- Child Welfare/Vulnerable Youth
- Juvenile Justice/Effective School Discipline
- Child Health and Safety
- Early Care & Learning
So, if the North Koreans and South Koreans can figure out how to get along okay enough to play on the same hockey team together in the 2018 Winter Olympics, why are politics at the Georgia State House so hard sometimes?
All that to say that the Adoption Bill, House Bill 159, finally passed this past week, and it only took the bill slightly less time to end up on the Governor’s desk than it did to get relations to thaw on the Korean Peninsula. (Okay, okay – so 1953 versus 2017 – but it seemed like forever!).
Anyway, so glad it passed! Phew. I am now officially done talking about HB 159!
What else kept me from doing laundry and exercising this week? Well, in addition to personal apathy, parenting teenagers, and the candy bar that is somehow lodged in the rowing machine, about a billion bills emerged for about half a billion committee hearings. On top of that, the House passed its version of the FY 2018 Amended Budget (see below), and hearings began on that budget in the Senate and on the FY 2019 Budget (the “Big Budget”) in the House.
Also, this past Wednesday, Governor Deal, along with Director Vernon Keenan of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, hosted a press conference to announce the release of some first-of-a-kind Suicide Prevention Videos, where children and youth 11-21 years old talk about their own experiences with suicide and overcoming life’s challenges. Voices partnered with the GBI, DFCS, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, DBHDD and DOE to make the videos, and we all think that if you guys help spread them around, we can save some lives. So, please, watch and download and share wherever you think they will be helpful.
What is going to keep me from laundry and exercising next week? More bills, more hearings, and Tuesday’s event highlighting Georgia Pre-K Week (October 1-5, 2018) and the 25th Birthday of Georgia Pre-K (click here to watch an adorable video about the Birthday and click here to watch a fun little piece about the program). I am sure there will be other worthy distractions, like renting a storage unit to put all the perfume, chocolate, and long-stemmed roses I receive on Valentine’s Day from my fans; or looking for chewing gum in my purse.
Nevertheless, I will persevere on getting my updates finished and action alerts out, six-pack abs or not. So read on and please take a minute to advocate per the alerts at the bottom of this email. See you in the funny papers!
CJCJ = Council of Juvenile Court Judges (attached to Juvenile Courts)
DBHDD = Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
DCS = Department of Community Supervision
DECAL = Department of Early Care and Learning
DHS = Department of Human Services (which houses DFCS = Department of Family and Children Services, as well as DCSS = Division of Child Support Services )
DJJ = Department of Juvenile Justice
DOE = Department of Education
DOL = Department of Labor
DOR = Department of Revenue
DPH = Department of Public Health
GBI = Georgia Bureau of Investigation
GDC = Georgia Department of Corrections
GDEcD = Department of Economic Development
GOSA = Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
GPDC = Georgia Public Defenders Council
GSFC = Georgia Student Finance Commission
PAC = Prosecuting Attorneys Council
TCSG = Technical College System of Georgia
USG = University System of Georgia
- $750,000 Added (Feds match to bring to $1.5 million) to analyze the Medicaid delivery system to identify efficiencies and service delivery improvement opportunities.
- $75,000 Added for the State Office of Rural Health to conduct a request for proposal process to identify a postsecondary institution within the state as an appropriate location for the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council).
- $40,000 Added for a statewide residency recruitment fair (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council).
- $60,000 Added for the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce to coordinate with the University System of Georgia and the State Office of Rural Health to develop a one-stop shop residency website (as recommended by the House Rural Development Council).
- $110,000 Subtracted from the Gateway Behavioral Health psychiatry residency program (to reflect actual expenditures).
- $100,000 Subtracted from the Accelerated Track program at Memorial Health (to reflect actual expenditures).
- $550,000 Added for design, construction and equipment for the new Division of Family and Children Services Building, Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County.
- $391,000 Subtracted from funds the Governor requested for youth who pose a public safety risk during determination of competency as provided in SB 175 (2017 Session). Governor’s request = $1.3 Million. The new House total = $912,000.
- $500,000 Transferred from GOSA to DOE to purchase six more school buses, bringing the total number of buses from 194 to 200 and the total spend to $15.5 Million.
- $125,000 Subtracted for the unfilled Residential Treatment Center program manager position with the expectation that the Department will fill the full-time position by July 1, 2018 (DOE).
