Legislative Update 2.25.19

Download a PDF of the Update here

It is just about that time of the legislative session when one begins to ask important questions of oneself. Things like, “Should I have become a skydiving instructor?“, “Why am I drawn to long conversations about shall’s and may’s?”, “Should I tell my mother that I am not a florist, but actually lobby bills at the state house?” and “Are varicose veins genetic or earned?” In short, days in the heat of the legislative session are, as they would say at Waffle House, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, topped, and country.

Some highlights from last week’s menu:

The chambers passed the FY 2019 Amended Budget. It now awaits the Governor’s signature. Click here for our child-relevant breakdown.

The Dyslexia Bill, SB 48, passed the Senate and was assigned to the House Education Committee

The Medicaid Waiver Bill, SB 106, was recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and now rests in Senate Rules. We suspect it will be voted on by the full Senate this week.

And, most important, Llama Llama Red Pajama visited the Gold Dome and got folks excited about today’s Pre-K Week Launch, (this video is a scream!) where we give lawmakers books and ask them to read at a Georgia Pre-K in their district during Georgia Pre-K Week, October 7-11, 2019.

For more eggs, bacon, and grits, read on.

And please remember to do the action alerts at the end! It is sort of like remembering to have pie for dessert.

See you next week!

Polly McKinney
Advocacy Director
Voices for Georgia’s Children 
pmckinney@georgiavoices.org 


Know Where You Want to Go?

Juvenile Justice/Effective School Discipline

Child Welfare/Vulnerable Youth

Child Health and Safety

Early Care and Learning

Higher Education

Miscellaneous

2 Minute Advocacy Ask


 JUVENILE JUSTICE/EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

HB 359 (Holcomb-81st) Revises the terminology used in determining whom to arrest in instances of family violence when complaints are received from opposing parties. The revision changes the term “primary aggressor” to “dominant aggressor.” The bill also states that an officer shall not threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate that all parties will be arrested, and that when determining who the dominant aggressor is, an officer shall consider threats that created the fear of physical injury. STATUS: House Juvenile Justice Committee.

HB 364 (Bodie-62nd) Allows some defendants to have a second conviction cleared if they were 17-25 years old the first time they were sentenced and at least five years have passed. (Currently, certain first-time offenders can have their criminal convictions cleared after completing their sentence, but they can only take advantage of that opportunity once). STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 403 (Holcomb-81st) Prevents a private entity from operating a detention facility, including prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, parole revocation centers, long-term and short-term youth detention centers, boot camps, and probation detention centers. STATUS: House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee.

HB 426 (Efstration-104th) Revises the criteria for imposition of punishment for crimes involving bias or prejudice to specify that bias or prejudice mean the individual’s belief or perception regarding the race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability, and then revises the sanctions for such crimes. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

HB 438 (Ballinger-23rd) Limits the use of restraints on a child in the courtroom. STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 439 (Ballinger-23rd) Requires the juvenile court judges to be elected by the electors of the judicial circuit in which such judge would serve. STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 440 (Ballinger-23rd) Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to include 17 year olds. STATUS: House Hopper.

HB 441 (Bruce-61st) Creates a “program of safe care” for children under juvenile court jurisdiction for treatment of substance abuse and for services for substance abuse prevention. The program brings together drug treatment professionals, social programs, and local and state government agencies, including, but not limited to, the Department of Human Services, to develop safe care plans. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 64 (Ligon-3rd) Makes a terroristic threat by a child 13 or older against an individual or a public or private school a class B felony. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 166 (Jackson-2nd) Revises the criteria for imposition of punishment for crimes involving bias or prejudice to specify that bias or prejudice mean the individual’s belief or perception regarding the race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability, and then revises the sanctions for such crimes. STATUS: Senate Hopper.


CHILD WELFARE/VULNERABLE YOUTH

HB 12 (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: House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

HB 64 (Prince-127th) Requires the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to make efforts to determine whether a parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of abuse allegations is on active duty in the military and if so, to notify military installation family advocacy programs. The bill also grants immunity for reporting child abuse to military law enforcement. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 70 (Efstration-104th) Revises provisions relating to guardians and conservators of minors and adults. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 80 (Werkheiser-157th) Require individuals to cooperate with the child support enforcement program as a condition of eligibility for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 227 (Frye-118th) Expands the prohibitions on discrimination against victims of family violence to include victims of sexual assault. STATUS: House Insurance Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY. 

