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Voices’ Legislative Update – 3/5

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Hello there.

Well, Crossover day has ended; the smoke has cleared and the sun has returned. The world is still spinning and my daughter still thinks I am an inadequate parent because I don’t know her blood type. The dog chewed a hole in my new rug and the capitol still smells like coffee and barbeque. The Laundry Fairies did not visit, nor the Income Tax Elves, so I guess we are about as back to normal as we can get. Now it’s time to gear up for the month-long slog to the finish line.

So what does that look like in real life? It looks like the final agreement on and passage of the FY 2018 amended budget (expected this week), and further vetting and ultimate passage of the Big Budget (FY 2019) by both chambers. Most of the bills that crossed will get a good going over in the second chamber, while the bills that did not cross will be sad, hopeless and only worth the paper they are printed on – unless their sponsors and champions can find a way to amend their language to bills that did cross and are likely to pass. The bills that the amendments land on are referred to as “vehicles” and not to be confused with planes, trains, automobiles, or shopping carts (though they can resemble the latter as stuff gets tacked on in that desperate time between now and the last day, Sine Die.)

What else is afoot other than a recurring desire to doze off in the warmth of room 132 or light a fire in the arctic tundra of 341?  A number of things, thanks for asking!

Get Georgia Reading Day is this Monday, as is the press conference where Governor Deal will sign House Bill 159, also known as “The Adoption Bill.” Many of you have advocated for this over the last two years, so YAY TEAM!

In case you had forgotten, Monday is followed by Tuesday, which happens to also be the day of the 25th birthday party for Georgia Pre-K.  If you want to sing along with some of the four-year-old cutie-pies that love Pre-K, click here (60 sec) or here (30 sec jazzy one).

Tuesday is followed by Wednesday, which just so happens to be Children’s Day at the Capitol (See the action alert at the end for details).

The rest of the week will stumble along until Friday comes and then after the 32nd legislative day ends, I’ll gallop home, eat a chocolate bar, remind my daughter that I still don’t know her blood type and then, finally, take a nap.

See you in the chow line.

Polly

 

 


 

juvenile justice

 

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: House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 259 (Powell-32nd) Gives superior court exclusive jurisdiction for cases involving children 13-17 years old charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery. The bill gives discretion to the superior court to transfer such cases back to juvenile court. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

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. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 765 (Thomas-56th) “C.J.’s Law”-Changes the mandatory minimum for hit and run accidents that result in death or serious injury to one to ten years. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 802 (Willard-51st) Prevents the court from imposing a sentence of death or life without parole in any case in which the death penalty is sought, if the defendant was under 18 years of age when the crime was committed. The bill also provide for retroactive parole consideration of inmates serving prison sentences for a crime committed when the inmate was less than 18 years of age. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 842 (Mathiak-73rd) Allows merchants to offer persons suspected of theft an opportunity to complete a theft education program in lieu of prosecution. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 857 (Dreyer-59th) Grants incarcerated females access to feminine hygiene products and medical information concerning menopause and any other health issue related to being a female. The bill also states that a pregnant inmate shall not be required to squat or cough during a strip search and except certain circumstances, male custodians shall not be in viewing proximity where female inmates bathe, shower, or are in a state of partial or full undress. In addition, only female custodians shall conduct pat-down searches of female inmates and that custodians undergo gender sensitivity and trauma training. The location of an inmate’s spouse, child, stepchild, parent, and stepparent shall be considered when determining the location of the facility in which to place her. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 865 (Paris-142nd) Makes it a misdemeanor to possess two ounces or less of marijuana (current law is one ounce). Also changes the fine for one-half ounce or less to $300. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 890 (Fleming-121st) Makes it a misdemeanor to use an emergency exit after having shoplifted. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary 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. The bill did not cross over.

