary institution within the state as an appropriate location for the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council)

 

Child Welfare

  • $1.6 Million Added for legal services in Child Welfare Services under DHS
  • $550,000 Subtracted from the House add for design, construction and equipment for the new Division of Family and Children Services Building, Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County. (This action eliminated the House addition altogether.)
  • Budget Note: Change the name of the Child Care Services program to the Child Care Assistance program (DHS)

 

Juvenile Justice

  • $129,000 Added for one-time funding for startup costs for the culinary vocational program at Macon Youth Detention Center

 

Education

  • $1.5 Million Transferred from the Audio-Video Technology and Film Grants program to the Technology/Career Education program to provide funds for equipment grants to local school systems, and for grants for middle school STEM coding. Includes:
    • $1.25 million to increase funding for Technology/Career equipment grants
    • $500,000 to enhance needed STEM prep in rural communities by providing coding in 7th and 8th grades
  • $250,000 Added to purchase six more school buses, bringing the total number of buses from 194 to 204 and the total spend to $15.5 Million (Governor requested $15 Million; House Transferred from $500,000 GOSA to DOE; Senate added $250,000)
  • $125,000 Restored for the unfilled Residential Treatment Center program manager position with the expectation that the Department will fill the full-time position by July 1, 2018 (DOE) (House had removed $125,000 but the Senate restored it)
  • $111,000 Subtracted for Residential Treatment Facilities based on attendance
  • $188,000 Added for increased public school enrollment (QBE) (DOE) (Governor requested $86.6 Million and the Senate add brings the total to $86.8 Million)
  • $1.19 Million Subtracted from the Governor’s Requested add for Dual Enrollment (GSFC) (The Governor requested $10.75 Million; The Senate brought that total down to $9.56 Million)

 

Higher Education

  • $50,000 Subtracted for planning for the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovations (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council) (Governor requested $0; House added $75,000; Senate reduced to $25,000)

 

 


vulnerable youth

HB 344 (Dempsey-13th) Allows certain parties in a case concerning a child support order to request a genetic paternity test from the Department of Human Services. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

 

HB 654 (Beskin-54th) Adjusts provisions involving calculations of child support payments, so that in certain circumstances the court may allow for the use of separate worksheets to show the final child support amount to be paid for all such children and the adjusted amount of support to be paid as each child becomes ineligible to receive support. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 655 (Williams-145th) Requires every public school to post a sign containing the toll-free telephone number operated by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

HB 668 (Price-48th) Allows a petition for guardianship to be filed for a proposed ward who is 17 years old if the petitioner has a good faith reason to believe that the child will still need a guardian upon turning 18 years old. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 732 (Silcox-52nd) Expands the offense of trafficking an individual for sexual servitude to include individuals who pay for such servitude and solicit and pay for it from people 16 years old or older. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 762 (Cantrell-22nd) Requires annual age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in kindergarten through grade 9 and that professional learning and in-service training may include programs on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment to Senate Committee.

 

HB 834 (Ballinger-23rd) and HB 745 (Holcomb-81st) Allows a tenant to terminate his/her rental or lease agreement effective 30 days after providing the landlord with a written notice of termination when a civil family violence order or criminal family violence order has been issued. The notice must be accompanied by a copy of the applicable civil or criminal family violence order. STATUS: HB 834-House Judiciary Committee. HB 745-Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

 

HB 837 (Oliver-82nd) Requires each law enforcement agency to designate at least one law enforcement officer who is trained in trauma and victim response to receive all inquiries concerning sexual assault evidence kits and to serve as a liaison between the agency and victims of sexual assault. The bill also requires the Attorney General to develop, maintain, and publicly post a document concerning the rights of victims of sexual assault, which are listed in this legislation. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 883 (Hanson-80th) If a court issues an ex parte to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from violence, then the order shall remain in effect until the court issues an order dismissing such order or a hearing occurs in 45 days to determine the validity of the allegations. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 891 (Gilliard-167th) Prevents discrimination against blind persons by the courts, Department of Human Services, or a child-placing agency in matters relating to child custody, guardianship, visitation, placement, or adoption. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 897 (Efstration-104th) Revises the “Uniform Power of Attorney Act.” Provisions relevant to children currently state that when power of attorney is granted, that the person granted the power of attorney must perform the acts necessary to maintain the customary standard of living of the principal, the principal’s spouse, the principal’s minor children, the principal’s adult children who are pursuing a postsecondary school education and are under 25 years of age. This bill provides that, if there has been an established pattern of payments or an indicated a clear intent to make payments for the children or the adult descendants who are under 25 years of age, or not the principal’s children, and pursuing a postsecondary school education, those payments must be fulfilled and maintained appropriately. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 906 (Dempsey-13th) Excludes public disclosure of personal information of Division of Family and Children Services foster parents or former foster parents that reveal his or her home address, home telephone number, day and month of birth, social security number, insurance or medical information, mother’s birth name, credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, account number, utility account number, password used to access his or her account, financial data or information other than compensation by a government agency, or unlisted telephone number if so designated in a public record or that reveal the identity of his or her immediate family members or dependents. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