HB 228 (Welch-110th) Raises the minimum marriage age to 17 and requires the other party to a marriage with a minor to be no more than 4 years older; requires the minor to have been emancipated (declared a legal adult) by a juvenile court after a hearing to determine that the minor is mature and self-sufficient; ensures that an attorney is appointed to advise the minor in the emancipation proceeding; requires the court to examine additional evidence about an intended marriage and spouse to assess what’s in the minor’s best interest; institutes a waiting period between an emancipation order and a marriage license; requires minors to have premarital education before applying for a marriage license; and requires minors to receive a factsheet on rights and resources available to victims of domestic violence. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 234 (Efstration-104th) This bill is in response to the Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act and represents the shift away from criminalization and towards providing victims with services. It authorizes DFCS to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking; allows a law enforcement officer or agency or DFCS to refer any child suspected of being a victim of commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking to a certified statewide victim services agency which provides comprehensive trauma-informed services designed to alleviate the adverse effects of trafficking victimization; raises the age from 16 to 18 for purposes of determining the offense of prostitution and codify the process for identifying sex trafficking victims; and makes it easier to prosecute knowing owners of places where trafficking occurs. This bill would align Georgia law with federal trafficking laws such as the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Families Act and the Trafficking Victims Protections Act. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 258 (Boddie-62nd) Adds aggravated sexual battery to the list of offenses for which the statute of limitations may be suspended if the victim is younger than 16 years of age. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee. 

HB 259 (Ballinger-23rd) Requires the Georgia Crime Information Center to provide criminal history record information to the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board uponm request of the board. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

HB 260 (Ballinger-23rd) Revises the offense of home invasion in the first degree to incorporate family violence battery. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

HB 281  (Anulewicz-42nd) Increases the penalty provisions relating to pimping and pandering. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

HB 381 (Efstration-104th) Cleans up terminology, grammar, and punctuation in statute related to child support provisions. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 393 (McLeod-105th) Allows for a state income tax deduction for child support payments. STATUS: House Ways & Means Committee. 

HB 416 (Williams-145th) Establishes the State Vaccine Consumer Protection Office and creates a State Vaccination Information Sheet. The bill also to provide for rights of consumers to decline administration of vaccines to themselves or their children and prevents the refusal of vaccination from being used when considering child protective services complaints or reunification in child protective services cases. In addition, child protective services can not authorize or facilitate the administration of any vaccine to a child in its custody without written parental consent. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee.

HB 424 (Silcox-52nd) Expands the definition of Criminal Gang Activity to include trafficking persons for labor servitude or sexual servitude, keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, and pandering. The bill also revises rules pertaining to the admissibility of a complainant’s past sexual behavior in prosecutions for certain sexual offenses. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

SB 150 (Jordan-6th) Prohibit persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of family violence or persons subject to family violence protective orders from receiving, possessing, or transporting a firearm. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 158 (Strickland-17th) This bill is in response to the Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act and represents the shift away from criminalization and towards providing victims with services. It authorizes DFCS to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking; allows a law enforcement officer or agency or DFCS to refer any child suspected of being a victim of commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking to a certified statewide victim services agency which provides comprehensive trauma-informed services designed to alleviate the adverse effects of trafficking victimization; raises the age from 16 to 17 for purposes of determining the offense of prostitution and codify the process for identifying sex trafficking victims; and makes it easier to prosecute owners of places where trafficking occurs. This bill would align Georgia law with federal trafficking laws such as the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Families Act and the Trafficking Victims Protections Act. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee. This will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

SB 167 (Brass-28th) Allows a foster placement for a child to be deemed as the child’s fictive kin in determining such child’s permanency plan, if after 6 months and reasonable diligent search efforts conducted by DFCS, no relatives or fictive kin have been located. In all cases in which the child has reached the age of 11, the judge shall consider the desires of the child. Additionally, if a child has been in a stable foster placement for 12 months or more, a presumption shall exist that remaining in that placement is in the child’s best interests. STATUS: Senate Hopper.



CHILD HEALTH AND SAFETY

HB 26 (Belton-112th) The “Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact” authorizes the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to allow psychologists who are licensed in other compact-participating states and who meet certain criteria to practice in Georgia via telepsychology and temporary practice (defined as 30 days per calendar year) STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Interstate Cooperation Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee. 

HB 39 (Belton-112th) Creates the “Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act” which allows physical therapists licensed in other compact states to practice in Georgia. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Interstate Cooperation Committee, but was withdrawn and recommitted to committee. 