- $408,000 Added for one non-STEM AP exam for low-income students. (GOSA).
- $400,000 Added for start-up funds to establish a statewide leadership academy for principals per HB 338 (2017 Session) (GOSA).
- $75,000 Added for planning for the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovations) as recommended by the House Rural Development Council).
- $1 Million Added for one-time funds for mobile welding laboratories for HOPE Career Grant welding training on-site around the state. This add brings the total number of mobile welding unite from 2 to 4. Governor’s request = $1 Million. The new House total = $2 Million.
- Budget Note: Perform a market study of professional and masters level degrees currently offered at university programs in South Georgia to include recommendations for adjustments to offerings based on matriculation, demand, and industry interest and report to the House Rural Development Council, Rural Georgia Senate Study Committee, and the House and Senate Higher Education Committees by September 1, 2018
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.
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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House 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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House 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: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. Recommended Do Pass by the Reeves subcommittee. The bill now rests in the body of the full committee.
HB 834 (Ballinger-23rd) and HB 745 (Holcomb-81st) Allows a tenant to terminate his/her rental or lease agreement effective 30 days after providing the landlord with a written notice of termination when a civil family violence order or criminal family violence order has been issued. The notice must be accompanied by a copy of the applicable civil or criminal family violence order. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.
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.
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 subcommittee. The bill now rests in the body of the full House Education Committee.
HB 837 (Oliver-82nd) Requires each law enforcement agency to designate at least one law enforcement officer who is trained in trauma and victim response to receive all inquiries concerning sexual assault evidence kits and to serve as a liaison between the agency and victims of sexual assault. The bill also requires the Attorney General to develop, maintain, and publicly post a document concerning the rights of victims of sexual assault, which are listed in this legislation. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
HB 883 (Hanson-80th) If a court issues an ex parte to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from violence, then the order shall remain in effect until the court issues an order dismissing such order or a hearing occurs in 45 days to determine the validity of the allegations. STATUS: House Hopper.
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 Hopper.
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. Recommended Do Pass by 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: Senate Judiciary 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 337 (Unterman-45th) Expands acceptable testimony of a child’s description of sexual contact or physical abuse to include any motion made or hearing or trial in the past. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 370 (Wilkinson-50th) Requires the commissioner of the Department of Human Services waives the first $25,000.00 of any estate. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This bill will be on the Senate Floor for a vote this MONDAY.
SB 375 (Ligon-3rd) “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”-Allows a child-placing agency to decline to accept a referral from the Department of Human Services (Division of Family and Children Services) and to decline to perform services under a contract with the department based on the child-placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. The bill also prevents department from discriminating against or causing any adverse action against a child-placing agency based on those religious beliefs. STATUS: Senate Judiciary Committee.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
HB 663 (Bennett- 94th) Creates added categories and penalties for the commission of hate crimes. These crimes target a victim or his or her property because of the defendant’s belief regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, or physical disability. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. This bill will be heard in Reeves subcommittee this MONDAY. There will be no vote taken.
HB 670 (Powell-32nd) Adds one legislative representative to the Georgia State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision and clarifies that the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate each makes one such appointment. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee.
HB 765 (Thomas-56th) “C.J.’s Law”- Increases the mandatory minimum for hit and run accidents that result in death or serious injury to three years. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. This bill will be heard in Reeves subcommittee this MONDAY.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
HB 890 (Fleming-121st) Makes it a misdemeanor to use an emergency exit after having shoplifted. STATUS: House Hopper.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Public Safety Committee. Content was amended to SB 149 and passed on that bill in 2017. The underlying bill was recommitted to the Senate Public Safety Committee this year.
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 will be heard in committee this MONDAY.
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 yards of TCSG property. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by Senate Public Safety 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Public Safety Committee.
SB 407 (Strickland-17th) This year’s bill resulting from the Criminal Justice Reform Council – Among other things, the bill addresses provisions involving bail reform, data collection and sharing, and citations for misdemeanors. It also clarifies matters relating to sentencing, first offender treatment, pay-only probation, and the use of community service. It addresses inmate access to Medicaid and increases certain penalties relating to the theft of, the use of an altered identification mark on, or the transfer of a firearm to certain individuals. The bill establishes the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board under the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. STATUS: Senate Hopper.