HB 966 (Oliver-82nd) Prohibits the use of restraints on a child in a courtroom unless the judge believes they are necessary for various reasons. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 968 (Jackson-128th) Requires the transfer of probation supervision to the judicial circuit of the county in which the defendant resides in the case of misdemeanor offenses. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 981 (Willard-51st) Limits public access to records regarding certain convictions.STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

SB 217 (Stone-23rd) Any person employed or appointed as a municipal probation officer on or after July 1, 2017, shall not be authorized to exercise the power of arrest as a municipal probation officer unless that person is certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards Training Council. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

SB 326 (James-35th) Provides that prior to posting bail for a juvenile or receiving a child from the custody of DJJ, a person, adult blood relative, or stepparent shall file a sworn and notarized affidavit with the court stating that he or she has legal custody of the alleged delinquent child or that he or she is an adult blood relative or stepparent. The bill also requires a criminal history records check of those arrested to determine if the person is classified as a wanted or missing person or is reasonably believed to be subjected to labor or sexual servitude.  The bill also requires personnel rendering patient care in a hospital or related institution to receive written material on industry best practices in recognizing signs typically displayed by persons who have been or are being subjected to labor or sexual servitude, and requires the GBI to collect information which would assist in the identification of any person believed to be subjected to labor or sexual servitude. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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 Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HR 1260 (Ballinger-23rd) Creates the House Study Committee on Juvenile Court Judges. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SR 902 (James-35th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Revising the Applicability and Nomenclature of the Offense of Rape. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

 

vulnerable youth

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, revocation of a surrender of parental rights, the age for individuals to access the Adoption Reunion Registry, living expenses paid to a birth mother, and the annulment of an adoption under certain circumstances. The bill now includes power of attorney provisions with some safeguards to help ensure the child safety. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. PASSED SENATE. The bill is expected to get signed into law by the governor this MONDAY.

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 Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 746 (Holcomb-81st) 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. The bill did not cross over.

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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 834 (Ballinger-23rd) 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary 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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 958 (Belton-112th) Department of Community Health shall develop a sign to be posted at any medical facility stating that the facility is an authorized location to leave a newborn child. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 972 (Willard-51st) Allows the Division of Family and Children Services to offer extended care youth services to youths between 18 and 21 years of age, provided that extended care youth services are in the best interests of such child, adopting a transition plan for such child, ensuring the provision of developmentally appropriate services and supports consistent with such plans, and determining whether reasonable efforts are being made to transition such child to living independently.  A child may terminate a voluntary placement agreement and stop receiving extended care youth services at any time. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 982 (Nimmer-178th) States that if the court finds, within six months of the date of such child’s removal from his or her home, that the diligent search efforts by DFCS have not resulted in identification of any relatives or fictive kin who are willing to provide a permanent home for such child, and that removal of the child from the foster parent would be detrimental to such child’s emotional well-being, the court may excuse DFCS from the continuing duty to search for relatives or fictive kin. The bill also states that DFCS can file a petition to terminate parental rights if the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of DFCS for a cumulative period of 12 months or longer and the parent substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances that caused the child to be in foster care. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 983 (Price-48th) Requires DFCS protocol to include a requirement that on a third or subsequent allegation of child abuse, a pediatric physician or other appropriate medical personnel shall provide a medical review of the case and a medical evaluation of the child, if deemed necessary by the physician or medical personnel.  STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 131 (Tillery-19th) Requires adoption proceedings be stayed while an appeal of an order to terminate parental rights (TPR) is pending until such order becomes final by the conclusion of appellate proceedings or the time limit for seeking such a review expires. The bill was amended to add the following considerations for determining TPR: whether it is in the child’s best interest to delay integration into a stable and permanent home environment; the effect of a lack of a stable and permanent home environment on the child’s safety, well-being, or physical, mental, or emotional health; and if the child’s future physical, mental, moral, or emotional well-being would be harmed. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. PASSED HOUSE by substitute, so must return to the Senate for agreement.

SB 236 (James-35th) Allows the prosecuting attorney to provide a copy of the traffic citation and all pertinent documents to the county department of family and children services when certain offenders are convicted for endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in order to aid in an investigation of possible child abuse. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SB 335 (Unterman-45th) 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 336 (Unterman-45th) Provides that when a subpoena is issued for production of electronic communication service records for computer or electronic devices that are used for certain offenses against minors, the provider of the service shall not provide notice of such subpoena to the subscriber or customer of such service. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to 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. The bill did not cross over.