HB 63 (Cooper-43rd) Requires health benefit plans to establish step therapy protocols. (Step therapy is a type of prior authorization. In most cases, the patient must first try a less expensive drug on the drug list that has been proven effective for most people with the same condition before you can move up a “step” to a more expensive drug). STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Insurance and Labor Committee. 

HB 113 (Carson-46th) Specifies that anyone driving with a Class C learners permit, Class C license, or Motorcycle instruction permit is prohibited from using a stand-alone electronic device or wireless telecommunications device unless it is an emergency STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee, but the bill was withdrawn and recommitted to committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HB 158 (Silcox-52nd) Requires that Medicaid recipients have the same access to antiretroviral regimens used to treat HIV and AIDS as to those included in the formulary established for the Georgia AIDS Drug Assistance Program. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HB 168 (Taylor-173rd) Extends an exemption from sales and use tax for five additional years regarding the sale or use of tangible personal property to nonprofit health centers and nonprofit volunteer health centers. STATUS: House Ways & Means Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY. 

HB 290 (Cooper-43rd) Establishes a pilot program to provide preexposure 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 now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 310 (Morris-156th) Moves the annual due date that the Department of Insurance must submit an autism coverage report to the General Assembly from January 15 to June 15. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Insurance Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

HB 351 (Holly-111th) Increases the penalties for passing a school bus. STATUS: House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee.

HB 369 (Wilkerson-38th) Require the development of an educational fact sheet for elementary and secondary students about the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a student-athlete or cheerleader is prescribed an opioid for a sports-related injury. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 370 (Cooper-43rd) Allows nurses practicing in an emergency medical services system to order up to a 14 day supply of nonnarcotic drugs as necessary in an emergency situation. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee.

HB 376 (Gilligan-24th) Designates September 1 of each year as Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Georgia. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HB 398 (Smith-41st) Allows local authorities to regulate the operation of bicycles upon sidewalks by persons under the age of 16 or with disabilities. STATUS: House Transportation Committee.

HB 409 (Powell-32nd) Authorizes the delegation by a physician to an advanced practice registered nurse to order radiographic imaging tests in non-life-threatening situations. The bill also increases from four to eight the number of advanced practice registered nurses with whom a delegating physician can enter into a nurse protocol agreement and supervise at one time. STATUS: House Special Committee on Access to Quality Healthcare.

HB 442 (Schofield-60th) Creates a grant program to encourage physicians to practice in underserved areas of the state. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 15 (Albers-56th) “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act” – Requires schools to conduct threat assessments every two years on buildings, facilities, and campuses by a person or agency approved by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency; makes private schools subject to the same requirements for safety plans as public schools; adds requirements to school safety plans to address security issues in school safety zones, at school functions, and while transporting students; creates a task force within the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center and authorizes the task force to “curate individual student profiles from school records and records of the Department of Human Services and law enforcement agencies for the purpose of evaluating potential threats to public and private schools”; creates school safety coaches and requirements for them STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

SB 16 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) “Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act” – Allows Georgia to enter into an interstate compact to allow physicians, assistants, and certain other health professionals from other compacts states to practice in Georgia STATUS: PASSED SENATE. In House Health and Human Services Committee. 

SB 60 (Martin-9th) Requires the GA Department of Education to develop and post on its website guidelines and other materials to inform students, parents, guardians and coaches about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. The bill also requires students participating in sports to review the information. Additionally, if a student passes out in a sport then they will be removed from the activity by the athletic coach and if a student exhibits symptoms of cardiac arrest then the athletic trainer can remove the student and may notify the parents. Once a student has been removed, they cannot return until they have been evaluated and cleared to return by a health care provider. STATUS: Senate Education & Youth Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

SB 106 (Tillery-19th) Authorizes the Department of Community Health to submit a Section 1115 waiver request to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and authorizes the Governor to submit a Section 1332 innovation waiver proposal to the United States Secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Treasury in order to expand Medicaid and shore up the private insurance marketplace. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

SB 115 (Unterman-45th) “Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia” – Provides for telemedicine licenses for physicians licensed in other states to engage in the practice of telemedicine with patients in this state. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Science and Technology Committee.

SB 118 (Unterman-45th) Renames the “Telemedicine Act” the “Telehealth Act,” and revises various definitions regarding telemedicine and telehealth. The bill also prohibits insurers from requiring insureds to use telemedicine, and sets policy for pay equity for health care providers using telemedicine. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Science and Technology Committee.

SB 145 (Harbin-16th) Requires healthcare insurers to develop selection standards for provider participation. STATUS: Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.

