Voices’ Legislative Update – 2/26/18

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When I look back on my life, I think about all the jobs I could have had, all the careers I could have chosen. It occurs to me that I could have been a doctor (thank your lucky stars that I wasn’t), an accountant (despite my aversion to calculators and spreadsheets), a movie star (well, not really) or an astronaut (definitely not really).
Actually, I had always hoped to be a taste-tester for Godiva or a professional slipper reviewer. Yet despite my best efforts at discerning the nuances of chocolate and fuzzy footwear, such attempts came up empty.
Instead, I somehow ended up here, in this chair, reading legislation until Visine no longer works, and my children ask the food delivery person who that strange lady is camping out upstairs. But you know what? It all pays off on weeks like this when there are dozens upon dozens of bills at play because Crossover Day is coming up on Wednesday.
Forget candy and comfortable feet; forget the hot pizza waiting downstairs and maybe even forget those tall youngsters who sort of look like me (just kidding about the youngster part). It’s Crossover week! For those of you who have not been through this before, let me just say you have not lived until you have stood in the halls of the capitol on Crossover night, watching a bill you really like (or hate) squeak through on a vote at the very last minute. It gives me goosebumps (and blisters and a migraine) just remembering that feeling. Anyway, all that to say that there are a lot of bills in this update (and a lot of opportunities to advocate) all thanks to CD.
Oh – and one other thing happening this Crossover Day (other than the 35th anniversary of the airing of the last episode of M*A*S*H) is the very first Afterschool Day at the Capitol! So come on down that morning and say hi to more than 100 afterschool providers who will be advocating on kids issues all over the place.
Hope to see you there!
Polly
 
 


 
juvenile justice

 
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.
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 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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 will be heard in the Reeves Subcommittee THIS MONDAY.
HB 890 (Fleming-121st) Makes it a misdemeanor to use an emergency exit after having shoplifted. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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 will be heard in the Reeves Subcommittee THIS MONDAY.
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.
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.
HB 981 (Willard-51st) Limits public access to records regarding certain convictions.
STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote this MONDAY.
HR 1260 (Ballinger-23rd) Creates the House Study Committee on Juvenile Court Judges. STATUS: 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 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.
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.
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 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.
HB 834 (Ballinger-23rd) and HB 745 (Holcomb-81st) Allows a tenant to terminate his/her rental or lease agreement effective 30 days after providing the landlord with a written notice of termination when a civil family violence order or criminal family violence order has been issued. The notice must be accompanied by a copy of the applicable civil or criminal family violence order. STATUS: HB 834-Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee. HB 745-Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 762 (Cantrell-22nd) Requires annual age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in kindergarten through grade 9 and that professional learning and in-service training may include programs on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 883 (Hanson-80th) If a court issues an ex parte to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from violence, then the order shall remain in effect until the court issues an order dismissing such order or a hearing occurs in 45 days to determine the validity of the allegations. STATUS: House Judiciary Committee.
HB 897 (Efstration-104th) Revises the “Uniform Power of Attorney Act.” Provisions relevant to children currently state that when power of attorney is granted, that the person granted the power of attorney must perform the acts necessary to maintain the customary standard of living of the principal, the principal’s spouse, the principal’s minor children, the principal’s adult children who are pursuing a postsecondary school education and are under 25 years of age. This bill provides that, if there has been an established pattern of payments or an indicated a clear intent to make payments for the children or the adult descendants who are under 25 years of age, or not the principal’s children, and pursuing a postsecondary school education, those payments must be fulfilled and maintained appropriately. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules 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.
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: House Juvenile Justice 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Juvenile Justice Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules 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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules 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. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
SB 337 (Unterman-45th) Expands acceptable testimony of a child’s description of sexual contact or physical abuse to include any motion made or hearing or trial in the past. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill 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: PASSED SENATE.
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 SENATE.
SB 429 (Brass-28th) Allows the Department of Family and Children Services to streamline the purchase of or purchase services for children or families to whom it is providing child welfare services by contracting with providers without competitive bidding. STATUS: Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
SR 774 (Stone-23rd) Creates the Joint Study Committee on Adoption Expenses. STATUS: Recommended DO Pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote this MONDAY.
 