SR 774 (Stone-23rd) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Adoption Expenses. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

 

 

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 273 (Douglas-78th) Requires each local board of education to schedule a daily 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. There are exceptions listed in which case a school can forego recess. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. PASSED SENATE.

HB 653 (Spencer-180th) Provides that certain professional licensing boards are authorized but not required to suspend the license of a person upon notice of nonpayment or default on a federal educational loan or service conditional scholarship. This pertains particularly to those licenses issued by the authority of Georgia Composite Medical Board. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 669 (Trammel-132nd) Authorizes the state to allocate appropriations to expand Medicaid and get federal funds for payments to medical providers on behalf of Medicaid recipients. STATUS: House Appropriations Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary 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 697 (Taylor-173rd) Extends an exemption from state sales and use tax for five additional years (up to June 30, 2023) regarding the sale or use of tangible personal property to certain nonprofit health centers, including some volunteer centers which serve indigent patients. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.

HB 733 (Alexander-66th) Expands the service cancelable loan program for psychiatrists serving in underserved rural areas. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 747 (Cooper-43rd) Provides that Medicaid recipients receive unrestricted access to medications prescribed for the treatment of hemophilia. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 755 (Cannon-58th) Requires DPH to establish a three-year pilot program to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis drug assistance or services to persons at risk of being infected with HIV. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 764 (Clark-98th) Adds post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain to the conditions authorized for the use of low THC oil. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 827 (Kelley-16th) Increases the value of the rural hospital organization tax credit to 100 percent. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance 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 statewide 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 868 (Schofield-60th) Adds Systemic lupus erythematosus or discoid cutaneous lupus when such disease is diagnosed as severe or end stage to the list of conditions which may be treated by low THC oil. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: FAILED HOUSE VOTE.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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 did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate 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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

HB 943 (Mathiak-73rd) Requires health plans to provide coverage for less addictive opioids, opioid addiction treatments, and opioid alternative treatments. STATUS: House Insurance Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 1020 (Trammel-132nd) Allows the authorization of three licensed resort facilities in counties, municipalities, and consolidated governments that have approved the facilities by public referendum; to funds Georgia Medicaid Expansion and REACH Georgia Scholarship Trust Fund, the Georgia Problem Gaming Assistance Fund, and the Georgia Licensed Resort Facility Host Community Fund. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 74 (McKoon-29th) Raises the standard of proof needed for and unemancipated minor seeking a waiver of the parental notification requirement for an abortion. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice 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 12 years old or under. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Insurance Committee.

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 did not cross over.

SB 318 (Rhett-33rd) Requires the Department of Community Health to create a one-year pilot program to examine the execution of a physician’s certificate for emergency examination of a person for involuntary evaluation and treatment for mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse based on consultation with an emergency medical technician or paramedic who has personally observed the person. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 327 (Albers-56th) Eliminates the circumstance of death when unattended by a physician from the list of deaths that a coroner or county medical examiner can order a medical examiner’s inquiry of that death. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 346 (Thompson-5th) Allows in-state cultivation of marijuana.  STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 351 (Unterman-45th) Expands from 4 to 8 the number of nurses that can a physician can delegate the authority to perform certain medical acts through a Nurse Protocol Agreement.  The bill also eliminates the criteria of “life threatening situations” as a determining factor as to whether a so delegated nurse can order radiographic imaging tests.  STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 352 (Unterman-45th) Prohibits patient brokering and creates a director of Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Related Disorders (to be appointed by the governor), and establishes the Commission on Substance Abuse and Recovery.  The bill also provides for a fraudulent insurance act for the excessive, high-tech, or fraudulent drug testing in the treatment of the elderly, the disabled, or any individual affected by pain, substance abuse, addiction, or any related disorder. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 357 (Burke-11th) Establishes the Health Coordination and Innovation Council of the State of Georgia (to be assigned to the Office of Planning and Budget for administrative purposes), with a director of health care policy and strategic planning who reports directly to the Governor. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 359 (Hufstetler-52nd) Establishes standards for carriers and health care providers with regard to payment under a managed care plan in the provision of emergency medical care, and lays out provisions for increased transparency regarding providers. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Insurance Committee.