SB 148 (Robertson-29th) Requires the wearing of seatbelts in off-road farm vehicles or pickup trucks being used for farming. The bill also states that failure to wear a seatbelt in any seat of a motor vehicle which has a seat safety belt or belts shall not be any basis for cancellation of insurance coverage. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 151 (Burke-11th) Creates the Office of Health Strategy and Coordination to adequately integrate state and private resources to strategically improve access to care, effective health management strategies, and cost control measures. STATUS: Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

SB 160 (Anderson-43rd) Requires all occupants of a passenger vehicle to be restrained by a seatbelt. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

HR 261 (Newton-123rd) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Evaluating and Simplifying Physician Oversight of Midlevel Providers. STATUS: House Health & Human Services Committee.

SR 193 (Kirk-13th) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Transferring Oversight of Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Community Health. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee. 

SR 194 (Kirk-13th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Transferring Oversight of Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Community Health. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee. 

SR 195 (Harbin-16th) Urges Georgia’s school districts to have an emergency medical technician (EMT) present during all full-contact sporting events. STATUS: Senate Education & Youth Committee. 

SR 202 (Hufstetler-52nd) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Evaluating and Simplifying Physician Oversight of Midlevel Providers. STATUS: Senate Rules Committee.

SR 217 (Ligon-3rd) Creates the Senate Study Committee on Prescribing Patterns for Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Medications. STATUS: Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

SR 233 (Orrock-36th) Recognizes October 9, 2019, as PANDAS Awareness Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Senate Hopper.


EARLY CARE AND LEARNING

SB 4 (Jordan-6th) Requires a private lactation room open to the public in either the Capitol Building or the Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Office Building. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate State Institutions and Property Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

SR 102 (Martin-9th) Recognizes October 7-11, 2019, as Georgia Pre-K Week. STATUS: Senate Read and Adopted.


EDUCATION

HB 1 (Petrea-166th) Changes the name of the ‘Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act” to the “Senator Eric Johnson Scholarship Act”. STATUS: House Education Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

HB 59 (Belton-112th) Allows military students to enroll in a public school based on official military orders prior to physically establishing residency. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 68 (Carson-46th) Prohibits any entity that operates, owns, is affiliated with, or is a subsidiary of an association, organization, or other entity that provides accreditation of elementary or secondary schools from becoming a student scholarship organization (SSO). STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee.

HB 69 (Turner-21st) Changes the “prior school year requirement” for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship program STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. This bill now rests in the House Rules Committee. 

HB 109 (Benton-31st) Modifies conditions of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia for people who first became members on or after July 1, 2019. Among other things, the bill changes from 2 years to 5 years the number of highest years of compensation used to determine retirement benefits; eliminates the ability to apply unused sick leave towards retirement credit; and changes age of retirement and benefits access. STATUS: House Retirement Committee.

HB 123 (Werkheiser-157th) Moves administration of the Georgia Workforce Investment Board from the Technical College System of Georgia to the GA Department of Labor. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Industry and Labor Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee. 

HB 126 (Nix-69th) Authorizes the Department of Labor to establish the ‘GeorgiaBest’ program (a business employability skills training program) to assist the state’s existing and emerging workforce in developing employer-identified skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Curriculum may include skills relating to punctuality, critical thinking, and the ability to work in a team. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Industry and Labor Committee. The bill now rests in the House Rules Committee. 

HB 130 (Nix-69th) Authorizes the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to establish a nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.

HB 169 (Hugley-136th) Mandates public schools to require an age-appropriate course of study in financial education for students in kindergarten through 12. STATUS: House Education Committee.

HB 389 (Wilensky-79th) Requires excused school absences for students voting in state-wide elections. STATUS: House Education Committee. 

HB 390 (Benton-31st) Allows certain members of the Teachers Retirement System to be eligible to obtain creditable service towards retirement for international teaching service by paying the full actuarial cost of obtaining such creditable service. STATUS: House Retirement Committee.

HB 414 (Kennard-102nd) Lower the age of compulsory school attendance from six years old to five years old and requires kindergarten for all children prior to entering into first grade. STATUS: House Education Committee.

SB 421 (Stephens-164th) Prohibits a school year from starting before the second full week in August, with the exception of year-round schools, and requires the local board of education to seek input on the school year calendar from community organizations and parent organizations. STATUS: House Education Committee. 