 

HB 920 (Dempsey-13th) Allows the Department of Human Services (particularly Division of Family and Children Services) to access information concerning an adopted child, the child’s biological parents, and the child’s adoptive parents may when, after the adoption, such child dies, suffers a near fatality, or is an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect. The department may also provide such information to the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children.  STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 927 (Nimmer-178th) Upon placement of a child, DFCS shall provide the caregiver, foster parent, pre-adoptive parent, or relative providing care for such child with the following information in writing: A copy of or recommendations from the child’s most recent physical and dental examinations and any available information on the child’s known medical conditions and current medications; the child’s most recent developmental assessment, trauma assessment, and psychological evaluation; any court scheduling order or the dates and times for any scheduled hearings relating to the child; and health insurance information for the child, including the child’s Medicaid number. In addition, DFCS must provide the caregiver with an explanation of the process for enrolling the child in school and any information necessary to complete the process; a description of any financial assistance for which the caregiver may be eligible, including any financial assistance available for child care; a description of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard defined in Code; and contact information for a county or district DFCS office. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

 

SB 337 (Unterman-45th) Expands acceptable testimony of a child’s description of sexual contact or physical abuse to include any motion made or hearing or trial in the past. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

 

SB 375 (Ligon-3rd) “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”-Allows a child-placing agency to decline to accept a referral from the Department of Human Services (Division of Family and Children Services) and to decline to perform services under a contract with the department based on the child-placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The bill also prevents department from discriminating against or causing any adverse action against a child-placing agency based on those religious beliefs. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this TUESDAY.

 

SB 427 (Kennedy-18th) Requires s court’s final determination of child support to take into account the obligor’s earnings, income, and other evidence of the obligor’s ability to pay (including whether or not the obligor is incarcerated). The court shall also consider the basic subsistence needs of the parents and the child for whom support is to be provided. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 429 (Brass-28th) Allows the Department of Family and Children Services to streamline the purchase of or purchase services for children or families to whom it is providing child welfare services by contracting with providers without competitive bidding. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

SR 774 (Stone-23rd) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Adoption Expenses. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

juvenile justice

 

HB 657 (Petrea-166th) Creates a felony charge and mandatory minimum of 1-5 years for anyone who knowingly and intentionally provides a firearm to someone who is on probation as a felony first offender or to any person who has been convicted of a felony in any state. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE.

 

HB 660 (Hanson-80th) Creates added categories and penalties for the commission of hate crimes. These crimes target a victim or his or her property because of the defendant’s belief regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 663 (Bennett- 94th) Creates added categories and penalties for the commission of hate crimes. These crimes target a victim or his or her property because of the defendant’s belief regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 670 (Powell-32nd) Adds one legislative representative to the Georgia State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision and clarifies that the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate each makes one such appointment. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill will be on the House Floor for a vote this TUESDAY.

 

HB 740 (Nix-69th) Requires local school systems to conduct a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, (unless the student possessed a weapon, drugs, or other dangerous instrument or his/her behavior endangers the physical safety of students or school personnel) for a student in pre-school through third grade prior to expelling or suspending for five or more consecutive or cumulative days. If the student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, then the school or program shall also convene an IEP or Section 504 meeting to review appropriate supports being provided as part of those plans. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

HB 763 (Nix-69th) Expands the student attendance protocol committees to assess school climate as well.  Also requires local boards of education to report aggregated student discipline data (in addition to student attendance rates) to the committee and the State Board of Education at the end of each school year. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE.