SB 364 (Hufstetler-52nd) Authorizes a higher supervisory ratio for physician assistants who have completed a board approved anesthesiologist assistant program. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 399 (Williams-27th) Expands the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses so they can serve as a primary or acute care provider of record for family and individual’s life spans, adult gerontology, neonatal care, pediatrics, and women’s health. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 424 (Lucas-26th) Establishes the Center for Rural Health Innovation and Sustainability. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 437 (Payne-54th) Provides that when a minor child is a candidate for non-resuscitation, an order not to resuscitate may be issued with the oral or written consent of the minor’s parent.  STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SB 457 (Tate-38th) Requires every public school and private school to conduct drills on the execution of school safety plans based upon guidance from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

 

 

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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 513 (Dickerson-113th) Requires the Department of Community Health to develop a sign to be posted at any medical facility stating that such facility is an authorized location to leave a newborn child. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services 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. The bill did not cross over.

SB 483 (Jordan-6th) Provides for a private lactation room open to the public in either the Capitol Building or the Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Office Building. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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 32 (Chandler-105th) Prohibits sexual contact between school employees or agents and students enrolled at the school employing the adult.  STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 392 (Fleming-121st) Allows funding for students taking dual credit courses (Move on When Ready) at eligible postsecondary institutions which use nonstandard term systems to be eligible for payment for up to five nonstandard terms per academic year. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee.

HB 432 (Dubnik-29th) Allows an institution that lacks accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to be approved for tuition equalization purposes, if previously deemed an approved school. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

HB 448 (Williams-119th) Gives the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) the authority it needs to require information on a periodic basis to confirm that an exempt institution is maintaining the qualifications for an exemption. The bill also proposes to reduce NPEC’s board from 15 members to 11 members by removing the congressional district qualification. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Recommended Do Pass by Senate Higher Education Committee.

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: FAILED HOUSE VOTE.

HB 524 (Teasley-37th) Creates a digital learning tax credit available for donations to eligible nonprofit organizations to be used to provide improved technology to county, municipal, and independent school districts, facilitating Internet access for student learning initiatives. STATUS: House Ways & Means Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 667 (Bentley-139th) Prevents local boards of education from participating in an athletic association which does not provide for instant replays to review rulings on the field for high school football playoff and championship games. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 672 (Thomas-39th) Allows the use of speed detection devices by school security personnel, defined as a certified law enforcement officer employed by a local board of education, a county or a municipal law enforcement agency for patrol of a school. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 700 (Belton-112th) Authorizes types of service cancelable educational loans financed by state funds and issued by the Georgia Student Finance Authority in exchange for two years of service in the Georgia National Guard. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee.

HB 702 (Clark-147th) Creates a service cancelable postsecondary education loan program for students in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics who work in federal civil service positions at defense installations in this state. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 713 (Chandler-105th) Lowers eligibility requirements for homeschooled children for the HOPE scholarship from scoring within the 93rd percentile on the ACT or SAT to having scored within the 91st percentile. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Higher Education Committee.

HB 718 (Scott-76th) Excuses a maximum of five school day absences per school year, for no more than two school years, of students with parents in service of the armed forces of the United States, the Reserves, or the National Guard or veterans to attend therapy sessions as recommended by a licensed physician or psychologist. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 722 (Casas-107th) Adds any nonprofit, baccalaureate degree granting postsecondary institution which has been in existence ten or more years with a physical location in this state and which holds institutional accreditation by a national or regional accrediting agency that is recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education t the list of eligible institutions for “Move on When Ready”. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 728 (Coleman-97th) Repeals the sunset provision on the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation (which passed last year and is designed to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools and provide for a related income tax credit for qualified education donations).  The tax credits became available January 1st this year but are scheduled to sunset December 31, 2020. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Finance 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 744 (Shannon-84th) Exempts full-time students enrolled in postsecondary education, including those taking classes online, from jury duty. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 759 (Turner-21st) Revises eligibility for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program to state that the student is not eligible if the student previously qualified for the scholarship. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 778 (England-116th) Transfers the career, technical, and agricultural education program from the State Board of Education to the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 781 (Tanner-9th) Allows school districts to use up to 35% of SPLOST funds for maintenance and operations.  It also creates a process to amend existing SPLOST to include these costs. HR 992 is the companion constitutional amendment. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 788 (Stovall-74th) Allows a parent or guardian to enroll a student in a school using the address of an individual residing in the school’s attendance zone who has authorized such use. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 801 (Hilton-95th) Revise the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program, changing the name to the Individualized Education Account Act. The bill also adds students who have been adopted from foster care to the list of eligible recipients and expands the scope of use for the program dollars. It establishes a program review committee to determine whether certain expenses meet the requirements to be considered an authorized expense. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth 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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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 did not cross over.