HB 444 (Reeves-34th) Revises criteria for Dual Enrollment. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 48 (Martin-9th) Requires all -kindergarten students to be screened for dyslexia and refer students in grades 1st-3rd for screening to have been identified as having characteristics of dyslexia. The bill would require a dyslexia screening tool to be delivered by a professional and ensure that parents provide informed consent before the screening tool is used and that parents are notified with the results of the screening. The bill also requires the department to make available a dyslexia informational handbook that includes guidance, technical assistance, and training to assist all local school systems in the implementation of evidence-based practices for instructing students identified with or displaying characteristics of dyslexia, and to collaborate with the Professional Standards Commission to improve and update professional development for teachers specifically relating to dyslexia. This bill also creates a pilot in three local school systems which would begin in the 2019-2020 school year and be established by the State School Superintendent. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Education Committee.

SB 67 (Burke-11th) Allows drawdown of K-12 capital outlay funding to complete restoration of fire or disaster damaged school buildings. Educational facilities that are more than 20 years old and are extensively destroyed or damaged by a fire or natural disaster can supplement insurance to rebuild all of the building, even undamaged parts. Expands low wealth category to include systems consolidating schools but lacking sufficient ESPLOST capability. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Awaits assignment in the House.

SB 68 (Sims-12th) Strengthens provisions for school system financial management. STATUS: The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote this MONDAY.

SB 83 (Mullis-53rd) Requires public schools to offer elective courses in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to grades 9-12. STATUS: Senate Education & Youth Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

SB 91 (Hufstetler-52nd) . STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Higher Education Committee.

SB 161 (Tippins-37th) Provides for weighted scores for certain coursework for purposes of determining HOPE scholarship and Zell Miller scholarship eligibility. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

SB 163 (Thompson-14th) Allows home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

SB 165 (Thompson-14th) Requires the State Board of Education to designate a nonprofit organization to govern high school athletics for public schools. A nonpublic school that wishes to engage in high school athletic competition with a public high school may become a member of the nonprofit organization. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

SB 173 (Dolezal-27th) Establishes educational scholarship accounts, which are consumer directed accounts composed of state funds deposited on behalf of a participating student and which may be used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, therapies, computers, transportation, etc. The scholarship accounts are not needs based but prioritize the following categories of applicants: Children with special needs, in foster care, of parents on active duty in the military, in public school and in a family with income below 200% of the federal poverty level, or documented victims of bullying. Enrollment is limited to one-half of 1 percent of the state-wide total public school enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

SB 175 (Black-8th) Requires certain public employers to make employer and employee contributions to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia for employed beneficiaries. STATUS: Senate Hopper.

HR 38 (Kendrick-93rd) Creates the House Study Committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fields. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HR 196 (Mitchell-88th) Creates the House Study Committee to Review the Education Equalization Grant. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HR 291 (Park-101st) Creates the House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Afterschool Programs. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.

HR 343 (Jasperse-11th) Recognizes October 7-11, 2019, as Georgia Pre-K Week. STATUS: House Read and Adopted.


MISCELLANEOUS

with rings to fit around no more than two fingers and sold or furnished for the purpose of defense. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 197 (Dempsey-13th) Establishes the establishment of the Strategic Integrated Data System (SIDS) under the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, which would facilitate interagency data sharing. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

HB 226 (Lariccia-169th) Extends the sunset for penalties related to violation of Joshua’s Law to 2022. FYI, Joshua’s law is the part of Georgia law related to drivers license requirements for teen drivers. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.

HB 261 (Ballinger-23rd) Changes the name of the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board to Sexual Offender Risk Review Board. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in subcommittee this MONDAY.

HB 348 (Martin-49th) Each full-time, non-temporary employee of the State of Georgia or of any branch, department, board, bureau, or commission thereof shall be entitled to apply for up to eight hours of paid leave per calendar year for the purpose of volunteering in this state. Such leave is only authorized for activities directly related to volunteering and providing nonprofit support. It may not be used for volunteering for political purposes or agendas. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee.

HB 363 (Marin-96th) Requires each department, agency, board, commission, or authority of the state or any political subdivision to take reasonable steps to provide equal access to public services for individuals with limited English proficiency. STATUS: House Governmental Affairs Committee.

HB 418 (Anulewicz-42nd) Extends the statute of limitations for civil action by adult victims of child sexual abuse from 23 years old to 55 years old, and the date for civil action to occur from two years to four years. The bill also clarifies the term “childhood sexual abuse”. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.

HB 434 (Hitchens-161st) States that a campus policeman who is employed by a private educational institution of higher learning and who commits a tort while acting within the scope of his or her official duties or employment or authorized law enforcement powers shall not be subject to lawsuit or liability. STATUS: House Hopper.