 

HB 765 (Thomas-56th) “C.J.’s Law”- Increases the mandatory minimum for hit and run accidents that result in death or serious injury to three years. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 890 (Fleming-121st) Makes it a misdemeanor to use an emergency exit after having shoplifted. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 910 (Rakestraw-19th) Increases penalties for causing an individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct or distribute any image, photograph, or video that depicts nudity, intimate parts, or sexually explicit conduct by transmitting a communication by any means. Exceptions are made for a variety of purposes. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

SB 145 (James-35th) Among other things, the bill revises the offense of rape for applicability to victims across genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations.   STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 315 (Thompson-14th) Defines the crime of unauthorized computer access, placing it alongside the crime of computer password disclosure. Denotes the penalty for these crimes as a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

SB 316 (Jackson-2nd) Creates added categories and penalties for the commission of hate crimes. These crimes target a victim or his or her property because of the defendant’s belief regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 347 (Kirk-13th) Makes it an offense of Criminal Trespass when someone intentionally defaces, mutilates, or defiles any grave marker, monument, or memorial recognizing one or more deceased persons. The bill also makes criminal trespass upon certain military graves, punishable as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 348 (Harper-7th) Allows campus policemen and other security personnel who are regular employees of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to have the power to make arrests for offenses committed upon any property under the jurisdiction of the TCSG and for offenses committed upon any public or private property within 500 feet of TCSG property. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

 

SB 368 (Kirk-13th) Allows the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to provide technical support and assistance, including equipment, grant funding, operations, training, or official local agency needs, to any local law enforcement agency when the council finds that the local law enforcement agency would otherwise lack access to adequate technical support and assistance. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

 

SB 407 (Strickland-17th) This year’s bill resulting from the Criminal Justice Reform Council – Among other things, the bill addresses provisions involving bail reform, data collection and sharing, and  citations for misdemeanors. It also clarifies matters relating to sentencing, first offender treatment, pay-only probation, and the use of community service. It addresses inmate access to Medicaid and increases certain penalties relating to the theft of, the use of an altered identification mark on, or the transfer of a firearm to certain individuals. The bill establishes the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board under the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 408 (Jackson-2nd) Requires a mental or behavioral health professional to be present at any law enforcement officer’s interview of an individual with autism or an autism spectrum disorder upon request of that individual or his/her parent or legal guardian. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee.

 

SB 449 (James-35th) Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from children under 17 years of age to children under 18 years of age. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

HB 161 (Price-48th) Provides that employees and agents of harm reduction organizations (an organization which provides direct assistance and services, such as syringe exchanges, drug treatment, and screening, to at-risk individuals to slow the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases among intravenous drug users) are not subject to certain offenses relating to hypodermic needles. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

 

HB 273 (Douglas-78th) Requires each local board of education to schedule a daily, 30-minute recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five. The recess must include supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. Local boards of education must establish policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience and that recess is scheduled so that it provides a break during academic learning. The bill also stipulates that the withholding of recess is not to be used as a punishment. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

 

HB 673 (Carson-46th) Prohibits driving while: conducting wireless communication without using a hands-free accessory, using more than a single touch or swipe of a finger on a wireless device to initiate or terminate communication; reaching for a wireless telecommunications device in such a manner that requires the driver to maneuver in such a way that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position properly restrained by a safety belt, watching motion upon the screen of a wireless telecommunications device other than those related to the functioning or navigation of the vehicle. Violation will be considered a misdemeanor and shall be punishable with a fine of at least $150.00. Upon a second offense the driver shall be required to complete a defensive driving course. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 678 (Smith-134th) Requires healthcare providers to tell patients which health insurance plans they accept before non-emergency treatment.  If they do not have an agreement with a patient’s health insurance provider, they must disclose the estimated amount the health care provider, group practice, diagnostic and treatment center, or health center will bill the patient or prospective patient for health care services when the patient asks. Information about who ancillary providers will be in the process of treatment must also be provided when asked.  Likewise, insurance providers must make accessible information which could help clients assess out-of-network costs. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