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 forthe GA Department of Education to determine rules and regulations for funding. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

HB 928 (Williams-145th) Extends HOPE eligibility from 7 to 15 years from the end of high school for qualified active military personnel. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 932 (Benton-31st) Raises the age of mandatory education from 16 to 17. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

HB 955 (Frye-118th) Requires HOPE grants to cover the full cost of tuition. STATUS: House Appropriations Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 963 (Brockway-102nd) State Workforce Development Board, in consultation with the Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia, shall annually develop a promoted list of industry credentials and state licenses that are linked to an occupation that is in high demand or leads to an occupation with wages of at least 70 percent of the average annual wage. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 971 (Chandler-105th) Allows home study and private school students to take the PSAT/NMSQT and advanced placement exams through a local school system. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 1006 (Setzler-35th) Revises the crime of sexual assault by delineating degrees of the crime and revising punishments for persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority and adds non-supervisory personnel to the list of individuals subject to the provisions of the law.  STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 1007 and HR 1341 (Cox-108th) Constitutional Amendment and Enabling legislation creating the Student and School Safety Fund and related commission to impose, collect, and dispose of additional fees for violation of certain criminal and traffic laws. Collected funds will be used to implement and enhance student and school safety measures. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 1018 (Mitchell-88th) Requires driver education courses to educate young drivers on the proper actions to be taken by drivers during traffic stops and proper interaction with law enforcement officers. STATUS: House Motor Vehicles Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 82 (Jackson-2nd) Clarifies that being a member of the Georgia National Guard or a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States located in Georgia is classified as a legal resident of Georgia for the purposes of eligibility for HOPE scholarships and grants. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Higher Education Committee.

SB 215 (Williams-27th) Freezes college tuition for students at the amount established for freshman year. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 320 (Henson-41st) Requires public elementary and secondary schools to allow parents and guardians to register to vote when enrolling their children for school. STATUS: Senate Ethics Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.

SB 354 (Jackson-2nd) Require that the Technical College System of Georgia classify certain active duty service members as in-state for tuition purposes. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House 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. The bill did not cross over.

SB 362 (Tippins-37th) Establishes an innovative assessment pilot program, including exemptions from certain state-wide assessment requirements, yet aligned with state academic content standards. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Industry and Labor 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. The bill did not cross over.

SB 401 (Tippins-37th) Provides for guidance in career oriented aptitudes and career interests in developing an individual graduation plan. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House 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. The bill did not cross over.

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 Finance Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 456 (Mullis-53rd) Prohibits public high schools from participating in a high school athletic association that does not have separate regions and playoffs for public and private schools with an enrollment of 640 students or less. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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

HR 1320 (Stephens-164th) Creates the House Study Committee on the Georgia Public Schools Calendar. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HR 1343 (Ehrhart-36th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on State Tuition Assistance for Independent College Students. STATUS: House Higher 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.

HR 992 (Tanner-9th) Constitutional Amendment to allow the current local sales tax for educational purposes to be used for construction, building maintenance, and instructional enhancements of a school system so long as the amount does not exceed 35% of the maximum amount of net proceeds to be raised by the tax. HB 781 is the enabling legislation. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee.

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 1039 (Belton-112th) Creates the House Study Committee on Ennobling the Teaching Profession. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.