SB 1 (Parent-42nd) “C.J.’s Law”- Creates a felony and 1-10 year sentence for a driver who causes an accident that results in bodily harm, and then leaves the scene of the accident. STATUS: PASSED SENATE. Assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

SB 45 and SR 84 (Beach-21st) Establishes pari-mutuel horse racing in Georgia at a limited number of licensed equestrian centers and creates the Georgia Horse Racing Commission. State proceeds from the racing shall be in a designated account and used to fund education, health care, and rural development programs. STATUS: Recommended DO Pass by the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.

SB 144 (Anderson-24th) Allows a licensed tobacco dealer to apply for a special event tobacco permit for off-premise sales of cigars, cigarettes, or loose or smokeless tobacco for a special event or a temporary location offsite from the licensed location for a period of 1-10 days, with no limit to the number of such permits a licensed dealer may be issued. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

HR 345 (Holly-111th) A constitutional amendment allowing persons 17 years of age and older to vote in elections in this state. STATUS: House Hopper.


 BE A VOICE FOR CHILDREN

2 Minute Advocacy Ask

 

Afterschool Study Committee

The “Ask”:

Call members of the Georgia Special Rules Committee ASAP and ask them to vote YES on House Resolution 291, creating a House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Afterschool Programs.


The Details: 
HR 291 will be heard in the House Special Rules Committee tomorrow and needs your support. These handy fact-sheets will tell you why Afterschool Program access is so important!! 
                                                                                                                     
– Demand for Afterschool in Georgia
– Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Standards
– Landscape for Afterschool in Georgia
– Support for Afterschool in Georgia
– Quality Afterschool: What it is and Where Georgia is Heading 

HR 291 – Sam Park (101st) Would create a House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Afterschool Programs. The purpose of this Committee would be to focus on high quality afterschool programs, which provide children greater learning opportunities which can lead to better educational outcomes and safer communities. With the demand for afterschool programs in Georgia growing, this committee would be able to concentrate on reviewing the financial and geographic barriers that inhibit participation; the needs and challenges of existing afterschool programs; state and federal programs and funding sources; ways to foster partnerships with existing providers, including public schools, religious organizations, private schools, YMCAs, and the Boys and Girls Clubs; and other strategies and solutions that can expand educational opportunities for children in a long-term, sustainable manner.


The Message:

Dear Representative _______, Please vote YES on House Resolution 291. Research shows that nearly 600,000 more Georgian children would enroll in an afterschool program if it was available in their community. Around 18% of school aged children in Georgia are alone between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00pm when almost a fifth of juvenile violent crimes occur. High quality afterschool programs can increase high school graduation rates, reduce student achievement gaps, and improve the physical and mental well being of children. Thank you very much for your consideration as well as for your service on behalf of Georgia’s children and families.


The How:
Click here to contact members of the House Special Rules Committee. 

**BONUS ASK**
House Bill 234 – “Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act”

The Ask:  Call members of the House Rules Committee and ask them to put House Bill 234, the Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act, on the House Floor for a vote.

The What: HB 234 (Efstration-104th) This bill authorizes DFCS to provide care and supervision to children who are victims of human trafficking; allows a law enforcement officer or agency or DFCS to refer any child suspected of being a victim of commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking to a certified statewide victim services agency which provides comprehensive trauma-informed services designed to alleviate the adverse effects of trafficking victimization; raises the age from 16 to 18 for purposes of determining the offense of prostitution and codify the process for identifying sex trafficking victims; and makes it easier to prosecute knowing owners of places where trafficking occurs. This bill would align Georgia law with federal trafficking laws such as the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Families Act and the Trafficking Victims Protections Act.

The Why: AA holistic, victim-centered response to child sex trafficking is key to getting trafficked, molested children the services that they need. Additionally, it is vital to hold the adults involved, from pimps to johns to bad-acting property owners responsible. Such a protective response, without criminalizing children for their own rape can start to turn the tide on is epidemic of abuse.

The How: Click Here to call or email members of the House Rules Committee to deliver the message below

The Message: Hello Representative  _______.  Please put House Bill 234, the Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act, on the House Floor for a vote. This bill provides a protective response for child sex trafficking, without criminalizing children for their own rape.  Also, it is extremely important to hold the adults involved in the molestation, from pimps to johns to bad-acting property owners, responsible in order to stop this epidemic.  Thank you very much for your consideration and for your service on behalf of Georgia’s children and families.