HB 743 (Clark-98th) “Jeremy Nelson and Nick Blakely Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act”-Requires the GA DOE to develop and post on its publicly accessible website guidelines and relevant materials to inform and educate student, parents, guardians and coaches participating in or desiring to participate in an interscholastic athletic activity about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. Public and private schools must also hold informational meetings in the subject and parents/guardians must sign a form acknowledging that they have reviewed the information.  Protocols are also established for removing students who faint, pass out or exhibit any other symptoms possibly related to cardiac issues from participation. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 764 (Clark-98th) Adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the conditions authorized for the use of low THC oil. The bill also provides for licensing for cultivation of cannabis for the purpose of producing, processing, and dispensing low THC oil in this state, establishes criteria for certain cultivation and production licenses and allows state postsecondary educational institutions to have the option to bid on production facility licenses. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 769 (Jasperse-11th) Creates the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability within the Department of Community Health’s (DCH) State Office of Rural Health, to be housed at a postsecondary institution within the state. It will serve as a central health data repository for collection and dissemination of health data from state health agencies, including but not limited to DCH, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, to conduct health data analytics to determine rural health care needs for planning purposes, including determining current and future health care work force needs. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 835 (Lott-122nd) Allows the issuance of special event tobacco permits to licensed dealers authorizing off-premise sales of certain tobacco products (cigars, cigarettes, or loose or smokeless tobacco) at special events or temporary locations. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Regulated Industries Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 844 (Houston-170th) Expands the membership of the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons from 7 to 10 members. It also creates a multiagency task force to establish a system of collaborative governance responsible for making recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor regarding improvements to the state-wide system of developmental and educational services that support age-appropriate language and literacy proficiency for children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth to third grade. The bill also provides for a statewide coordinated longitudinal data management system for all children who are deaf or hard of hearing and requires integrated and seamless services from birth through literacy. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this WEDNESDAY.

 

HB 847 (Chandler-105th) Allows Georgia to enter into an interstate compact known as the “Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact”, which is intended to regulate the day to day practice of telepsychology across state boundaries and to the temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology by psychologists across state boundaries for 30 days within a calendar year. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this TUESDAY.

 

HB 877 (Nimmer-178th) Reduces taxes on modified risk tobacco products (MRTP is a legal designation in the United States for a tobacco product that poses lower health risks to individual users and the population as a whole when compared to existing products on the market such as cigarettes). STATUS: House Ways & Means Committee.

 

HB 882 (Cantrell-22nd) Prevents an abortion provider or facility from obtaining a contractual waiver from the mother concerning her or the unborn child’s private right of action.  STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 895 (Cooper-43rd) Prohibits the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 909 (Silcox-52nd) Allows the Department of Public Health to establish separate criteria for perinatal facilities (meaning a hospital, clinic, or birthing center that provides maternal or neonatal health care services) levels of maternal care and neonatal care. Such criteria may include, without limitation, data collection and reporting, arrangements for patient transportation, and protocols for coordination with and referral of patients to and from other health care facilities. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee.

 

HB 914 (Parsons-44th) Distinguishes between violations of prohibition on overtaking a school bus as criminal and civil and provides for notice of such violations when evidenced through a video recording device or witnessed by a public safety officer. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 941 (Bazemore-63rd) Requires instruction on the best practices for, and risks associated with, the use of tampons in the course of study in sex education in the state core curriculum. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 943 (Mathiak-73rd) Requires health plans to provide coverage for less addictive opioids, opioid addiction treatments, and opioid alternative treatments. STATUS: House Hopper.

 

SB 235 (James-35th) Encourages local boards of education, nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, governing bodies of charter schools, and public recreation facilities to provide youth athletes participating in gridiron football with a helmet which has at least a four-star rating on the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings scale at the time of its use. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

 

SB 325 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Allows Georgia to join an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states. According to the bill, the Compact creates another pathway for licensure and does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act. It also affirms that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter, and therefore, requires the physician to be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

SB 351 (Unterman-45th) Allows advanced practice registered nurses to be eligible to engage as a licensed independent practitioner if primarily employed in a rural county in this state The bill also expands the authority for any such licensed independent practitioner to order computed tomography (CT) scans and to prescribe, procure, administer, dispense, and furnish pharmacological agents, including over-the-counter and controlled substances. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

SB 364 (Hufstetler-52nd) Authorizes a higher supervisory ratio for physician assistants who have completed a board approved anesthesiologist assistant program. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee9.

 

SB 424 (Lucas-26th) Establishes the Center for Rural Health Innovation and Sustainability. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

SB 437 (Payne-54th) Provides that when a minor child is a candidate for non-resuscitation, an order not to resuscitate shall be issued only with the oral or written consent of the minor’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

 

HB 494 (Dempsey-13th) Authorizes the use of hearsay in preliminary hearings regarding emergency closure of an early care and learning program or the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors and adds certain misdemeanors to the definition of “crime” for purposes of background checks. The bill also provides that background checks are not valid if an individual has been separated from employment from an early care and education program for more than 180 consecutive days. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this WEDNESDAY.

 

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. No vote was taken.