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

SR 255 (Williams-27th) A constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly to regulate the amount of tuition and fees for institutions of the University System of Georgia. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SR 935 (Albers-56th) Creates the Senate School Safety Study Committee. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

SR 953 (Gooch-51st) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

 

misc

HB 121 (Efstration-104th) Changes provisions relating to minor or unborn beneficiaries of trusts, among other things. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

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 did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary 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: FAILED HOUSE VOTE.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.

HB 716 (Rakestraw-19th) “Georgia Pre-Arrest Diversion for Drug and Mental Health Treatment Act”- Persons desiring treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or dependence or mental health issues may contact a law enforcement agency for information and about and referral to treatment programs for abusers of drugs or alcohol or persons with mental health issues.  Any person who in good faith contacts a law enforcement agency for information as to available treatment programs, assisted delivery to a program, or a referral shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation resulting solely from the seeking of such information or assisted delivery. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Public Safety Committee.

HB 786 (Frye-118th) Expands prohibitions on discrimination by insurers against victims of family violence to include victims of sexual assault (which is defined as rape, sodomy, aggravated sodomy, sexual battery, and aggravated sexual battery). STATUS: House Insurance Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

HB 860 (Dunahoo-30th) Establishes a social host’s criminal responsibility when people under 21 receive or consume alcoholic beverages at the host’s function.   STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Economic Development and Tourism 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 Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 959 (Ridley-6th) Forbids any agency from entering into any agreement, contract, or understanding with any private entity which would allow such private entity to exclusively hold public records which are subject to disclosure, regardless of the limitations imposed.  STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 970 (Dreyer-59th) Clarifies that the offense of carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location includes carrying a long gun while knowingly participating in the assembly of two or more persons upon any public way or public property. STATUS: House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill did not cross over.

HB 996 (Dempsey-13th) Requires the Georgia Technology Authority to establish an operational Strategic Integrated Data System (SIDS) capable of securely receiving, maintaining, and transmitting data. The SIDS Project shall seek to receive, maintain, and transmit de-identified data wherever possible and shall only receive, maintain, and transmit individually identifiable information if permitted by this code section. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

HB 999 (Coomer-14th) Clarifies the type of hospitalization as an inpatient in any mental hospital that prohibits the issuance of a weapons carry license. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 1013 (Wallace-119th) Authorizes persons who are at least 16 years of age to register to vote. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee.

SB 343 (Harbison-15th) Prohibits the issuance and renewal of drug recognition expert certifications by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. STATUS: Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 344 (Thompson-5th) “Georgia Retail Marijuana Code”- allows the regulation of the retail sale of marijuana. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Ways & Means 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: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee.

SB 435 (Beach-21st) Amends the procedures and penalties for passing a school bus. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SB 472 (Jordan-6th) Prohibits persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of family violence and persons subject to family violence protective orders from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill did not cross over.

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

HR 913 (Rakestraw-19th) Creates the House Study Committee on Incorporating Law Enforcement in the Pathway to Treatment and Social Services for Persons Having Challenges with Drug Use and Mental Health. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

SR 681 (Harbin-16th) A resolution urging the United States Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the states for ratification. The resolution lays out the following rights: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children; that the parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child; that neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served; that parental rights guaranteed by this article shall not be denied or abridged on account of disability; this resolution shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Juvenile Justice Committee.

SR 587 (McKoon-29th) Constitutional Amendment making English the official language of the State of Georgia, and requires official state actions be in English, prohibits any requirement that any language other than English be used in any documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings, programs, or publications, prohibits discrimination, penalties, or other limits on participation against persons who speak only English. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Rules Committee.

SR 613 (Shafer-48th) Constitutional Amendment making English the official language of the State of Georgia, and requires official state actions be in English, drivers license exams to be in English, and prohibits discrimination, penalties, or other limits on participation against persons who speak only English. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SR 614 (Thompson-5th) Constitutional Amendment legalizing marijuana for those 21 years of age or older. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill did not cross over.

SR 939 (Jones-10th) Recognizes March 7, 2018, as Children’s Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Adopted.

 

 

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