 

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 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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 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.
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 in full committee this MONDAY.
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 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 895 (Cooper-43rd) Prohibits the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in Senate Rules Committee.
HB 909 (Silcox-52nd) Allows the Department of Public Health to establish separate criteria for perinatal facilities (meaning a hospital, clinic, or birthing center that provides maternal or neonatal health care services) levels of maternal care and neonatal care. Such criteria may include, without limitation, data collection and reporting, arrangements for patient transportation, and protocols for coordination with and referral of patients to and from other health care facilities. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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.
SB 235 (James-35th) Encourages local boards of education, nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, governing bodies of charter schools, and public recreation facilities to provide youth athletes participating in gridiron football with a helmet which has at least a four-star rating on the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings scale at the time of its use. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
SB 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in Senate Rules Committee.
SB 325 (Kirkpatrick-32nd) Allows Georgia to join an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states. According to the bill, the Compact creates another pathway for licensure and does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act. It also affirms that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter, and therefore, requires the physician to be under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in Senate Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in Senate Rules 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 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in Senate Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules 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 now rests in House Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Health and Human Services Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
 
education
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
HB 482 (Cantrell-22nd) Georgia Educational Scholarship Act’- Allows state funds to deposited on behalf of a participating student and which may be used for qualified education expenses including tuition for private school up to age 22. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 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 now rests in House Rules 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 now rests in House Rules 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. The bill now rests in House Rules 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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules 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 rests in House Rules Committee.
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. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
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 rests in House Rules 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: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 852 (Smith-41st) Allows a student who has attended a public school for more than half of the school year and who moves during the school year to another attendance zone within the local school system to continue to attend the initial public school through the completion of the school year; provided that the student has not had chronic disciplinary problems. The parent is responsible for transportation of the student to and from the school. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 853 (Dempsey-13th) Provides that children placed in psychiatric residential treatment facilities as a result of a physician’s order may not be charged tuition. STATUS: PASSED HOUSE. Assigned to Senate Education and Youth Committee.
HB 905 (Clark-98th) Authorizes home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: House Education Committee.
HB 908 (Dickey-140th) Allows students who are 20 years old or older and who have not attained a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma to be eligible for enrollment in an approved state charter school until a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma  is attained or until the student or no longer resides in this state. The bill also provides for the GA Department of Education to determine rules and regulations for funding. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HB 928 Williams-145th) Extends HOPE eligibility from 7 to 15 years from the end of high school for qualified active military personnel. STATUS: House Higher Education Committee.
HB 932 (Benton-31st) Raises the age of mandatory education from 16 to 17. STATUS: House Education Committee.
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 rests in House Rules Committee.
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 rests in House Rules Committee.
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.
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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Higher Education Committee. The bill will be on the Senate floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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. The bill now rests in Senate Rules 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: 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.
SB 384 (Williams-27th) Authorizes home study students to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system. STATUS: Senate Education and Youth Committee.
SB 401 (Tippins-37th) Provides for guidance in career oriented aptitudes and career interests in developing an individual graduation plan. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
SB 405 (Millar-40th) Creates grants up to $1500 per semester for non-HOPE students whose family income does not exceed $48,000.00, is enrolled in an institution of the University System of Georgia, has received a Pell scholarship, achieved certain academic criteria, and is employed at least 15 hours per week during the semester.  STATUS: PASSED SENATE.
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 now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
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. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
HR 1320 (Stephens-164th) Creates the House Study Committee on the Georgia Public Schools Calendar. STATUS: House Hopper.
HR 1343 (Ehrhart-36th) Creates the Joint Study Committee on State Tuition Assistance for Independent College Students. STATUS: House Hopper.
HR 1122 (Nix-69th) Recognizes February 28, 2018, as Afterschool Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Adopted.
HR 354 (Kendrick-93rd) Urges the Georgia Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and mental health experts, to develop and provide to local school systems a list of training materials that would serve to increase awareness of mental health issues and behavioral and learning disabilities. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Education Committee. The bill rests in House Rules Committee.
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. The bill rests in House 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. The bill rests in Senate Rules Committee.
SR 828 (Dugan-30th) Recognizes February 28, 2018, as Afterschool Day at the state capitol. STATUS: Adopted.
 
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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. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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. The bill will be heard in full committee this MONDAY.
HB 623 (Welch-110th) Allows the Georgia Crime Information Center to retain fingerprints of certain individuals under certain circumstances and submit such fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to beverages, banking and finance, civil practice, commerce and trade, criminal procedure, domestic relations, education, fire protection and safety, guardian and ward, health, insurance, law enforcement officers and agencies, mental health, military, emergency management, and veterans affairs, motor vehicles and traffic, penal institutions, professions and businesses, and social services. STATUS: House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. The bill will be heard in full committee this MONDAY.
HB 703 (Hitchens-161st) Creates the Governor’s Office of Public Safety Support (assigned to the Department of Public Safety for administrative purposes). This office would provide counseling services or any other critical incident support services to all requesting public entities that employ public safety officers for incidents, including situations involving death or other tragedies. Counseling services would be for public safety officers or their immediate families. The Governor appoints the director. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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.
HB 721 (Powell-32nd) Revises the criteria by which the Department of Driver Services authorizes licensed driver training schools to administer the on-the-road driving skills testing. STATUS: Recommended Do Pass by the House Motor Vehicles Committee. The bill will be on the House floor for a vote this MONDAY.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the House Industry and Labor Committee. The bill now rests in House Rules 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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: PASSED SENATE.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. The bill now rests in Senate Rules 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 now rests in Senate Rules Committee.
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.
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: Recommended Do Pass by the Senate Rules 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.