 

HR 1102 (Park-101st) Creates the House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Pre-K and After-School Programs. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

 

education

HB 482 (Cantrell-22nd) Georgia Educational Scholarship Act’- Allows state funds to deposited on behalf of a participating student and which may be used for qualified education expenses including tuition for private school up to age 22. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 739 (Williams-168th) Names the act requiring the Professional Standards Commission to adopt and implement a process for military spouses to qualify for temporary certificates or expedited certificates upon moving to the state  as the “Tracy Rainey Act”. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

HB 787 (Hilton-95th) Allows state charter schools may receive services from regional educational service agencies (RESAs); includes the use of flexible and student centered accountability systems in the principles and standards for charter school authorizers; develops individualized measures for virtual students beyond the sole reliance on standardized tests; changes the state charter supplement so it is based on the statewide average local revenue rather than the average of the lowest five school systems; adjusts the statewide average total capital revenue; and requires the capital revenue calculation be made for virtual charters if they provide computer hardware, software and the like. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 852 (Smith-41st) Allows a student who has attended a public school for more than half of the school year and who moves during the school year to another attendance zone within the local school system to continue to attend the initial public school through the completion of the school year; provided that the student has not had chronic disciplinary problems. The parent is responsible for transportation of the student to and from the school. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 853 (Dempsey-13th) Provides that children placed in psychiatric residential treatment facilities as a result of a physician’s order may not be charged tuition. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 874 (Teasley-37th) Requires charter schools to provide parents with fair and timely notice when any process is initiated which could lead to the closure or restructuring of a charter school. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HB 894 (Jones-25th) Permits state charter schools to receive services from regional educational service agencies and revises various funding parameters for state chartered special schools and state charter schools. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HB 905 (Clark-98th) Authorizes home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this WEDNESDAY.

 

HB 908 (Dickey-140th) Allows students who are 20 years old or older and who have not attained a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma to be eligible for enrollment in an approved state charter school until a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma  is attained or until the student or no longer resides in this state. The bill also provides for funding for such schools. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HB 922 (Carpenter-4th) Provides for freedom of religious speech for students and faculty members in public schools; for student protections in student expression, class assignments, organization of religious groups and activities, and limited public forums; for model policies by each local school system on student expression; for freedom of religious expression by faculty and employees of public schools while fulfilling the duties of their jobs. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

 

HB 926 (Beskin-54th) Requires each local school system to provide the Department of Education, information including statistics and data, relating to student health and physical education. By December 31, 2019, the State Board of Education must report on this information, and include a great deal to detail on physical education programs, their outcomes and functionality. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HB 928 (Williams-145th) Extends HOPE eligibility from 7 to 15 years from the end of high school for qualified active military personnel. The bill also expands options for HOPE grant recipients seeking an associate’s degree. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.

 

HB 932 (Benton-31st) Raises the age of mandatory education from 16 to 17. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this WEDNESDAY.

 

HB 936 (Stephens-164th) Prohibits a school year from beginning prior to the third week in August, with the exception of year-round schools. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HB 955 (Frye-118th) Requires HOPE grants to cover the full cost of tuition. STATUS: House Hopper.

 

SB 330 (Wilkinson-50th) Based the agricultural education program provided in this state on the nationally recognized three-component model of school based agricultural education: daily instruction in an organized classroom and lab environment; hands-on, real-world learning opportunities through the supervised agriculture experience (SAE) program; and leadership and learning opportunities through participation in the Future Farmers of America. The bill also requires the GA Department of Education to conduct a pilot program, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, for agricultural education in six elementary schools in this state with the goal of determining whether and how to implement an elementary agricultural education program state wide. The bill also requires the Professional Standards Commission to extend in-field certification for agricultural education to include kindergarten through grade five by July 1, 2018. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee. The bill will be on the Senate Floor for a vote this TUESDAY.

 

SB 339 (Ligon-3rd) Requires the establishment of free speech policies for institutions of the Georgia university system, including some specific language and criteria to be used in such policies. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.

 

SB 361 (Williams-27th) Provides for freedom of religious speech for students and faculty members in public schools; for student protections in student expression, class assignments, organization of religious groups and activities, and limited public forums; for model policies by each local school system on student expression; for freedom of religious expression by faculty and employees of public schools while fulfilling the duties of their jobs. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

SB 377 (Strickland-17th) Transfers the State Workforce Development Board from the Department of Economic Development to the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.

 

SB 384 (Williams-27th) Authorizes home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

SB 401 (Tippins-37th) Provides for guidance in career oriented aptitudes and career interests in developing an individual graduation plan. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

 

SB 405 (Millar-40th) Creates grants up to $1500 per semester for non-HOPE students whose family income does not exceed $48,000.00, is enrolled in an institution of the University System of Georgia, has received a Pell scholarship, achieved certain academic criteria, and is employed at least 15 hours per week during the semester.  STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.