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 Hopper.
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.
HB 673 (Carson-46th) Prohibits driving while: conducting wireless communication without using a hands-free accessory, using more than a single touch or swipe of a finger on a wireless device to initiate or terminate communication; reaching for a wireless telecommunications device in such a manner that requires the driver to maneuver in such a way that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position properly restrained by a safety belt, watching motion upon the screen of a wireless telecommunications device other than those related to the functioning or navigation of the vehicle. Violation will be considered a misdemeanor and shall be punishable with a fine of at least $150.00. Upon a second offense the driver shall be required to complete a defensive driving course. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. This bill will be heard in Reeves subcommittee this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Insurance Committee. This bill will be on the House Floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways & Means 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.
HB 743 (Clark-98th) “Jeremy Nelson and Nick Blakely Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act”-Requires the GA DOE to develop and post on its publicly accessible website guidelines and relevant materials to inform and educate student, parents, guardians and coaches participating in or desiring to participate in an interscholastic athletic activity about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. Public and private schools must also hold informational meetings in the subject and parents/guardians must sign a form acknowledging that they have reviewed the information. Protocols are also established for removing students who faint, pass out or exhibit any other symptoms possibly related to cardiac issues from participation. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the subcommittee. The bill now rests in the body of the full House Education 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.
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: House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 764 (Clark-98th) Adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the conditions authorized for the use of low THC oil. The bill also provides for licensing for cultivation of cannabis for the purpose of producing, processing, and dispensing low THC oil in this state, establishes criteria for certain cultivation and production licenses and allows state postsecondary educational institutions to have the option to bid on production facility licenses. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard the Medical Cannabis Work Group this TUESDAY.
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: House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 827 (Kelley-16th) Increases the value of the rural hospital organization tax credit to 100 percent. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways & Means Committee.
HB 844 (Houston-170th) Expands the membership of the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons from 7 to 10 members. It also creates a multiagency task force to establish a system of collaborative governance responsible for making recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor regarding improvements to the state-wide system of developmental and educational services that support age-appropriate language and literacy proficiency for children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth to third grade. The bill also provides for a state-wide coordinated longitudinal data management system for all children who are deaf or hard of hearing and requires integrated and seamless services from birth through literacy. STATUS: House Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 847 (Chandler-105th) Allows Georgia to enter into an interstate compact known as the “Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact”, which is intended to regulate the day to day practice of telepsychology across state boundaries and to the temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology by psychologists across state boundaries for 30 days within a calendar year. STATUS: House Regulated Industries Committee.
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.
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 Hopper.
HB 895 (Cooper-43rd) Prohibits the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan STATUS: House Hopper.
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: Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.
SB 351 (Unterman-45th) Allows advanced practice registered nurses to be eligible to engage as a licensed independent practitioner if primarily employed in a rural county in this state The bill also expands the authority for any such licensed independent practitioner to order computed tomography (CT) scans and to prescribe, procure, administer, dispense, and furnish pharmacological agents, including over-the-counter and controlled substances. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 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: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
SB 364 (Hufstetler-52nd) Authorizes a higher supervisory ratio for physician assistants who have completed a board approved anesthesiologist assistant program. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
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.
HB 494 (Dempsey-13th) Authorizes the use of hearsay in preliminary hearings regarding emergency closure of an early care and learning program or the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors and adds certain misdemeanors to the definition of “crime” for purposes of background checks. The bill also provides that background checks are not valid if an individual has been separated from employment from an early care and education program for more than 180 consecutive days. STATUS: House Education Committee.
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 will be heard in committee this MONDAY.
HR 1044 (Coleman-97th) and SR 727 (Tippins-37th) Recognizes October 1-5, 2018, as Georgia Pre-K Week. STATUS ON BOTH: Adopted.
HR 1102 (Park-101st) Creates the House Study Committee on Increasing Access to Pre-K and After-School Programs. STATUS: House Hopper.
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. STATUS: House Ways and Means Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.
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.
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: House Higher Education Committee.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Higher Education 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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. This bill will be on the House Floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education 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.
HB 781 (Tanner-9th) Allows school districts to use up to 50% 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.