 

SB 439 (Sims-12th) Adds penalties for budget deficits or irregular audit findings in local schools or school systems for three consecutive years. Penalties include withholding state funds and removal of school board members from office. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

SB 442 (Williams-27th) Creates a tax credit for certain school related expenses by an educator who is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, or aide in a qualified school for at least 810 hours during a taxable year. Qualified schools include public schools, private schools, home schools, preschools, and early care and education programs. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

 

HR 898 (Coleman-97th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process for public schools and school systems. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

 

HR 1122 (Nix-69th) and SR 828 (Dugan-30th) Recognizes February 28, 2018, as Afterschool Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Adopted.

 

HR 1162 (Coleman-97th) Creates the House Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process for public schools and school systems. STATUS: House Education Committee.

 

HR 354 (Kendrick-93rd) Urges the Georgia Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and mental health experts, to develop and provide to local school systems a list of training materials that would serve to increase awareness of mental health issues and behavioral and learning disabilities. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

SR 761(Millar-40th) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

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HB 473 (Kirby-114th) Expands the category of persons who can use service dogs. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

 

HB 605 (Spencer-180th) Changes provisions relating to the revival of certain claims involving childhood sexual abuse and provides for civil actions by the Attorney General under certain circumstances related to such. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 623 (Welch-110th) Allows the Georgia Crime Information Center to retain fingerprints of certain individuals under certain circumstances and submit such fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to beverages, banking and finance, civil practice, commerce and trade, criminal procedure, domestic relations, education, fire protection and safety, guardian and ward, health, insurance, law enforcement officers and agencies, mental health, military, emergency management, and veterans affairs, motor vehicles and traffic, penal institutions, professions and businesses, and social services. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

HB 703 (Hitchens-161st) Creates the Governor’s Office of Public Safety Support (assigned to the Department of Public Safety for administrative purposes). This office would provide counseling services or any other critical incident support services to all requesting public entities that employ public safety officers for incidents, including situations involving death or other tragedies. Counseling services would be for public safety officers or their immediate families. The Governor appoints the director. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 721 (Powell-32nd) Revises the criteria by which the Department of Driver Services authorizes licensed driver training schools to administer the on-the-road driving skills testing. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.

 

HB 831 (Rogers-10th) Creates the Employment First Georgia Council, to be administratively attached to the Department of Human Services. The Council would develop an employment first training plan for providers of services to individuals with disabilities, coordinate and conduct educational activities to increase awareness of the employment first policy, evaluate the funding mechanism for daytime services in the state for individuals with disabilities and for students attending inclusive postsecondary institutions.  STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this WEDNESDAY.

 

HB 913 (Lott-122nd) Creates the Governor’s Office of Public Safety Support (assigned to the Department of Public Safety for administrative purposes ). This office would provide counseling services or any other critical incident support services to all requesting public entities that employ public safety officers for incidents, including situations involving death or other tragedies. Counseling services would be for public safety officers or their immediate families. The Governor appoints the director. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

 

HB 951 (Shaw-176th) Creates the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation (to be physically located within a college or institution of the University System of Georgia which awards Bachelor of Science degrees in rural community development) to study the conditions, needs, issues, and problems affecting rural economic development and shall examine related policy areas as it may deem necessary and appropriate, including, but not limited to, population studies, access to health care, infrastructure, education, unemployment, and economic growth incentives. STATUS: House Small Business Development Committee.

 

HB 954 (Hilton-95th) Protects tenants who complain of unhealthy and unsafe housing conditions from being evicted, having their rent increased or their utilities cut off, and provides remedies for the violation. STATUS: House Hopper.

 

SB 402 (Gooch-51st) Provides for broadband services planning, deployment, and incentives, and authorization for the Department of Transportation to take certain actions to enable the rights of way of interstate highways to be used for the deployment of broadband and other communications technologies. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

 

SB 426 (Gooch-51st) “Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act”-Streamlines the deployment of wireless broadband in the public rights of way and limits the ability of local governing authorities to prohibit, regulate, or charge for use of public rights of way under certain circumstances. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

 

SB 435 (Beach-21st) Amends the procedures and penalties for passing a school bus. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee.

 

HR 1169 (Ballinger-23rd) Recognizes March 7, 2018, as Children’s Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Adopted.

 

 

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