HB 787 (Hilton-95th) Allows state charter schools may receive services from regional educational service agencies (RESAs); includes the use of flexible and student centered accountability systems in the principles and standards for charter school authorizers; develops individualized measures for virtual students beyond the sole reliance on standardized tests; changes the state charter supplement so it is based on the statewide average local revenue rather than the average of the lowest five school systems; adjusts the statewide average total capital revenue; and requires the capital revenue calculation be made for virtual charters if they provide computer hardware, software and the like. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the subcommittee. The bill now rests in the body of the full House Education Committee.
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.
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: House Education 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: House Education Committee.
HB 874 (Teasley-37th) Requires charter schools to provide parents with fair and timely notice when any process is initiated which could lead to the closure or restructuring of a charter school. STATUS: House Education Committee.
HB 894 (Jones-25th) Permits state charter schools to receive services from regional educational service agencies and revises various funding parameters for state chartered special schools and state charter schools. STATUS: House Hopper.
SB 330 (Wilkinson-50th) The agricultural education program provided in this state shall be based 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 curriculum for the agricultural education program shall include equal portions of each of the three components of such model and shall be established by the Department of Education with input from agricultural education teachers. GA DOE will conduct a pilot program, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, for agricultural education in six elementary schools in this state in order to determine whether and how to implement an elementary agricultural education program state wide. By July 1, 2018, the Professional Standards Commission shall extend in-field certification for agricultural education to include kindergarten through grade five. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs 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: Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this TUESDAY.
SB 361 (Williams-27th) Provides for freedom of religious speech for students and faculty members in public schools; for student protections in student expression, class assignments, organization of religious groups and activities, and limited public forums; for model policies by each local school system on student expression; for freedom of religious expression by faculty and employees of public schools while fulfilling the duties of their jobs. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 377 (Strickland-17th) Transfers the State Workforce Development Board from the Department of Economic Development to the Technical College System of Georgia. STATUS: Senate Higher Education Committee.
SB 384 (Williams-27th) Authorizes home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 401 (Tippins-37th) Provides for guidance in career oriented aptitudes and career interests in developing an individual graduation plan. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 405 (Millar-40th) Creates grants up to $1500 per semester for non-HOPE students whose family income does not exceed $48,000.00, is enrolled in an institution of the University System of Georgia, has received a Pell scholarship, achieved certain academic criteria, and is employed at least 15 hours per week during the semester. STATUS: Senate Hopper.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher 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 50% 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee.
HR 1039 (Belton-112th) Creates the House Study Committee on Ennobling the Teaching Profession. STATUS: House Special Rules Committee.
HB 121 (Efstration-104th) Changes provisions relating to minor or unborn beneficiaries of trusts, among other things. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 605 (Spencer-180th) Changes provisions relating to the revival of certain claims involving childhood sexual abuse and provides for civil actions by the Attorney General under certain circumstances related to such. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
HB 703 (Hitchens-161st) Creates the Governor’s Office of Public Safety Support (assigned to the Department of Public Safety for administrative purposes ). This office would provide counseling services or any other critical incident support services to all requesting public entities that employ public safety officers for incidents, including situations involving death or other tragedies. Counseling services would be for public safety officers or their immediate families. The Governor appoints the director. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
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: House Motor Vehicles Committee. This bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.
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.
HB 831 (Rogers-10th) Creates the Employment First Georgia Council, to be administratively attached to the Department of Human Services. The Council would develop an employment first training plan for providers of services to individuals with disabilities, coordinate and conduct educational activities to increase awareness of the employment first policy, evaluate the funding mechanism for daytime services in the state for individuals with disabilities and for students attending inclusive postsecondary institutions. STATUS: House Industry and Labor Committee.
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.
SB 402 (Gooch-51st) Provides for broadband services planning, deployment, and incentives, and authorization for the Department of Transportation to take certain actions to enable the rights of way of interstate highways to be used for the deployment of broadband and other communications technologies. STATUS: Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
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: 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.
HB 273 (Douglas-78th) Requires each local board of education to schedule a daily, 30-minute recess for students in kindergarten and grades one through five. The recess must include supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. Local boards of education must establish policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience and that recess is scheduled so that it provides a break during academic learning. The bill also stipulates that the withholding of recess is not to be used as a punishment. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill will be heard in committee this MONDAY.